No. 1 Beavers upend Utes

Seven second period goals gave the No. 1 Minot State hockey team a convincing 12-2 victory over the Univeristy of Utah on Friday at Maysa Arena.

“We had a very good week of practice,” MSU coach Wade Regier said. “I think our guys came out with a pissed off edge from the way we played last time out in the 2-0 loss to Williston. We got back on track tonight and things were clicking. Our guys put themselves in the right spots.”

The first goal of the night was a fairly fluky one for the Beavers. In the first period, defenseman Austin Yano was positioned in the slot but couldn’t get fully extended on a shot. The puck weakly moved toward the next, but Utes goaltender Chris Komma completely lost sight of it. When Komma turned around, the puck had slid through the five-hole for what could be one of the easiest goals of Yano’s career.

Later in the period, forward Dylan Gejdos lifted a wrister that found the back of the net for his first goal of the 2016-17 campaign to extend the Beavers’ lead to 2-0. The scoring onslaught continued in the second period.

Defenseman Kyle Lipinski contributed his fifth point of the season after a slapshot bounced off Komma to make it a 3-0 lead. Lipinski’s brother, Lyndon, joined the scoring fray after poking in a rebound when Komma was out of position. Forward Shain Scheschuk showed off his sniping skills by lifting a goal that wrapped around the net after hitting the crossbar to make it a 5-0 lead.

Utah finally got on the board when Julian Cronan put home a rebound given up from Minot State goalie Joshua Bykowski. Johl Swedlo officially put the game out of reach with his fourth and fifth goals of the season within 60 seconds of each other to make it 7-1. Scheschuk earned his second goal of the night by firing a slapshot from about 15 feet out to extend the lead to 8-1. Mercifully, the scoring stopped after Jeremy Johnson recorded his sixth goal of the season.

In the third period, tempers flared between the two squads as a skirmish formed in the right corner of the Utes’ zone. The fiasco resulted in three Beavers and three Utes each serving time in the penalty box — with a fourth Utah player joining the crowded area shortly after play resumed following a minor. In all, seven players sat in the penalty box in one stretch.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that,” Regier said. “That stuff tends to happen when the score gets out of hand a bit. Tempers flare, but I thought our guys for the most part held their discipline. Sometimes in hockey you have to stick up for your teammates and I’m proud of how our guys handled it.”

The fight also resulted in Bryce Lipinski getting ejected from the contest, resulting in a five-minute major. Johnson, Morgan Martelle and Reece Forman scored goals for the Beavers in the final period.

MSU (6-1) faces Utah (6-5) for the second straight night at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Maysa Arena.

“We’ll have to be ready to go,” Regier said. “They’re going to come out fired up and I guarantee their number one goalie is going to play much better for them. Our guys can’t go into the game thinking it’s going to be the same results.”

Garrick Hodge covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @Garrick_Hodge