BEMIDJI, Minn. -- (John S. Glas Fieldhouse) -- Matt Read (Jr., F, Ilderton, Ontario) recorded a career-high four points as the Bemidji State University men's ice hockey team completed the series sweep over the United State Air Force Academy, 7-3, Saturday in non-conference play at the John S. Glas Fieldhouse.
The Beavers jumped out to a 4-1 lead after just 12:24 in the fast-paced, heated battle between the former College Hockey America foes, and would hold the pedal to the floor to post seven goals for the first time since a 7-5 triumph over Wayne State Feb. 29, 2008.
A smorgasbord of goal scoring, the match up featured even-strength, power-play, short-handed and unassisted goals. In all 10 Beavers got in on the scoring. In addition to Read's career night, Aaron McLeod (Fr., F, Ottawa, Ontario), Brady Wacker (Fr., D, Jansen, Saskatchewan) and Jordan George (Fr., F, Verona, Wis.) each registered their first collegiate goal in the victory.
Ryan Cramer (Jr., F, International Falls, Minn.) got the scoring started 4:13 into the game on passes from Shea Walters (So., F, Hibbing, Minn.) and Ben Kinne (So., F, St. Paul, Minn.). The goal, already the second of the junior's season, matches his total from the 2008-09 campaign. But the BSU lead would be short-lived. Just 21-seconds later, AFA's Jacques Lamoureaux evened the score at 1-1.
Twenty-four hours removed from a contest during which the BSU defensive pairings were held without a single point, a pair of blueliners put the Beavers in front for good. Wacker netted his first lamplighter in the green and white at the seven-minute-mark on a seeing-eye bullet from the point with help from Tyler Lehrke (Sr., F, Park Rapids, Minn.) and fellow defenseman Chris Peluso (Sr., Wadena, Minn.). Brad Hunt (So., D, Ridge Meadows, British Columbia) recorded his first point of 2009-10 in the waning moments of the Beavers' second power-play opportunity of the evening, marking BSU's first special teams goal of the young season. Read picked up his first assist of the night on the play.
The first goal of Read's junior campaign came 1:06 later when the Falcons' goaltender, Andrew Volkening, misplayed the puck and left the Beavers' leading scorer with an open net for his fourth career short-handed goal.
Air Force was the first to strike in the second stanza. Jeff Hajner took advantage of a five-minute major penalty that sent Walters to the showers early, for his first marker of the season just 46 seconds in to the power-play opportunity, effectively cutting the Beavers lead in half, 4-2.
But it was Read again who stretched the BSU advantage to three goals midway through the period. The junior benefited from a battle in front of the AFA bench won by Cramer. The International Falls, Minn. native swept the puck up the boards into the neutral zone, where Read picked it up, skated it into the zone and beat Volkening for the second time of the night.
The BSU lead would swell to four goals, 6-2, at the 12-minute mark when George, who was positioned on the left post, stuffed a Hunt rebound past the Falcon goaltender on the power play, ending Volkening's night after 32:12 of play.
AFA would add a third goal in the opening minute of the final frame, but McLeod, in just his second collegiate game, would pick off an errant pass on the Falcons' blue line and register an unassisted goal to seal the Beavers' non-conference win and the first sweep over a non-CHA opponent since a Nov. 27-28 double-dip at the expense of Michigan Tech.
Dan Bakala (So., G, Calgary, Alberta) turned away 21 AFA shots and allowed three goals en route to his second collegiate win in as many nights.
The victory continues Bemidji State's dominance in the all-time series with Air Force as it improves to 25-8-2, including 16-1-2 mark versus the Falcons at the Glas and 20-3-1 record since January 19, 2002.
The 2-0-0 Beavers' next action comes Oct. 23-24 when they travel to Michigan's upper peninsula for their first ever clash with Northern Michigan. Both games in the series are scheduled for 6:35 p.m. starts from the Wildcats' Berry Events Center in Marquette, Mich.