MSU hockey doubles down on the Sun Devils

Alex Eisen/MDN Dylan Johnson (center) celebrates after scoring the Beavers fifth goal Saturday evening against Arizona State at Maysa Arena.

For the second time in consecutive days, the No. 2-ranked Minot State men’s hockey team dismantled the No. 24-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils.

A hat trick from Dylan Gejdos and a 77-17 shot on goal discrepancy powered the Beavers (23-2-1) to a lopsided 10-2 victory Saturday evening at Maysa Arena.

MSU topped Arizona State (9-20-0) the night before, 6-1, but weren’t happy with all the missed chances they had left on the table.

“We made some adjustments that really paid off for us and finally started to get rewarded for some of our opportunities,” MSU coach Wade Regier said. “We came in this time a little hungrier than we did last night and it showed.”

The Beavers came out aggressive and scored 1:14 into the contest. Sam Biscoe passed the puck across the ice to Johl Swedlo, who one-timed the puck over to Dylan Gejdos all alone in front of the net for the first goal.

On a similar looking play to the first goal, Gejdos was rewarded for getting to the net again after some tic-tac passing from Reece Forman and Swedlo.

Gejdos only had four goals in 25 games before going off Saturday with the first two goals in the first period.

“I don’t normally play with (Sam) Briscoe and (Johl) Swedlo, but we had a couple nice passing plays,” Gejdos said. “A couple tap-ins and a lot of good rebounds. Guys were going to the net and getting the puck up.”

The Sun Devils countered by getting Owen Larson behind the defense for a breakaway goal over the right shoulder of MSU goaltender Brey Effertz, 2-1.

With a minute left in the first period, the Beavers doubled their score with a snipe off the right post by Adam Wowryk and Bryce Lipinski redirected a shot into the roof of the net for a power play goal.

The Beavers, outshooting ASU 32-5 in the opening period, were on pace for an absurd 96 shots on goal in the contest. They had to settle for 77 in total when the final horn sounded.

“We weren’t really happy with our game yesterday,” Gejdos said. “We kind of played down to their level and we really bounced back.”

The Beavers opened the second period with a two-on-none break with Wowryk dishing off to Dylan Johnson for MSU’s fifth goal. Then, dekes and dangles by defenseman Morgan Martelle set up a rebound goal for Swedlo with 11:18 left in the second period.

Even when things weren’t going right for the Beavers, they still took advantage. A sprawling save by Effertz on a 5-on-3 penalty kill sprung Kent Walchuk for a breakaway goal after he had just stepped out of the penalty box.

It was Walchuk’s first goal of the season and he saw it coming.

“I took kind of a dumb penalty to start and I was sitting in the box with like six seconds left with a faceoff in our end,” Walchuk said. “I told Craig Fournier that I was going to get out and get a breakaway goal. And sure enough, the puck came right to me.

“I definitely called it and I got witnesses. You can ask Craig, the penalty box guys. I called it.”

With a 7-1 lead, the third period was pretty much a formality of running out the clock and getting back to the locker room without injuries.

Walchuk picked up his second goal with 11:47 remaining, only for it to be matched by ASU’s Austin Ehrlich 23 seconds later, 8-2.

“Last year, my only goal was a tip-in. So, this is the first time I actually got to shoot the puck into the net,” Walchuk said. “My second one, I got the puck on a nice pass from the corner by (Derrick) Brooks and just shot it. Put up a prayer and it went in.”

With 6:45 remaining, Gejdos wrapped up his hat trick with a rebound goal. And the Beavers reached double-digits on a puck poked in by Derrick Brooks a minute and a half later, 10-2.

The Beavers next game is Jan. 23 against Williston State College in Crosby.

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