ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Kaden Pickering's tip gives Beavers lead, but UMD steals tie with late goal

“It was a tight hockey game,” Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore said. “There wasn’t any easy ice. And I thought their battle level, their compete level was the best that we’ve seen this year.”

011123.S.BP.BSUMHKY Kaden Pickering.jpg
Bemidji State fifth-year Kaden Pickering (18) takes control of the puck during the second period against Minnesota Duluth on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State men’s hockey team had to wake up quickly against Minnesota Duluth on Friday at the Sanford Center.

Returning from an extended hiatus, the Beavers played their first non-exhibition game in three weeks, and the Bulldogs were ready to dig in and challenge. The two teams fought for ice and possession, and neither squad scored until the third period.

In the final frame, forward Kaden Pickering gave BSU a 1-0 lead with a swift deflection of Elias Rosén’s pass in the slot at 3:40. UMD got it back down the stretch, as Wyatt Kaiser threw in a puck from the blue line at 18:05 while the Bulldogs had an extra skater.

That sent the contest to overtime. Neither team scored 3-on-3 for an official nonconference tie in the history books, but Minnesota Duluth won the ensuing exhibition shootout 1-0.

DNT 010623 - Celebration.jpg
The Bulldogs celebrate after junior Wyatt Kaiser scored to tie the game 1-1 during the third period against Bemidji State on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

“It was a tight hockey game,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “When I say tight, there wasn’t any easy ice. And I thought their battle level, their compete level was the best that we’ve seen this year. We had a hard time getting ice.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Pickering found a patch of open ice for Bemidji State’s lone goal, and it came in the high slot – a region not typically reserved for tip-ins. But Pickering’s stick nicked Rosén’s feed, and the puck was in the net before UMD goaltender Zach Stejskal could lock an eye on it.

“Coach harps on us to get to the net and get sticks ready and go for those high tips,” Pickering said. “It's not often it works out quite like that, but it was nice that it happened.”

All night long, goalie Mattias Sholl kept the Beavers (9-5-5, 7-2-3 CCHA) within striking distance through his work in net, turning away a total of 33 saves – many of which crisscrossed the crease at atypical angles.

011123.S.BP.BSUMHKY Mattias Sholl.jpg
Bemidji State sophomore Mattias Sholl (30) makes a save during the second period against Minnesota Duluth on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

“Just trying to find the puck, just trying to get eyes on it,” Sholl said of his approach. “Move my head around bodies. If I can get eyes on it, I see a release, I felt like I was pretty rebound mistake-free for the most part. I was able to have some good lanes to see the puck – other than that last goal, unfortunately. Just trying to move around and get low and try and find the puck as best I can.”

While in the midst of navigating the standard variables of gameplay, Sholl also had to manage a faulty mask. Sholl’s helmet has been giving him problems, and he temporarily switched it out for fellow goalie Gavin Enright’s iteration.

“That’s been going on for the last week or two,” Sholl said. “It’s a clip (that’s malfunctioning). It’s an older helmet now, so a little bit rusted clip. It’s the same spot over and over again, so we’ll see. Hopefully we can get some super glue on that or something, keep it there a little bit longer. … (Gavin’s is) much tighter, too. I’m glad I got mine back after the next whistle.”

011123.S.BP.BSUMHKY Mattias Sholl 2.jpg
Bemidji State sophomore Mattias Sholl (30) adjusts his helmet during overtime against Minnesota Duluth on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

BSU wasn’t too dismayed by the tie, but the Beavers sensed they could have played better. Pickering elucidated his thoughts by separating the final score from his assessment of Bemidji State’s performance.

“It's not so much the result we're focused on,” Pickering said. “It's how we play, and we know that we didn't have our best. Tomorrow, if we have our best, it's going to be a different story.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“We want to win these games,” Sholl added. “We know UMD’s a good team. … It's important to be picking up games like this. We weren't really as sharp and as hard to play against as usual tonight. I don't really know what it is. … A couple of times tonight, we were going through it a little bit. It’s just the way the game goes sometimes, but we'll bounce back. We'll be ready for tomorrow.”

BSU concludes its home-and-home with the Bulldogs (8-10-1, 4-6 NCHC) at 6:07 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, in Duluth.

Minnesota Duluth 1, Bemidji State 1 (UMD wins shootout)

UMD 0 0 1 0 -- 1

BSU 0 0 1 0 -- 1

First period -- No scoring.

Second period -- No scoring.

Third period -- 1, BSU GOAL, Pickering (Rosén, Zmolek), 3:40; 2, UMD GOAL, Kaiser (unassisted), 18:05, EA.

ADVERTISEMENT

Overtime – No scoring.

Shootout – UMD wins 1-0.

Saves -- Sholl (BSU) 33; Stejskal (UMD) 21.

011123.S.BP.BSUMHKY Beavers.jpg
The Beavers chase the puck during the second period against Minnesota Duluth on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
011123.S.BP.BSUMHKY Elias Rosen.jpg
Bemidji State senior Elias Rosén (28) reaches for the puck during overtime against Minnesota Duluth on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
011123.S.BP.BSUMHKY Celebration.jpg
The Beavers celebrate after fifth-year Kaden Pickering scored a goal during the third period against Minnesota Duluth on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
011123.S.BP.BSUMHKY Adam Flammang.jpg
Bemidji State freshman Adam Flammang (8) wraps the puck around the Minnesota Duluth net during the second period on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
011123.S.BP.BSUMHKY Mitch Wolfe.jpg
Bemidji State freshman Mitch Wolfe (6) shoots the puck during the first period against Minnesota Duluth on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
DNT 010623- Dominic James.jpg
Minnesota Duluth sophomore Dominic James (17) controls the puck behind the Bemidji State net during the first period on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
DNT 010623 - Quinn Olson.jpg
Minnesota Duluth senior Quinn Olson (15) moves the puck behind the Bemidji State net during the first period on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
DNT 010623- Jesse Jacques.jpg
Minnesota Duluth fifth-year Jesse Jacques (8) moves the puck during the second period against Bemidji State on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Christian Babcock is a sports reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer. He trekked to Bemidji from his hometown of Campbell, Calif., after graduating from the Cronkite School at Arizona State University in 2021. Follow him on Twitter at @CB_Journalist for updates on the Lumberjacks and Beavers or to suggest your favorite local restaurant.
What to read next
Senior forward Micah Miller scores the lone goal in the shootout for the Huskies in victory over last-place RedHawks
Fifth-place Minnesota Duluth entered the weekend hoping to catch fourth-place Western Michigan in the NCHC standings. That won't happen now following a 3-2 OT loss Friday.
“800 games, that’s one thing you do know – you know exactly what to expect,” Tom Serratore said. “... This is what it’s going to be like for the next month."
It was St. Thomas’ first victory over Minnesota State since the 1996-97 season when MSU was a first-year Division I program and D-I was just a pipe dream for the D-III Tommies.