Bemidji State defeats No. 10 Colorado College 4-1 to sweep series

Bemidji State's Jeff Jubinville, right, shoots the puck as Colorado College's Aaron Harstad defends during the first period Saturday at the Sanford Center. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren.

The Bemidji State men’s hockey team turned a strong second period into a 4-1 victory over No. 10 Colorado College and a series sweep Saturday night at the Sanford Center.

Jordan George and Shea Walters scored in a second period where the Beavers outshot the Tigers 18-3 to take a 2-1 lead into the third period.

“All four lines were rolling and we were getting shots – good, quality shots – on net,” BSU junior Aaron McLeod said. “We were getting some second opportunities, guys were finally getting in front of the goaltender and getting some traffic. I think that was a big part of it.”

McLeod and Danny Mattson scored for BSU in the third period to close out the win and goalie Dan Bakala finished with 23 saves.

The sweep marked Bemidji State’s fourth of the season but first WCHA sweep since Oct. 21-22 against Michigan Tech at the Sanford Center.

“It’s huge for our team,” McLeod said. “To sweep them here is a big momentum booster for our team and we’ll keep on moving up in the standings now hopefully.”

Bemidji State (15-12-3, 9-10-3 WCHA) split the four-game season series with Colorado College (15-11-2, 12-9-1 WCHA) after being swept last October in Colorado Springs. The Beavers moved into eighth place in the WCHA standings and stayed in the hunt for home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

“We just have to keep on playing the way we are and we know we’re going to have a good chance come the end of the season,” McLeod said.

The Beavers travel to No. 2 Minnesota next weekend on a three-game winning streak and have earned seven WCHA standings points in the last four games.

Bakala finished with 52 saves in the series, but BSU head coach Tom Serratore was more pleased with the amount of blocked shots in the series (34) and the team effort on Saturday night.

“We got contributions from everybody and I thought we had a good offensive presence, we were good defensively and we won the special teams battle,” Serratore said.

Andrew Hamburg scored for Colorado College and goalie Joe Howe had 26 saves. The Tigers played Saturday night without seven players due to injuries.

“Even with everybody, we would have gotten beat,” CC head coach Scott Owens said. “We seemed a little bit tired. … We didn’t get enough big plays out of people. We didn’t generate much.”

Colorado College scored first on Hamburg’s goal with 48 seconds left in the first period. When Bakala dived to poke check the puck away from Jaden Schwartz at the crease, Hamburg was there to put back a shot into the open net.

That was the high point of the night for the Tigers.

“We let it slip away,” Colorado College’s Jaden Schwartz said. “They played a better game than us, and they worked harder, and we didn’t deserve to win. … You can’t make excuses. You’ve got to start scoring goals. We can’t rely on our goalies and our defense to win us every game.”

The Beavers responded after Hamburg’s goal with a rush of offense in the second period.

“I like that we controlled play, we forechecked hard and we kept pucks low,” Serratore said. “We played with a lot of determination and we played with a lot of grit.”

It started with George’s team-leading 15th goal of the season 28 seconds into the period. McLeod’s centering pass off a botched Colorado College clearing attempt found George all alone in front of the net and he finished the play to tie the game at 1-1.

BSU took a 2-1 lead midway through the period on a Walters’ power-play goal. Ben Kinne’s shot from the top of the circle deflected off a defenseman to the post and Walters poked it through Howe for the score.

BSU carried the offensive momentum into the third period and scored 21 seconds in to take a 3-1 lead. Kinne fought through a check at the blue line and fed McLeod with a cross-ice pass for his second goal of the weekend.

Even the bounces seemed to go the Beavers’ way on Saturday.

When Mattson tried to make a move around a Colorado College defenseman, the puck deflected into the air and over Howe for a 4-1 lead with 9:24 left to play.

“He made a nice play and it worked out for him,” Walters said. “It just proves if you can get more shots, can get it to the hole and get shots on net, it gives us a better chance to win.”

Scoring Summary

CC 1 0 0 – 1
BSU 0 2 2 – 4
First period – 1, CC Hamburg 1 (J. Schwartz, Guentzel), 19:12.
Second period – 2, BSU George 15 (McLeod), :28. 3, BSU Walters 10 (Kinne, Hunt), 11:22.
Third period – 4, BSU McLeod 8 (Kinne, George), :21. 5, BSU, Mattson 3 (Jubinville), 11:36.
Shots on goal – CC, 13-3-8-24. BSU, 9-18-3-30.
Goalies – CC, Howe (30-26). BSU, Bakala (24-23).
Power Plays – CC, 0-for-2. BSU, 1-for-3.

Photo Gallery

All photos by Eric Stromgren.

Jake Areshenko

Dan Bakala and Rylan Schwartz

Matt Prapavessis and Andrew Hamburg

Darcy Findlay and Joe Howe

William Rapuzzi and Matt Carlson

Darcy Findlay and Ian Young

David Boehm and Aaron Harstad

Jordan George after scoring in the second period.

Follow Eric Stromgren on Twitter at @estromgren and on Facebook.

Saturday night pregame notes and line charts: Bemidji State vs. Colorado College

Here are some pregame notes for tonight’s game between Bemidji State and No. 10 Colorado College:

There are no lineup changes for Bemidji State, which will go for the sweep after winning 4-2 Friday night on Tyler Tosunian’s game-winning goal.

Tosunian will play again as forward Radoslav Illo is out with a undisclosed lower body injury and is week-to-week.

