Beavers blitz Utes for second straight night

The goal margin on Friday was 10. The No. 1-ranked Minot State men’s hockey team couldn’t match that in its rematch with the University of Utah on Saturday night, but a 10-2 victory is nothing to scoff at.

“We needed to respond after playing Williston,” MSU coach Wade Regier said. “We had 60 shots and didn’t score a goal two weeks ago, so we talked about finishing plays and putting ourselves in the right spots to get second chance opportunities.”

Minot State (7-1) opened the scoring with a goal from Dylan Johnson four minutes into the contest. In what should have sent the home Maysa Arena crowd into a frenzy, fans were silent as Johnson was checked from behind and sent into the end boards after giving the Beavers a 1-0 lead.

Johnson didn’t return to the ice and the Utah player was ejected for the unnecessary hit.

“It was kind of an awkward play,” Regier said. “It was unfortunate that he had to take a bad hit, a questionable dirty hit. There is no need for that in hockey. Guys are very vulnerable when they’re going to the net and all teams really have to make sure they respect each other because it could have been really bad.

“It could have been head first and then all of a sudden we got an ambulance coming here.”

Johnson went to the hospital for x-rays, but Regier is hoping its nothing serious and Johnson will be able to rejoin the team on the upcoming road trip to Arizona.

The Lipinski’s added a trio of goals before the end of the first period. Forward Bryce Lipinski scored at the 12:57 mark and Lyndon Lipinski picked up a pair of goals separated by three minutes and three seconds.

The University of Utah (6-6) cut the deficit back to three goals before heading to the locker room for the first intermission. The puck hung in the air and floated past goaltender Holden Kurtz and right to Alex King, who was waiting in the crease to bury it.

The second period was all the Beavers. Three different players scored, starting with a solo effort from Austin Yano as he deked his way through the Utah defense.

Morgen Martelle and Nick Zern also got on the scoresheet to make Minot’s lead 7-1 after 40 minutes.

“It’s an interesting way that our team is always finding different ways to put the puck in the net,” Regier said.

MSU’s leading scorer, Jeremy Johnson, netted his eighth goal of the season two and half minutes into the third period.

With nine minutes left, MSU defenseman Reece Forman found a small opening as he sniped from the blue line for his second goal of the season. Utah answered back moments later with a power play goal from Tyler Pendill.

A couple minutes after that forward Shain Scheschuk found Zern lurking in front of the goal for his second of the night to help the Beavers reach double-digits, 10-2.

Kurtz made faced 30 shots and made 28 saves in the victory for Minot State.

The Beavers return to the ice on Thursday against the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

Alex Eisen covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.