Wisconsin's Frankie Simonelli, left, tries to maintain control of the puck as Bemidji State's Shea Walters, right, defends during the first period. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren
The Bemidji State men’s hockey team lost to Wisconsin 4-2 Saturday night at the Sanford Center in the final home game of the regular season.
Wisconsin scored the final three goals of the game and Justin Schultz’s power-play score 3:47 into the third period put Wisconsin ahead for good.
Ben Kinne and Jordan George scored power-play goals for Bemidji State, and goalie Dan Bakala finished with 31 saves.
Brad Navin, Sean Little and Michael Mersch scored for Wisconsin, and goalie Joel Rumpel finished with 21 saves.
Wisconsin, which entered the weekend with one road win on the year, swept the Beavers after winning 4-2 on Friday night. It was the first sweep allowed on home ice this season for BSU, which is now on a season high four-game losing streak.
“It’s just two tough losses, we were inconsistent and we spent too much time in the penalty box tonight,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said.
Bemidji State (15-16-3, 9-14-3 WCHA) wraps up the regular season next weekend on the road at Alaska-Anchorage and will open the WCHA playoffs on the road the following week.
“We have to forget about these games now, go to Anchorage and go into the playoffs on a high note,” BSU defenseman Brad Hunt said.
Wisconsin (15-15-2, 10-14-2 WCHA) was dealt a big blow early in Saturday’s game when captain John Ramage was assessed a major misconduct penalty for contact to the head.
After going 0-for-5 on the power play Friday night, the Beavers scored on the ensuing five-minute power play when Kinne scored his 10th goal of the season. He jabbed the puck through Rumpel at the crease with 9:30 left in the period.
Navin tied the score 2:48 into the second period by putting back a rebound in front of Bakala.
George put BSU back up 2-1 on a power-play goal, his team-leading 16th of the season, with an open look at the side of the net five minutes later.
Little scored with 1:30 left in the second period to tie the game for the last time by taking a backhand pass from Frankie Simonelli and beating Bakala at the far side of the net.
Schultz put Wisconsin up 3-2 by picking the corner above Bakala’s shoulder on a shot from just inside the blue line with 36 seconds left in the checking from behind major penalty to BSU defenseman Jake Areshenko, who was lost for the game on the game misconduct penalty.
It was the 15th goal and 42nd point of the season for Schultz, an Anaheim Ducks draft pick.
Bemidji State’s attempts to score the tying goal were hampered by back-to-back minor penalties midway through the period. Kinne was called for an elbowing penalty 20 seconds after Darcy Findlay finished serving a boarding penalty.
“It was hard to get into a rhythm after giving up that goal on the five minute major for us,” Serratore said.
Mersch iced the game for Wisconsin by scoring an empty-net goal with 60 seconds remaining.
UW 0 2 2 – 4
BSU 1 1 0 – 2
First period – 1, BSU Kinne 10 (Walters, Hunt), 10:30, (pp).
Second period – 2, UW Navin 3 (Clark, Dahl), 2:48. 3, BSU George 16 (Walters, Hunt), 7:39, (pp). 4, UW S. Little 1 (Simonelli, Meuer), 18:30.
Third period – 5, UW Schultz 15 (McCabe, Zengerle), 3:47. 6, UW Mersch 13 (Dahl), 19:00, (en).
Shots on goal – UW, 6-16-13-35. BSU, 8-9-6-23.
Goalies – UW, Rumpel (23-21). BSU, Bakala (35-31).
Power plays – UW, 1-for-6. BSU, 2-for-4.
All photos by Eric Stromgren.
Jordan George, Joel Rumpel, Justin Schultz
Joe Faust and Darcy Findlay
Ben Kinne, far left, scores the first goal for Bemidji State
Brendan Woods, Dan Bakala
Brendan Woods, Dan Bakala
Justin Schultz, Shea Walters, Joel Rumpel, Ben Kinne, Frankie Simonelli
Jordan George scores for Bemidji State in the second period
Some pregame notes and line charts for tonight’s game against Wisconsin:
Radoslav Illo is back in the Bemidji State lineup on the second line after missing five games to an undisclosed lower body injury. That bumps Tyler Tosunian out of the lineup and Brance Orban down to the fourth line. Otherwise the lineup remains the same for the Beavers.
Wisconsin juggled its forward lineups a bit and the biggest change is in goal with Joel Rumpel. He’s healed up enough to play after having 20 stitches to sew up a gash above his knee. He’s missed the last two games with the injury. He’s 9-9-2 this season with a .910 save percentage.
Mersch 25-Zengerle 9-Barnes 7
Paape 8-Woods 21-R. Little 20
Labate 16-Meuer 12-S. Little 18
Navin 26-Dahl 14-Clark 17
Bemidji State's Aaron McLeod, right, and Wisconsin's Ryan Little skate after the puck during the second period. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren
Jamie MacQueen almost bailed the Bemidji State men’s hockey team out of a sluggish start in Friday night’s 4-2 loss to Wisconsin Friday night at the Sanford Center.
