MINNEAPOLIS — Lake Superior State came out firing in the opening game of the Mariucci Classic, dominating the Beavers of Bemidji State from the opening whistle en route to finishing off Bemidji, 4-2.
Both teams came out skating with up-tempo end-to-end action on Mariucci Arena’s Olympic-sized sheet of ice. In a game that lasted only two hours, the Lakers opened the scoring at 1:21 with a goal from Yevgeniy Dubravin, assisted by Mike Vigilante and Jason Nightingale. Vigilante caught a nice bounce off the back boards at the bottom of the left faceoff circle and slid the puck through the crease to Dubravin, who easily redirected the puck into the open net past freshmen netminder Grady Hunt, who had overcommitted to Vigilante.
The Beavers came back and knotted the game at one apiece at 5:50 of the first period. Jeff McGill took a shot on net which was pushed aside by senior goaltender Jayme Platt. Miikka Lindholm picked up the rebound, skated behind the net and shot it off Platt’s right shoulder pad for the tie.
One minute, 49 seconds later, Justin Micek took a pass off the faceoff and shot it through a screen through the five-hole to give the Lakers a 2-1 lead.
Lake Superior State dominated the second, outshooting the Beavers 12-1 in the first 10 minutes of play and 13-6 for the period. The Lakers didn’t score, however, until their 13th shot of the period on a quick poke by Aaron Davis, beating Hunt on the stick side at 10:37.
Bemidji State beefed up its defense after that goal and didn’t allow another shot in the period.
The two teams traded power-play goals early in the third period. The Lakers struck first 36 seconds into the period on a goal by Aaron Phillips, beating Hunt low on the glove side taking a nifty pass from Aaron Davis across front of the net.
Bemidji State answered two and a half minutes later on a pretty goal by Daryl Bat, who grabbed a rebound 10 feet to the left of Platt, skated around a defender and deked Platt to cut the Lakers’ lead to 4-2.
But Bemidji State could not capitalize on another power play — after the Lakers were called for too many men on the ice — and were unable to overcome the two-goal deficit.
Saturday night, the Lakers will take on host Minnesota at 7:05 p.m. CT, and the Beavers will play Union at 4:05.