Beavers top Jimmies 4-2 in regular season finale
The Minot State Beavers wrapped up the 2020-21 regular season on a high note Wednesday night, defeating the visiting Jamestown Jimmies by a 4-2 final score in their final tune-up before the commencement of the national tournament next weekend.
The Beavers took the ice donning yellow and maroon sweaters to show their support for the Minot Hockey Boosters. The team was planning on wearing the specially-made jerseys last season, but the sudden appearance of COVID-19 forced Minot State to abandon those plans. Instead of the players’ names, the names of influential members of the Minot Hockey Boosters appeared on the backs of the jerseys.
The Minot State hockey webpage also notes the sweaters will be auctioned off with the proceeds going back to the youth hockey organization. Fans have until 12 p.m. Apr. 9 to make a bid on the jerseys on the DASH Auction app.
The Wednesday night win wrapped up a dominant campaign for head coach Wade Regier’s squad, as the team finished with a 25-3-2 final record and ended the regular season with wins in 16 of its last 18 games dating back to its last loss to Jamestown Jan. 17.
Despite the Beavers’ history of dominance this season, it was the Jimmies who began the affairs red-hot. Jamestown played keep-away with the puck for most of the first half of the initial period, and later found the scoreboard first with 11 minutes and 10 seconds on the clock.
Logan Berggren received a pass immediately after the faceoff and wristed it past Chad Duran on Jamestown’s eighth shot of the game. In contrast, Minot State had yet to test Jimmies netminder Tyson Brouwer on the other end.
The game’s first score lit a fire underneath the Beavers, and they looked like a brand new team on the other side of a media timeout shortly thereafter. Minot State started to regain the offensive momentum, and a checking penalty committed by Jamestown’s Carter Johnson proved to be the catalyst for the Beavers’ answer.
In the midst of the Maysa Arena public address announcer’s call of the penalty, Minot State’s Davis Sheldon dialed up a wrist shot from the left circle with seven minutes and eight seconds left and rang the puck past Brouwer to tie the game just 15 seconds after the power play began. His score was his 14th of the season and third in his last four games, and Eric Soar and Brayden Pawluk also aided on the goal.
Now in complete control of the flow of the game, Minot State added a second tally just before the first intermission’s horn blew. Carter Barley floated in toward the left side of Jamestown’s net and slid the puck past Brouwer on the opposite side of the cage to give Minot State a 2-1 lead with only 13 seconds left in the initial period. The goal was Barley’s 17th of the season, piling onto his team-lead in the category.
The score remained 2-1 until midway through the second period, when Jamestown landed a counterpunch via Tyler Chavez-Leech’s goal with just under 11 minutes in the second period.
Minot State kept laboring in the offensive zone, though, and took a one-goal lead once more with a tick under six minutes to play in the frame. Landyn Cochrane, bearing down on Brouwer’s crease, received a feed from the left corner and wristed it past the Jimmies netminder, putting Minot State ahead 3-2 entering the final period.
The Beavers’ fourth goal of the night was the product of a pair of crisp, clean passes after the offensive unit entered the zone with just over 12 minutes to play. Cochrane entered the zone near the left circle and left the puck for Wowryk who followed closely behind.
Wowryk gave the puck right back to Cochrane, at that point on the other side of the zone, and the forward found the back of the net for the second time with 12 minutes and seven seconds to play, and Minot State’s lead grew to 4-2.
Duran stood tall in his crease, meanwhile, turning aside the remaining shots he faced from the Jimmies, and Minot State cruised to a 4-2 victory in the final game of the regular season. When the dust had settled, the Beavers goaltender finished with 23 saves on the 25 total shots that came his way.
Minot State will now gear up for the national tournament, scheduled to begin Apr. 16 and run through Apr. 20. Minot State’s first opponent has yet to be determined.