The senior cut Wisconsin’s lead to 3-2 with a goal 80 seconds into the third period, but what looked to be the game-tying goal with 11:54 remaining was immediately waved off by referee Tim Walsh and the Beavers never recovered.
“As a player I think it’s good,” MacQueen said. “The way he described it, he said he had the intent to blow the whistle, so that’s his call and you can’t do anything about it I guess.”
The play, which cannot be reviewed by video under WCHA rules, started when Ben Kinne cut hard to the net and put a close shot on Wisconsin goalie Landon Peterson. MacQueen trailed the play and swatted at the puck in the crease.
“It’s the right call,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “He was putting the whistle in his mouth when it went in and he thought it was froze. That’s the rule, we’ve seen it a couple of times this year. When you need a goal so bad, you’re hoping they can overturn that but that was the intent. Those are the rules and you have to live by them.”
The disallowed goal was insignificant to Serratore in comparison to BSU’s play in the first and second periods.
The Beavers failed to score on three power plays in the first period and Wisconsin took control in the third period with three goals. Frankie Simonelli, Justin Schultz, and Michael Mersch scored in the second period, and John Ramage iced the win with an empty-net goal with 38 seconds remaining.
“We need to be better than that,” Serratore said. “We’ve had three Fridays in a row where we’ve been a little slow, have not had very good timing and have not been very hard to play against. We have to make sure we’re a different team tomorrow and hopefully we can play more like we did in the third period.”
Bemidji State (15-15-3, 9-13-3 WCHA) and Wisconsin (14-15-2, 9-14-2 WCHA) conclude the weekend series Saturday at 7:07 p.m. in the final regular season home game at the Sanford Center.
Friday’s marked Bemidji State’s third loss in a row and Wisconsin’s second road win of the season. BSU entered the game with the second-best home record in the WCHA and Wisconsin won its first road game since Jan. 13 at Minnesota State.
Bemidji State managed five shots on three first-period power plays before Areshenko gave the Beavers a 1-0 lead on a slap shot with 2:50 left in the period.
Wisconsin first two goals in the three-goal second period came on a pair of harmless-looking plays.
Simonelli’s dump into the BSU zone banked off the glass behind the net and into the goal off goalie Dan Bakala’s skate 3:57 in to tie the game. Shultz’s low shot on goal from the blue line just over two minutes later gave Wisconsin a 2-1 lead.
Wisconsin capped the controlling second period when Tyler Barnes fed Mersch on a two-man break and he picked the corner over Bakala’s shoulder for the 3-1 lead with 13 seconds left in the period.
The Beavers played a desperate game in the third period to shift the game’s momentum for a time.
MacQueen poked the puck through Peterson’s glove at the post 1:20 into the third period for BSU’s final goal.
Making his first start since October, Peterson made two key saves on Jordan George in the third period to keep Wisconsin in front. George, a Madison native, was stopped in close with 13 minutes to play and his tipped shot was pushed aside with just over nine minutes to play.
“We didn’t have our game,” MacQueen said. “It’s been an issue for us on Fridays as of late. It’s not good and we’ve got to fix that because it’s going to bite us.”
UW 0 3 1 – 4
BSU 1 0 1 – 2
First period – 1, BSU Areshenko 3 (Walters), 17:10.
Second period – 2, UW Simonelli 5 (LaBate), 3:57. 3, UW Schultz 14 (Mersch), 6:08. 4, UW Mersch 11 (Barnes, Zengerle), 19:47.
Third period – 4, BSU MacQueen (Kinne, Jubinville), 1:40. 5, UW Ramage 3(Zengerle), 19:22, (en).
Shots on goal – UW, 7-13-6-26. BSU, 11-8-11-30.
Goalies – UW, Peterson (30-28). BSU, Bakala (26-23).
Power plays – UW, 0-for-2. BSU, 0-for-5.
All photos by Eric Stromgren.
Mark Zengerle and Shea Walters
Landon Peterson, Ben Kinne
Landon Peterson and Aaron McLeod
Justin Schultz, Ben Kinne
Brad Navin, Aaron McLeod, Dan Bakala, Breandan Woods
Jordan George and Jake McCabe
Justin Schultz (not pictured) scores Wisconsin's second goal
Some pregame notes and line charts for tonight’s game against Wisconsin:
Bemidji State forward Radoslav Illo (lower body injury) is not in the lineup tonight. He was injured in a game against Omaha back on Feb. 3 and has not played since in a span now reaching six games. BSU head coach Tom Serratore said this week that Illo looked good in Wednesday’s practice and was ’50-50′ for this weekend, so there’s a chance he might play tomorrow.
