Beavers hockey tops Liberty 6-4
Minotauros fall 3-2 to North Iowa
The Minot State Beavers men’s hockey team opened one of the biggest home series in program history in emphatic fashion Friday night, downing the third-ranked Liberty Flames by a 6-4 final score at Maysa Arena.
Beavers head coach Wyatt Waselenchuk and the rest of the program were expecting a significant challenge with the Flames entering the series, as he had described Liberty as perhaps the toughest and most talented team hosted by the Beavers in the last decade.
Backed by starting goaltender Jake Anthony, the Beavers’ offense flew out to an early 2-0 lead in Minot State’s first game since its 4-0 victory over the Jamestown Jimmies Oct. 1. Freshman forward Jared Hamm got the Beavers on the scoreboard first, when he received a feed from Nick Doyle, who had circled behind the net to the far side, in the near circle amid a group of Flames defenders.
Hamm flicked it over the right shoulder of Liberty netminder Cedric Lesieur to break the ice near the halfway point of the first period, scoring his first Minot State goal in the process.
The freshman also factored on the Beavers’ second goal of the period when he thieved the puck from a Flames skater near center ice and brought it back into Minot State’s offensive zone.
Hamm skated in with Landyn Cochrane on a 2-on-1 chance on the near side of the slot, and dished the puck to Cochrane on the far side who flicked it past Lesieur to double the Beavers’ lead with just under three minutes to play in the opening 20 minutes. The score also marked his first goal of the season.
Liberty’s Jason Foltz would pot the visitors’ first score of the evening in the final minute of the first period to trim Minot State’s lead to 2-1, but the Beavers’ offense exploded out of the intermission. Minot State found the back of the net four more times thanks to Connor Navrot’s third goal of the year, Davis Sheldon’s second, and Reid Arnold and Wayde Johannesson’s respective first goals.
Anthony would allow three more Liberty goals in the second and third frames, but the Beavers outlasted the Flames and handed Liberty its first loss of the season. Nine total Minot State skaters found the scoresheet, and Anthony still recorded an impressive 36 saves on 40 shots to help the Beavers to their third win in as many games.
Minot State will go for the series sweep Saturday evening, with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 p.m. from Maysa Arena.
Minotauros fall 3-2 to North Iowa
The Minot Minotauros were also in action Friday night in the first of a two-game road series against the North Iowa Bulls to conclude a four-game home-and-home series.
Minot was looking to avenge a pair of defeats at the hands of the Bulls Oct. 8-9, but a two-goal first period by North Iowa give the Bulls early momentum they would not relinquish.
The Minotauros’ Cole Mickel potted his second score of the season three minutes into the second period, and Zack Simon followed with his third of the year with just under seven minutes to play in the frame, but the Bulls’ Logan Dombrowsky’s score between the two Minot goals would prove the difference-maker in the 3-2 loss for Minot.
The Minotauros will conclude the two-game set Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. before returning home for a two-game set against the Austin Bruins Oct. 22-23.