Men’s Hockey Drops Opener At BREC

The outcome was not quite as planned, but for the capacity crowd of 4,373 at the Bemidji Regional Event Center, Oct. 15, 2010 will go down as a dream come true. Friday the Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey opened its new hockey home on the south shore of Lake Bemidji after years of dreaming, planning and building.

No. 2 University of North Dakota may have gained a 5-2 victory over the Beavers in the teams’ Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) 2010-11 opener, but the true stars of show were the state-of-the-art building and the celebration of the tradition-rich program it houses, leaving those in attendance buzzing with excitement.

More than 300 alumni traveled back to Bemidji from all corners of the earth to help BSU and the City of Bemidji initiate the building.  After a brief introduction of many of the players who served as building blocks during the first five decades of the program, a torch passing ceremony, and ceremonial puck drop dedicating the Robert H. Peters Rink, the teams took the ice and the puck dropped on a new era in Beaver Hockey.

Jamie MacQueen (Jr., St. Thomas, Ontario) christened the building just 1:52 into the game, becoming the first male to net a goal in the new facility.  Ryan Cramer (Sr., International Falls, Minn.), owner of the final goal in the John S. Glas Fieldhouse, BSU hockey home from 1967-2010, etched his name in the annals of BSU hockey yet again assisting on the historic marker.

However, the lead would last just over 17 minutes, when Matt Frattin would score in the final seconds of UND’s third power play of the evening, sending the teams into the first intermission locked in a 1-1 tie.

The second period was all North Dakota.  Jason Gregoire sparked a string a three goals in a span of 9:29 when he potted an even-strength goal 5:06 into the stanza.  Frattin added his second power-play marker of the evening 5:05 later (10:11) and Gregoire gave the Fighting Sioux a three-goal cushion heading into the third period at the 14:37 mark.

Midway through the third period, the Beavers seemed to get a second wind.  

Sophomore Jordan George (F, Madison, Wis.) was the benefactor of a hard-nosed play by Jake Areshenko (So., D, Port Coquitlam, British Columbia), who wrestled the puck from a UND player on the corner.  Matt Read (Sr., F, Ilderton, Ontario) fed the puck up the ice to the speedy Ian Lowe (Sr., F, Bradwardine, Manitoba), who then hit George on the doorstep for a nifty backhand over the shoulder of the North Dakota goaltender Brad Eidsness.

But the Fighting Sioux slammed the door on any comeback attempt and reclaimed their three-goal lead when Frattin completed a hat trick at the 18:13 mark.  The empty-net goal came with help from Even Trupp.

In addition to out shooting the Beavers 38-14 on the evening, UND also held an edge on special teams.  The Sioux were 2-of-5 on the power-play, while holding Bemidji State scoreless on four man-advantage opportunities.

Bemidji State (0-1-0; 0-1-0 WCHA) will attempt to rebound from the loss to post its first win at the BREC tomorrow as it hosts the same nationally-ranked Fighting Sioux team in the series finale.  Game time is set for 7:07 p.m.