BEMIDJI, Minn. — Bemidji State rode big performances from a pair of true freshmen and got its expected production from its senior class en route to a 5-2 victory over the Ferris State Bulldogs.
True freshmen Blaine Jarvis and Matt Pope each scored a goal and an assist, becoming the first BSU freshmen in five years to have multi-point games in a season opener, and seniors Andrew Murray, Brendan Cook and Peter Jonsson combined to score 2-3–5 points for the victors.
Bemidji State dominated play in both zones from the opening moments. Ferris State had just 11 shots on net through the first two periods, and BSU managed four second-period goals, including three on the power play.
“That might have been the best 60 minutes of hockey we’ve played since I’ve been coach,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said.
The Beavers and Bulldogs skated to a scoreless first period, with BSU in control of the action for the majority of the period. BSU out-shot the visitors, 11-5, in the opening frame, and held the Bulldogs to three shots until the final moments of the period. Each team had two power-play opportunities in the frame, but Ferris managed just one power-play shot in the period.
BSU finally solved Bulldog netminder Mike Brown at 2:05 of the second period. With the Beavers on a power-play following a Bulldog penalty for too many on the ice, BSU’s John Haider fired on Brown from above the left circle. Brown blocked the five-hole shot but did not control the rebound, which Rob Sirianni cleaned up to score his first goal of the season.
Sirianni’s tally lit off a three-goal spurt by BSU over the next 3:14. Pope tallied his first goal as a Beaver at 4:17 of the second with a helper from Jarvis and Murray lit the lamps 1:12 later, at 5:19, on another power-play opportunity with assists from Cook and Jonsson. Murray’s goal was the eventual game winner, the fifth winner of his career.
In total, BSU’s first three goals came in a span of just 3:14 in the period, marking the sixth-fastest three-goal rally in BSU’s Division I era.
Ferris got on the board at 6:03 of the second. Carter Thompson snuck in between the faceoff circles with the puck behind the net, and he caught a fortuitous bounce off the glass and beat BSU goalie Layne Sedevie, who had his back to the puck watching the action behind the net. Thompson was assisted by Mark Bomersback and Matt Rutkowski on the lamp-lighter.
Cook netted BSU’s fourth goal of the second period at 12:02, giving BSU its third power-play goal of the period. He took a pass from Murray and Luke Erickson and fired on Brown, then picked up the rebound and beat him with the second effort to give BSU a 4-1 lead.
The Bulldogs had opportunities to claw back into the game on special teams in the third period, but failed to take full advantage of five Bemidji State penalties in the frame. Andrew Martens and Murray were whistled for penalties just 13 seconds apart, at 1:03 and 1:16 of the third period, leaving Bemidji State facing 1:46 of a three-on-five penalty kill. The Beavers surrendered three shots on net during an intense flurry in front of its goal, but survived without allowing a goal.
The Bulldogs took advantage of a second five-on-three chance in the third period, this time coming on penalties from Jarvis and Erickson at 9:21 and 10:37, respectively. Matt Sefanishion took a beautiful pass from Derek Nesbitt and beat Sedevie to pull the Bulldogs to the game’s final 5-2 margin. Matt York also helped on the goal.
“I thought the critical point of the game was killing off those five-on-threes,” Serratore said.
Sedevie saved 19 of 21 shots faced to pick up the win, moving to 1-0-0 on the season. Brown took the loss for the Bulldogs, saving 23 shots and falling to 0-3-0.
The victory gives BSU back-to-back wins over Ferris State in the all-time series, and the Beavers have a chance to even the series up at three wins apiece tomorrow evening in Game 2. It is just the second Division I-era win for the Beavers over a Central Collegiate Hockey Association opponent.
Bemidji State improved to 1-0-0 on the year with the win, while Ferris State remains winless at 0-5-0. The Bulldogs have lost 10 in a row and 13 of 14 dating back to last season. The teams wrap up their two-game series tomorrow night at John Glas Fieldhouse on the BSU campus.