The Minot State University club hockey team was bigger, quicker and smarter than Iowa State in Saturday's season opener for both teams at Maysa Arena.
The No. 7 Beavers had four different goal scorers in a 4-1 rout of the No. 10 Cyclones in an American Collegiate Hockey Association game.
MSU took a 2-1 lead into the final period and refocused after a fight prompted the ejections of two Beavers and one Cyclone with seven minutes remaining in the second period.
Minot State University senior Donnie Iverson moves the puck past an Iowa State player in the Beavers’ 4-1 season-opening win Saturday at Maysa Arena.
ISU was unable to capitalize on a five-minute power play and the Beavers added insurance with two breakaway goals 19 seconds apart in the third period.
"I was kind of nervous about how we were gonna come out," MSU coach Wade Regier said, "but we had a very good first period and then a really good ending to the third period."
ISU coach Alan Murdoch, in his 43rd year at the helm, was especially impressed with the Beavers' penalty kill.
"Their defense is real solid, their penalty kill is real solid," Murdoch said. "We had the opportunity with that five-minute major and their penalty killers were better than our power play this early in the season."
MSU sophomore forward Mike Jordan scored the game's first goal on a give-and-go in the corner with classmate Logan Herauf.
"He put a perfect pass through two guys and I had all day to do whatever I wanted," Jordan said. "I just went backhand towards the net and the goalie bit on the forehand and it was perfect."
The Beavers struck again three minutes later with a goal from senior forward Eric Herbel. ISU answered 12 minutes into the second period when junior Mark Huber wrapped around the goal and pushed the puck between the legs of MSU junior goalie Wyatt Waselenchuk.
Right off the ensuing faceoff the game grew much more physical and within a minute play was stopped for fighting. An apparent cheap shot by MSU senior Dan Lamb riled ISU sophomore Joe Bueltel, who was ejected with Lamb and MSU junior Kyle Stephens.
MSU prevented any quality opportunities during the Cyclones' five-minute advantage.
"We didn't really have a very good second period and we kind of used that (penalty kill) as kind of a rallying," Regier said, "and for some of our guys it just kind of bought in and they really understood their assignment."
MSU senior forward Garrett Ferguson scored the third goal off a long feed from senior captain Nigel Dube. Ferguson fell forward as he reached for the puck and knocked it past the right pad of ISU sophomore goalie Scott Ismond. Herauf added the final score seconds later.
"It's a big confidence builder," Ferguson said. "We know that they're a great team and they're gonna go far this year and that's a great start to our season and hopefully we can just take off from here."
Jordan, Herauf and Dube each finished with two points to lead MSU. The Beavers play Friday and Saturday at Briercrest College of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference. Their next home game is at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 against Williston State College.