Beaver hockey blasts Bottineau, 7-0
Thirteen is usually considered an unlucky number, but not for the Minot State hockey team.
The Beavers manhandled Dakota College of Bottineau Thursday for the second time in three days, outshooting the Lumberjacks 61-15 in a 7-0 rout at Maysa Arena.
With the win, the No. 1 Beavers extended their winning streak to 13 games and outscored DCB 14-0 this week after beating the Lumberjacks 7-0 Tuesday. In their last five games, the Beavers have outscored opponents 39-2.
“We’re playing well at the right time,” MSU hockey coach Wade Regier said. “We have a lot of injuries lately and a number of key guys out of the lineup, but the guys that have been inserted in the lineup have stepped up right away. We’re playing some good hockey right now, I just hope we’re not peaking too early.”
Kent Walchuk scored the first goal of the night on the fourth shot of the game, then Sam Briscoe got in on the action with 3:34 left in the opening period.
Johl Swedlo beat DCB goalie Connor Slip up top with 47 seconds left to cap off a dominating first period for the Beavers, putting them up 3-0. MSU held a 16-5 shot advantage after one.
“DCB has two really good players that you have to focus on every time they step out onto the ice,” Regier said. “We relayed that to our guys so that they’d be ready to defend all areas of the rink. We’re executing in the right phases, it’s just a matter of continuing to push that envelope in practice because we have a couple games in the upcoming weeks that we need to be ready for.”
The Beavers poured it on in the second period, outshooting DCB 27-8. Goal scorers were Austin Yano, Matt Flom and Carey Morrison. Once the period ended, the cumulative shot total was 43-13 in favor of MSU and DCB found itself staring at a 6-0 deficit.
“I think guys are simplifying their game,” Regier said. “As a coaching staff, we’ve changed practices to be focused more on skill development and have the forwards work on details and individual stuff and it’s paying off. Ever since we struggled in that first half stretch, we changed things up and it’s paying dividends. Guys are finally stepping up like we’re expecting them to.
In the third period, Adam Wowryk scored the lone goal for the Beavers.
MSU is back in action against the University of Utah on Feb. 8 in a road contest, the first of nine remaining regular season games.
“It’s certainly a challenge to stay focused,” Regier said. “We played a midweek game, so we’ll use this weekend as a bye week because we’ll play on every weekend from here on out. The thing for our guys is we’re an experienced team, we have 10 seniors that know how this goes. We have to continue to work hard in practice and keep up good habits.”
Garrick Hodge covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @Garrick_Hodge.