BEMIDJI — The Bemidji State men’s hockey team needed a feel-good win.
The Beavers had lost three games in a row, including a sweep by last week’s conference nemesis Bowling Green that dropped BSU in the CCHA standings. But Bemidji put a stop to it all on Friday.
Back at the Sanford Center, the Beavers submitted perhaps their most accomplished submission of the year. In the first period he scored three goals in 54 seconds and his BSU capitalized on that early surge to give him a 4–0 victory over Northern Michigan. It was the first shutout of the season and sophomore goaltender Matthias Scholl’s first scoreless streak of his Bemidji State career.
BSU head coach Tom Serratore said, “It was nice to get the three-goal cushion right away.” I think that’s the thing, but for the most part I thought the players managed the game really well.”
Bemidji State (10-8-5, 8-4-3 CCHA) started strong and set the pace with three early goals. Kaden Pickering scored his first one in his 6:15 in the opening frame and a perfectly executed he faked his pass and finished 2-1 with Eric Martin at 6:43. Beating his NMU goalkeeper Beni Halasz. Mitchell Martin stuck a third into the crease at 7:09, making sure the Beavers buried the Wildcats in a deep hole shortly after the contest began.
“They say a two-goal lead is the most dangerous thing in hockey,” said Martin. And sure enough it was the next shift, so it’s important, I don’t want to say it takes the pressure off, but it gives you a little bit more breathing room, and obviously the fourth guy gets a deal. I was scared.”
BSU held off Northern Michigan’s offense in a game clock stretch of the cross period at 29:05 before adding a fourth score at 16:14 in the second period. Leighton Road took advantage of the traffic and confusion at the crease, finding a loose puck in the left slot and filling in assists from Elias Rosen and Jere Weissanen.
“At any stage of the game, we were always on our feet on Gus,” Scholl said. “That fourth goal was pretty late and that’s amazing. If you can score that fourth goal and sink that team, you can’t give them life before the second is over. That’s huge. And we were able to bring a great finish to our third goal.”
Bemidji State had to take down 5-3 late in the third period, adding a brief drama to an otherwise decided game. However, the Beavers built a dam around the net and did not allow the Wildcats to break through. .
“It was a group effort,” Serratore said. “These shutouts are a team effort, not one man. You saw it in the third period. , we didn’t care if we scored one more goal, we just wanted to make sure – we wanted to keep it at zero and we did.
“It’s a very special feeling for him,” Martin said of Sholl. “It’s such a big thing for the team and it brings everyone together. This puts the whole 60 minutes together and you have to give him credit too, he made some big saves. ”
Scholl’s biggest stoppage came in a 2–1 chance just before NMU’s 5–3.
“It was the most challenging thing of the night,” Scholl said. “I have to make big saves here and there, so I try to do my job and avoid it.
In all, Scholl stopped 18 shots to earn the basin shutout. Halas made seven saves before being replaced by Charlie Glockner in his first period, making 24 saves.
BSU will attempt a sweep back at the Sanford Center on Saturday, January 21st at 6:07pm.
Bemidji 4, Northern Michigan 0
NMU 0 0 0 — 0
BSU 3 1 0 — 4
First period — 1, BSU GOAL, Pickering (Lewandowski), 6:15; 2, BSU GOAL, Martin (rod), 6:43; 3, BSU GOAL, Martin (Jutting, Jones), 7:09.
2nd period — 4, BSU GOAL, Roed (Rosén, Vaisanen), 16:14.
3rd Period — No Score.
Saves — Sholl (BSU) 18; Harras (NMU) 7; Glockner (NMU) 24.