Wisconsin is starting Landon Peterson in goal tonight (.893 save percentage) in his first Friday night start since October. He’s in for starter Joel Rumpel, who was injured against Wisconsin last week with a gash above his knee that required 20 stitches.
Bemidji State Frozen Four goalie Matt Dalton will drop the ceremonial face-off prior to tonight’s game.
I talked with BSU/Sanford Center rink announcer Tom Kaplan tonight and he told me that he will be the rink announcer at the WCHA Final Five Semifinal Friday afternoon at the Xcel Energy Center. It will be the biggest venue he’s announced in and said he’s looking forward to the experience.
Paape 18-Zengerle 9-Mersch 25
R. Little 20-Woods 21-Barnes 7
Labate 16-Meuer 12-S. Little 18
Navin 26-Dahl 14-Clark 17
Brad Hunt and the Bemidji State men's hockey team hosts Wisconsin in the final regular season series at the Sanford Center. Pioneer File Photo/Eric Stromgren.
The Bemidji State men’s hockey team will face Wisconsin for the first time in Bemidji in program history this weekend at the Sanford Center.
Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves made the trip once before in 1987.
He coached Wisconsin-Eau Claire back then and lost to R.H. ‘Bob’ Peters’ Beavers by 8-4 and 7-0 scores at the John Glas Fieldhouse.
“Coming in as a new coach I heard about coach Peters, and what a legend he was at the Division III level and really highly respected,” Eaves said. “I was expecting to go to Bemidji and see this unbelievable rink. It was a little bit of a letdown. It was beat up. It was a home-court advantage.”
Eaves remembered the challenge of communicating with his teams in the split locker rooms at the Glas.
“I’ve heard that’s not the case with the new arena,” Eaves said. “The new arena is supposed to be very nice and I look forward to seeing it.”
The series against Wisconsin (Friday 7:37 p.m., Saturday 7:07 p.m.) is the regular season-finale for BSU at the Sanford Center. The Beavers are six standings points out of the final home position for the first round of the WCHA playoffs and can make up the ground in the final two weeks.
According to the website playoffstatus.com, BSU will finish no lower than eighth place if it can sweeps Wisconsin and Alaska-Anchorage next week. BSU needs all four wins and help from other teams to finish between fourth and seventh place.
Bemidji State (15-14-3, 9-12-3 WCHA) is currently in ninth place will look to continue its home success against the 10th place Badgers (13-15-2, 8-14-2 WCHA).
The Beavers are 11-4-1 at home this season and are tied for second behind Wisconsin for most home wins (12) in the league. The record is a contrast from last year’s 5-8-3 home mark in the arena’s first year.
“It feels like home to us now,” BSU senior Jamie MacQueen said. “We pride ourselves on our home play and we like to put on a good show in front of our fans.”
Wisconsin is led by sophomore Mark Zengerle (11 goals, 41 points) and junior defenseman Justin Schultz (13 goals, 40 points), an Anaheim Draft pick who BSU head coach Tom Serratore thinks might be the best defensemen in the country. The Badgers are down in the WCHA standings in large part to its 1-8-1 road record.
The Beavers are still looking for the first win against Wisconsin in program history after the 2006 NCAA Tournament loss and the December 2010 Badgers series sweep in Madison.
“We want to get up as far as we can in the standings and so do they,” Serratore said. “It’s a situation where we need points, they need points and we’re excited to have Wisconsin come to our building.”
Bemidji State’s three-game winning streak ended on the road against Minnesota last weekend with 3-0 and 4-1 losses.
“We felt pretty bad after Friday, but we came back with a good effort on Saturday so hopefully we can carry that mental state into this weekend,” MacQueen said.
Bemidji State may return sophomore forward Radoslav Illo this weekend, who has missed the last five games with an undisclosed lower body injury. Serratore was encouraged by his progress this week at practice and said there is a 50 percent chance he will play against the Badgers.
“We’ve had good practices and the only thing I can gauge our intensity on is our practices,” Serratore said. “I thought we had a good practice last week and we went to Minnesota on Friday and weren’t very good. You just don’t know what to expect sometimes. The guys know what to expect right now. They want to move up as far in the standings as they can and want to be playing good going into the playoffs.”
Jamie MacQueen interview
Bemidji State’s Jamie MacQueen talks about the series against Wisconsin, how the team feels after last week’s sweep at Minnesota and how this season at home feels like the John Glas Fieldhouse.
BSU women face North Dakota in WCHA playoffs
Bemidji State gets another crack at North Dakota in a rematch of the 2011 playoffs won by UND in three games.
Bemidji State vs. Wisconsin (Friday 7:37, Saturday 7:07)
TV: Lakeland Public Television and regionally in Minnesota on the PBS Minnesota Channel. Also available on the Minnesota Channel in areas of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin where Minnesota Public Television stations are received. More information here.
