No. 1 Beavers up winning streak to 10 straight
The No. 1-ranked Minot State University men’s hockey team seemingly wanted to celebrate its 10th straight victory in the penalty box.
In a whistle heavy bout, the Beavers (24-2-1) stayed on the ice long enough to power past No. 17-ranked Midland University (Neb.) with an 8-0 victory Friday evening at Maysa Arena.
“I think it might have been part of their game plan,” MSU coach Wade Regier said. “After we got a few goals, they started to get some frustration in their game. Hockey is such an emotional game and it’s tough to keep your emotions in check. For the most part, I think our guys kept it together.”
Ironically, in a dragged out first period with plenty of penalties to go around, MSU only needed an 18-second span to jump out to a 2-0 lead. A rebound goal was poached in by Dylan Johnson and then Bryce Lipinski roofed the puck into the net.
Lyndon Lipinski made it 3-0 after the first period on a spin-around wrist shot — tying Johnson with a team-high 14 goals on the season.
Staying out of the penalty box, however, appeared to be harder than scoring. Shoving, stick slashing and unnecessary delay of game penalties plagued both sides.
“Early on, especially in the first period, I think we took a couple of undisciplined penalties,” Regier said. “Then, we took a really bad one in the second period.”
The Beavers extended their lead to 4-0 with an unassisted goal by Shain Scheschuk from the slot. But, then they spent five minutes in the middle of the second period killing off a contact to the head major penalty committed by Adam Wowryk.
“I have to give credit to our (penalty) killers,” Regier said. “They had to put in a lot of work tonight and they certainly did a heck of job.”
Once the major penalty was taken care of, Kyle Lipinski rattled the post and looked up to the rafters in disbelief when the puck didn’t go in with 6:07 left in the second period. Lyndon Lipinski did the same thing three minutes later when he missed an open net.
MSU eventually got its fifth goal in the third period. On a clean slate of ice 1:10 into the period, Johl Swedlo tapped in a redirected shot for his 10th goal of the season.
Scheschuk got to the front of the net and doubled up five minutes later with his second goal of the night. Having to nurse an upper body injury, this was Scheschuk’s first game back since Dec. 8.
“I haven’t played much this year since I have been injured for probably 70 percent of the season,” Scheschuk said. “It’s been a long road, but it’s good to put a couple in the net in my first game back.”
Still stirring things up, a post-whistle shoving match issued a game misconduct to Midland’s Trevor Hillman and had the Beavers on a five-minute power play.
Austin Kilian used that advantage to make it 7-0.
“Guys get heated throughout the game and guys take stupid penalties,” Scheschuk said. “But, we have a really good penalty kill and we battled through it and managed to kill them all off.”
Despite the score, emotions still boiled over once more with Lyndon Lipinski getting into a fight. If anything, that would have been a symbolic conclusion to the Beavers’ dominate win.
But, Scheschuk had other ideas and he capped the victory on a more positive note with his hat trick goal.
MSU goaltender Joshua Bykowski made key saves when called upon to earn the shutout and improve his record to a flawless 13-0-0.
A frustrated Midland (14-12-1) team skated off the ice without shaking hands.
The Beavers return to Maysa Arena tonight for a 7:30 p.m. rematch with Midland.
Alex Eisen covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.