Colorado College led 2-1 Friday after two periods and lost for the first time this season when carrying a lead into the third period. That streak ended at 13 games (13-0-0).

Interesting to note tonight are the PairWise rankings for both teams, BSU is 23 and Colorado College is tied for 17.

Colorado College will play without third-line defenseman Michael Boivin. He was injured in late in the first period, driving CC’s injured player list up to seven players. Ian Young of Missouri City, Texas will take Boivin’s place in the lineup.

Bemidji State junior defenseman and alternate captain Jake Areshenko will be playing in his 100th career game tonight.

Here’s an interesting stat I’ll leave you with. Bemidji State has 10 goals in the last two games, matching its scoring total of the five previous games.

There was some notable news in the WCHA today as the league issued a 1-game suspension to Minnesota’s Kyle Rau for a check on Denver’s Jason Zucker Friday night in Denver. Rau will not play Saturday.

I’ve seen the replay and have some houghts on the suspension. I think the hit was clearly late but not intended to be malicious or violent. If Zucker got back up after the hit, the league probably does not issue the suspension.

Is the league sending a message about avoiding excessive contact and hits around the head? Perhaps. I think it’s possible after the hit Wisconsin’s John Ramage leveled on St. Cloud State’s Nick Oliver last week in Madison.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the Rau suspension. Judge for yourself. Here’s the video:

On to the lines for tonight:

Bemidji State

Kinne 9-McLeod 14-George 28
Orban 7-Walters 11-Boehm 4
MacQueen 17-Jubinville 12-Mattson 16
Tosunian 19-Fisher 13-Findlay 6

Areshenko 8-Wacker 25
Hunt 29-Prapavessis 12
Carlson 5-Windle 15

Bakala 33
Walsh 30
Dugas 35

Colorado College

J. Schwartz 8-R. Schwartz 13-Collett 21
Krushelnyski 16-Hall 23-Rapuzzi 27
Skalbeck 12-Civaterese 11Hamburg 15
Wamsganz 18-DiGiando 14-Taft 17

Guentzel 10-Marciano 4
Harstad 5-Biddwill 2
Stoykewich 6-Young 20

Howe 31
Lockwood 29

Follow Eric Stromgren on Twitter at @estromgren and on Facebook.

Bemidji State blanks No. 9 Minnesota-Duluth 2-0 in final home game of regular season

Bemidji State's Lauren Williams,left, steals the puck away from Minnesota-Duluth's Tea Villila during the second period of Saturday afternoon's game at the Sanford Center. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

Zuzana Tomcikova helped the Bemidji State women’s hockey team win Saturday afternoon in a way she’s done so many times during her career.

The Beavers defeated No. 9 Minnesota-Duluth 2-0 and Tomcikova had 20 saves to add shutout No. 18 to her school record in BSU’s final home game this season at the Sanford Center.

“It’s definitely special because it’s senior day and all of us seniors will remember it,” Tomcikova said. “It’s great but the shutout doesn’t matter. What matters is that we won.”

The Slovakian Olympian also moved into fourth place on the NCAA career saves list during the victory and now has 3,410 saves to pass Niagara’s Allison Rutledge.

“What a way to go out,” BSU head coach Steve Sertich said. “I thought our players did a good job blocking shots and keeping shots to the perimeter. She’s left a big mark here as an individual player and a goaltender.”

Emily Erickson and Tess Dusik scored for the Beavers, which put an end to a five-game losing streak and a seven-game winless streak.

The Beavers had been missing a scoring touch and an aggressive edge at certain points during the losing streak. Those things were found against the Bulldogs.

“I think we played with a sense of urgency and everyone on the ice won battles,” Erickson said. “We really wanted to get the puck and we were hard to play against. I think, all in all, through our entire lineup was like that.”

Bemidji State (17-12-1, 14-11-1 WCHA) split the weekend series with UMD (14-16-3, 8-15-2 WCHA) and concludes the regular season on the road next weekend at St. Cloud State. BSU will open the first round of the WCHA playoffs on the road in two weeks likely against North Dakota.

Erickson opened scoring in the second period by scoring 24 seconds after she exited the penalty box after serving a tripping penalty. She took a pass from Abby Williams, skated in untouched after the blue line and beat Harss with a wrist shot.

Dusik scored the insurance goal with 6:36 left in the third period by slapping at her own rebound at the edge of the crease over Harss.

Saturday’s game was the last home game for the six seniors: Kim Lieder, Alana McElhinney, Marlee Wheelhouse, Lauren Williams, Montana Vichorek, and Tomcikova.

“It feels really great, it’s what we really wanted to do for all of us seniors to send us off in style,” Tomcikova said. “It happened and we were really happy for that. We were definitely the better team today and deserved to win.”

Scoring Summary

UMD 0 0 0 – 0
BSU 0 1 1 – 2

First period – No scoring.
Second period – 1, BSU Erickson 15 (A. Williams) 10:49.
Third period – 2, BSU Dusik 7 (Lundquist), 13:24.
Shots on goal – UMD, 6-8-6-20. BSU, 8-16-8-32.
Goalies – UMD, Harss (32-20). BSU, Tomickova (20-20).
Power plays – UMD, 0-for-3. BSU, 0-for-3.

Photo Gallery

Zuzana Tomcikova

Jenna MacParland and Erika Wheelhouse

Marlee Wheelhouse

Montana Vichorek and Jenna MacParland

Sadie Lundquist and Jessica Wong

Bridgette LacQuette, Natasha Kostenko, Kristin Huber

Follow Eric Stromgren on Twitter at @estromgren and on Facebook.