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Minot State hockey lights up Williston State, 5-0

Justin Martinez/MDN Minot State defenseman Kyle Lipinski (59) moves the puck down the ice as Williston State’s Christian Rodgers (17) closes in during the Beavers’ home game against the Tetons Saturday at Maysa Arena.

When the dam finally broke, the Beavers poured it on.

The Minot State men’s hockey team didn’t leave a shred of doubt on Saturday in its home game against Williston State. After both teams struggled to score in the early going, it was the Beavers who struck first and stayed hot the rest of the night en route to a 5-0 win.

“Offensively, we played really well and were finally rewarded with some goals,” MSU head coach Wade Regier said. “We really wanted to establish our forecheck and be physical, so I’m pleased. It was a good all-around win.”

Williston State found itself on its heels from the start, as Minot State kept the puck in its opposition’s territory and repeatedly tested the goaltender with a series of close calls.

But the Tetons held their ground, answering every challenge to keep the match scoreless through the first 15 minutes.

That’s when Matthew Flom took initiative. Forward Davis Sheldon circled behind the Williston State net, looked up the ice and found a wide open Flom, who rushed the crease and went top shelf for the score.

The duo of Flom and Sheldon struck again in the final minute of the period when Flom found the back of the net once more off the assist from his teammate to give the Beavers a comfortable 2-0 lead at the first intermission.

“It’s nice to see a couple go in early,” Flom said. “You could tell it really got the guys going, and it all just fed from there.”

It didn’t take nearly as long for Minot State to score in the second period. Forward Shain Scheschuk caught the Williston State defense snoozing and raced down the ice for a lightning-fast goal with just 17 ticks off the clock.

On the defensive end, Minot State goaltender Brendan Effertz refused to let the Tetons claw their way back into the game. Effertz and the rest of the Beavers defense kept Williston State off the scoreboard for another 20 minutes to help give Minot State a 3-0 lead at the end of the second period.

“(Effertz) has been arguably one of the best goalies in the country,” Regier said. “He’s playing with such confidence, and it allows our guys to take advantage and be a little more aggressive.”

Forward Drew Carter piled it on in the sixth minute of the third period, collecting the puck off a pass from forward Alex Bechtold and swiftly sending it past the Williston State goaltender to push Minot State’s lead to 4-0.

With the Tetons reeling, Scheschuk delivered the knockout five minutes later. The forward scored his second goal of the night off the assist from Johl Swedlo and Rhett Lough to make it a 5-0 affair.

The Beavers had no trouble putting a bow on the contest from that point on as they continued to play lockdown defense and secured the 5-0 win.

Scheschuk led the charge on offense with three points, while Effertz held down the fort defensively with 19 saves in a game Minot State will look to build on as it reaches the back end of the regular season.

“It’s all for real after the Christmas break,” Regier said. “It’s the stretch to get ready for the national tournament, and hopefully we can continue to win some big games in the next few weeks and move up the rankings.”

The Beavers will switch territories with the Tetons today at 1 p.m. as they’ll travel to Williston for the second match of the two-game series.

Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.

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