North Dakota Completes Sweep

Matt Read (Sr., Ilderton, Ontario) and the Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey team gave No. 2 University of North Dakota all it could handle in front of a capacity crowd Saturday at the Bemidji Regional Event Center, but the battle tested Fighting Sioux outlasted the Beavers to gain a 5-2 victory and complete the series sweep.

Despite allowing UND to light the scoreboard first, Bemidji State posted a pair of power-play goals to erase a deficit and build a 2-1 lead early in the second period. However, UND caught the Beavers on their heels late in the period to skate into the third owning a 3-2 lead. 

A pair of empty-net goals late in the game stretched the UND advantage to three goals, cementing the victory for the Sioux.

North Dakota got is power-play unit clicking early.  Chay Genoway scored his first goal of the season 8:43 into the game, capitalizing on UND’s second man advantage opportunity.

BSU would answer, tying the score at 1-1 before the end of the period as Jordan George (So., F, Madison, Wis.) netted his second goal in as many games with help from Ian Lowe (Sr., F, Bradwardine, Manitoba) and Brad Hunt (Jr., D, Ridge Meadows, British Columbia).

Just 5:46 into the second frame, Matt Read (Sr., F, Ilderton, Ontario) posted the Beavers’ second power-play goal of the evening to put BSU up 2-1, but the advantage would be short-lived.  UND got and got goals from Derek Rodwell and Evan Trupp, at 14:28 and 15:43 of the period, respectively, to take the lead for good.

“Nobody likes to lose so if you go in the locker room right now, the guys are disappointed,” said Bemidji State Head Coach Tom Serratore.  “They are competitive guys and wanted to win a hockey game.  They feel they can win a hockey game.  I don’t think they look at moral victories, but as a coach I want to make sure we are getting better.

“We are a better hockey team right now than we were last night at this time and that is one thing I am happy with right now.

“[Last night] we had no jump, no energy and we didn’t take care of the puck very well. I think our guys recognized that.   Serratore added, “We had a lot of energy tonight, we fore checked well and we moved the puck around on the power-play so our special teams were a factor.” 

The Beavers finished the game 2-for-6 on the power-play, while holding a potent Fighting Sioux unit to a goal on six opportunities.

Crediting a good morning video session and the opportunity to get on the ice and compete in live game situations Friday, Serratore displayed a sense of satisfaction in the way his team performed in the back end of its inaugural Wester Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) series.

“I am never happy with a loss, but I am happy with the progress we made.”

Just 24 hours removed from allowing UND 38 shots and being out shot by 24, the Beavers limited North Dakota to just 26 shots.

“When you can limit a team like North Dakota to just 26 shots you are putting yourself in position to win,” commented Serratore.

Another bright spot for the Beavers was the play of Read.  The senior captain beat the UND goaltender early in the second period on a tremendous individual effort to give the Beavers a 2-1 lead and was a big factor in the play of BSU on both ends of the ice.

“This was the best game Matt Read has played for us,” said Serratore.  “I thought tonight Matt was the best player on the ice tonight.  He had great depth to his game and I thought he played great defensively.  The first goal we got, he won a huge face off.  The goal he got was a big time goal. He played well on both ends of the ice and he was great on face offs,” added the coach.  “All that came against the best team in the country.”

On the wrong end of back-to-back 5-2 contests, North Dakota swept the Beavers league series for the first time since Feb. 9-10, 2007 when former College Hockey America (CHA) rival downed the Beavers in consecutive games.

Bemidji State (0-2-0; 0-2-0 WCHA) has a chance to regroup and recuperate next week before returning to action Oct. 29-30 to host WCHA foe No. 7 University of Minnesota Duluth.  The games are set for 7:37 p.m. and 7:07 p.m. at the Bemidji Regional Event Center.