Top-ranked Minnesota State edges Bemidji State in series finale, 3-1

December 11, 20211st2nd3rdFinal
Minnesota St.0213
Bemidji St.0011
Scoring Summary
200:34MSUSandelin, Ryan (Morton, Sam , Aamodt, Wyatt)
217:48MSUZmolek, Bennett (Napravnik, Julian , Smith, Nathan)
306:28BSUIerullo, Alex (Sillinger, Owen )
319:45.0MSUFurry, Brendan (Aamodt, Wyatt )
Shootout Summary
Goaltender SummaryMinGAENSv
MSUMcKay, Dryden60:001016
MSUMiller, Andrew00:00000
MSURancier, Keenan00:00000
BSUEnright, Gavin00:00000
BSUSholl, Mattias58:572037
BSUCarr, Michael00:00000
Statistical ComparisonMSUBSU
Shots on Goal4017
Power Plays0-50-2
Top-ranked Minnesota State edges Bemidji State in series finale, 3-1
Saturday, December 11, 2021
Top-ranked Minnesota State edges Bemidji State in series finale, 3-1

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) – Mattias Sholl turned aside a career-high 37 shots and Alex Ierullo scored his eighth goal of the season early in the third period, but the Bemidji State University men’s hockey team ran out of time to catch Minnesota State University, Mankato as the Mavericks used a 3-1 victory Saturday to complete the series sweep and grab and 11-point lead over the Beavers in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association standings.

Just 24 hours after suffering its worst loss of the season, Bemidji State bounced back to hang with the No. 1 team in the country for 59:45 using a solid defensive play, superb penalty-kill effort, and getting tremendous play between the pipes.

The teams traded blow-for-blow during the first period. Just 13 shots were recorded on net in the period with Minnesota State holding a slight, 7-6 edge, but both goaltenders were on point. Minnesota State got the benefit of a pair of power-play chances late in the period, but was unable to solve Sholl and the BSU penalty-kill unit.

Tied 0-0 to open the second period, MSU got its first break of the game when Sam Morton funneled the puck from the sidewall toward the crease and Ryan Sandelin connected through traffic in front to push the puck across the goal line, just inside the far post just 34 seconds into the frame.

MSU stretched its lead to two goals in the closing minutes of the period. Nathan Smith sent the puck into the zone and deep into the corner. Julian Napravnik fund Bennett Zmolek on the blueline and the rookie defender fired a shot that rung off the far post and into the back of the net with 2:21 left before the second intermission.

Trailing 2-0 to open the third period, the Beavers’ Kyle Looft was whistled for contact to the head at the 14:06 mark leaving BSU one man down for five minutes. Not only did BSU snuff out the MSU power-play chance, 34 seconds into the penalty, Owen Sillinger corralled the puck in front of Sholl and the Beavers net and hit Alex Ierullo streaking up the ice. The senior forward got behind the Maverick defensive pair and beat Dryden McKay low stick side for a short-handed goal to trim the deficit in half, 2-1.

Minnesota State put the game away with 15 seconds left on the clock when Brendan Furry found an empty for his sixth goal of the season.

Mattias Sholl was dialed in from the start. The freshman finished with a career-high 37 saves while facing 39 shots in 58:57.  In addition, he backstopped a BSU penalty-kill unit that held the Mavericks scoreless in five opportunities, which included the five-minute major penalty.  He moves 5-4-0 on the season.

The Beavers, 10-8-0 on the season and 8-4-0 in CCHA play, now break for the holidays. BSU will return Dec. 31 when it hosts St. Cloud State University to open a nonconference home-and-home series. The opening faceoff for the game is set for 6:07 p.m. at Sanford Center. The following evening, BSU will travel south to St. Cloud, Minn. for a 6:07 p.m. game at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association and Western Collegiate Hockey Association, respectively, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.