Twitter: I’ll be taking photos during the first period and I will provide game updates on my Twitter account at the start of the second period @estromgren. You can expect line charts up on this blog before the game starts.
Wisconsin will be starting freshman Landon Peterso nin goal this weekend in his first-series opening start since October. He’s starting for Joel Rumpel, who suffered a deep gash above his knee during last Friday’s game against Denver. The injury required 20 stitches. From Andy Baggot, Wisconsin State Journal.
Colorado College at Minnesota-Duluth (Friday and Saturday, 7:07 p.m.)
Thursday turned into a long travel day for Colorado College when a snowstorm snarled traffic on the interstate from Colorado Springs to Denver causing the team to miss the flight to Duluth. Rylan Schwartz didn’t practice Friday due to the flue and Jaden Schwartz is hampered by upper body soreness. From Brian Gomez, Colorado Springs Gazette.
Colorado College is making its Amsoil Arena debut this weekend in their first trip to Duluth since March 2010. UMD star forward J.T. Brown missed the Mankato series with an upper body injury last weekend, practiced this week but is questionable for this weekend’s series. From Kevin Pates, Duluth News Tribune.
The UMD student section was warned by Athletic Director Bob Nielson to clean up its act after complaints to the athletic department over racist chants during UMD’s series against North Dakota on Feb. 10-11. From Christa Lawler, Duluth News Tribune.
St. Cloud State at Michigan Tech (Friday and Saturday, 6:07 p.m.)
Extra work is paying off for St. Cloud State’s Brooks Bertsch, who is showing up for practice early and staying late after practice is done. From Mick Hatten, St. Cloud Times.
This weekend marks the final home games of the regular seaon for Michigan Tech, in seventh place and on the edge of home ice in the playoffs. Staying out of the penalty box and puck movement on the power play have been the biggest struggles as of late for the Huskies. From Stephen Anderson, Houghton Daily Mining Gazette.
North Dakota at Denver (Friday 9:07, Saturday, 8:07 p.m.)
North Dakota’s Danny Kristo grew up in Indiana in a town of 85,000 with only two hockey rinks. He moved to Eden Prairie as a seventh grader and is now three points away from reaching 100 career points. From Brad Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald.
North Dakota and Denver are in similar positions, fighting for a home-ice position in the playoffs and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. It’s the only series this year between the two teams, which played twice in the postseason last year. North Dakota beat Denver 3-2 in overtime of the WCHA Final Five title game and again 6-1 in the NCAA Tournament a week later. From Mike Chambers, Denver Post.
Minnesota at Nebraska-Omaha (Friday 7:37, Saturday, 7:07 p.m.)
After sweeping the Beavers in a grind-it-out style series last weekend, the Gophers are expecting racehorse hockey against the Mavericks in Omaha this weekend. From Roman Augustoviz, Star Tribune.
Omaha’s Ryan Walters initially was a Minnesota commitment. When the Gophers asked him to play another year of junior hockey he decomitted and ended up at UNO. The Rosemount native was the hero of last week’s rally against Colorado College and he’s a fixture in the UNO lineup. From Rob White, Omaha World-Herald.
World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel takes a look at how UNO hockey fits in with high-profile programs like Creighton basketball and Nebraska-Lincoln (Cornhusker) sports.
Alaska-Anchorage vs. Alaska-Fairbanks (Friday and Saturday, 10:07 p.m.)
The in-state rivals play for the annual Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup Friday at Anchorage and Saturday at Fairbanks. Fairbanks is trying to defend its cup title for the last three years.
BSU closes out the regular seaosn against the Seawolves next weekend in Anchorage, so Beaver Hockey fans will want to keep an eye on this series. Series notes from GoSeawolves.com
Millsy’s Former and Future Beavers Update
Millsy over at The Beaver Pond tracks the statistics of former Bemidji State players and prospects in the junior leagues. Here is the latest update with stats current as of Feb. 12.
As some of you may or may not know, this is my last week at the Bemidji Pioneer. I am leaving for another job with no regrets and many positive memories. To all of my readers, I give my gratitude and thank you.
I’ve have covered (and photographed) many memorable sporting events since coming to town in the summer of 2007.
One of my favorite hockey photos is this one of BSU winning the 2009 College Hockey America Tournament championship game at the John Glas Fieldhouse. At that moment I thought, along with many others in town, that there was something special about this team. The 2009 Beavers reached the Frozen Four and inspired so many people in town and across the country.
This photo always comes to mind whenever I think of Bemidji State hockey.
The Bemidji State men's hockey team celebrates after Matt Read scored in overtime to defeat Robert Morris in the College Hockey America Tournament championship game. Pioneer FIle Photo/Eric Stromgren.