Dugas backstops Beavers to 5-0 victory at Northern Michigan
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Dugas backstops Beavers to 5-0 victory at Northern Michigan

MARQUETTE, Mich. (Berry Events Center) -- Mathieu Dugas (Fr., G, L’Assomption, Quebec) turned away 13 shots to shut out Northern Michigan University in his collegiate debut and help the Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey team to a 5-0 victory over the Wildcats Saturday at the Berry Events Center.

The Beavers turned in one of their more impressive performances in recent memory. BSU scored goals on its first two shots on net to take a 2-0 lead into the first intermission and then clamped down defensively allowing just 13 shots on goal in the game en route to the five-goal non-conference victory.

“This was a great effort. I am very proud of the way we played,” commented Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore following the game. “You look back, over the course of the last ten years in Division I, at some of our most gratifying wins and this ranks right up there. This is not an easy place to play. Its tough to get one point out of Marquette, let alone three.”

Serratore went on to say, “It’s how we did it. We were stingy defensively and our guys played with a ton of jam. I am very proud of our guys.”

Chris McKelvie (Sr., F, New Brighton, Minn.) got the scoring started with a shorthanded goal at 3:19 of the first period. Tyler Lehrke (Sr., F, Park Rapids, Minn.) was credited with assists on the eventual game-wining goal--the first of McKelvie’s career.

Eight minutes later, Lehrke would put the Beavers up 2-0 when he one-timed a shot just under the blocker of the Wildcat’s goaltender, Brian Stewart, with help from Brady Wacker (Fr., D, Jensen, Saskatchewan) and Chris Peluso (Sr., D, Wadena, Minn.).

Up 2-0 entering the second period, it didn’t take the Beavers long to add their lead. Ryan Cramer (Jr., F, International Falls, Minn.) followed shots by Matt Read (Jr., F, Ilderton, Ontario) and Brad Hunt (So., D, Ridge Meadows, British Columbia) to shove the third rebound past Stewart. The goal put BSU up 3-0 after 40 minutes of play.

BSU saved its best for last. The Beavers dominated play during the final 20 minutes. They out shot the Wildcats 12-3 and scored a pair of goals before the game’s final horn to cruise to the 5-0 win.

Ian Lowe (Jr., F, Bradwardine, Manitoba) chipped a rebound, from a Hunt shot, past the NMU goaltender for his second goal of the season at the 8:24 mark. The goal drew the curtain on Stewart’s night after allowing four goals on 20 shots. Read collected his second assist of the game on the play.

McKelvie bookended BSU’s scoring at the 12:07 mark. He stepping in front of a pass and used his speed to flat out beat the NMU defense down the ice before flipping a backhand into the back of the net.

Credited with the win in his first appearance in the green and white, Dugas became just the third BSU goaltender to post a shutout in his collegiate debut. He finds himself in pretty good company joining Beaver greats Jim Scanlan (1978-82) and Matt Climie (2004-08) on the exclusive list.

“This was great for Mathieu,” said Serratore. “We’ve got a lot of inexperience this year but I think we’ve had some great goaltending. Danny Bakala has been outstanding and Mathieu played great today.” Serratore added, “I thought he was very poised in the net.”

The victory gives the Beavers a slight 1-0-1 edge in the newly established series with Northern Michigan and keeps the Beavers unbeaten through the first four games of the 2009-10 campaign at 3-0-1. Since BSU made the move to the NCAA Division I ranks prior to the 1999-2000 season, they have only been unbeaten through four games only one other time. The Beavers opened the 2005-06 season with four straight wins and went on to post victories in seven of their first eight en route to a 20-14-3 overall record and trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Beavers now turn their focus to College Hockey America play as they travel to Huntsville, Ala. Oct. 31-Nov. 1 for a two-game set versus long-time rival University of Alabama-Huntsville. The rare Saturday/Sunday series gets underway at 7 p.m. Saturday with the series finale set for a 1 p.m. matinee Sunday. Both games will be played at the Von Braun Center.