BEMIDJI, Minn. — After dropping a 2-0 decision on Friday night at home, the Bemidji State Beavers earned a measure of revenge on Saturday night against the Lake Superior State Lakers, earning a 5-0 victory in front of 2,070 fans at the Sanford Center.
For the second straight contest, Beavers netminder Andrew Walsh turned in a solid performance. The sophomore turned aside 25 shots to earn his first shutout of the season and the third of his collegiate career.
“It’s always nice when you put up a zero,” Walsh said.
“This one feels good though becuase it’s right at the start of the year and it kind of sets the tone for how I want to play for the rest of the season,” he added.
Bemidji State took the lead near the seven-minute mark of the first period as Jeff Jubinville made a nice pass from behind the net to Brance Orban, who made no mistakes in the slot as his shot went by Lakers goalie Kevin Kapalka.
The Beavers extended their lead near the midway point of the contest when a point shot from Sam Windle worked its way through traffic and into the back of the net, giving the sophomore defender his second career collegiate goal.
Right after Walsh made a nice kick save to turn aside Stephen Perfetto early in the third period, freshman forwards Cory Ward and Phil Brewer score their first goals for the Beavers in a 54-second span, which allowed the hosts to double their lead with a little over 12 minutes left to go in the game.
“Our third goal of the game [by Ward] was huge,” Beavers coach Tom Serratore said. “Once you get that third goal you start to get a little more energy and excitement on the bench, and the other team feels deflated.
“We kept our foot on the gas pedal once we scored that goal, and the guys didn’t let up,” he added.
Anaheim Ducks draft pick Radoslav Illo rounded out the scoring for the Beavers with 1:55 left to go in regulation, taking advantage of a turnover by Lakers defenseman Zach Sternberg in his own end.
“We made some bad turnovers tonight, and every time that we did that, they would make us pay for it,” Lakers coach Jim Roque said.
“I thought that we actually had more chances to score tonight than we did last night, but we just couldn’t get a goal,” he added.
After dropping to a 2-2 mark for the campaign, the Lakers will prepare to host the Michigan State Spartans in a pair of CCHA games next weekend, with the Spartans coming off of a win and a tie against the Niagara Purple Eagles.
“The biggest thing we will be working heading into those games will be with puck management,” Roque said.
“I can live with some of our younger guys turning the puck over as they get used to college hockey, but tonight we had some of our older guys turn the puck over which isn’t good, and we kind of let our goalie out to dry.
“That’s not acceptable and we need to fix that quickly,” he stressed.
The Beavers will take their 1-1 mark into their first set of WCHA contests next weekend at the 2-2 Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks.
“It’s a tough barn to play in but we’ve had some pretty good luck there in the past,” Orban said.
“We’re just going to in there, move our feet and try to put another good 60 minutes together,” he added.