Ross Armour scores twice, Bemidji State blasts Lakers with 4-goal 2nd period
After juggling its line combinations, Bemidji State scored four times in the second frame, powering a dominant win that ensured the Beavers wouldn’t have to deal with any late-game drama.
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State men’s hockey team wasn’t happy about its performance Friday night against Lake Superior State.
The Beavers gave up a one-goal lead in the final moments of regulation, then lost in overtime to secure a single CCHA point in a game that seemed destined for three. But on Saturday at the Sanford Center, BSU freshened up its approach against the Lakers.
After juggling its line combinations, Bemidji State scored four goals in the second period, powering a dominant 4-1 win that ensured the Beavers wouldn’t have to deal with any late-game drama.
Highlights from @BSUBeaversMHKY's 4-1 victory over Lake Superior State on Saturday night. The Beavers pick up four points on the weekend.— CCHA (@CCHAHockey) December 11, 2022
🎥: https://t.co/yRw1IaFMPQ#CCHAHockey pic.twitter.com/W4rYBSWyJU
“It was a weird game,” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “The second period, we converted on some power plays. We made some plays and we got the lead. It was nice playing with a four-goal lead. It was an odd second period, that's for sure. And if it goes the other way where you don't convert, then obviously the momentum shifts the other way and things can get really hairy. But the guys did a good job on the power play.”
BSU (7-5-4, 5-2-3 CCHA) scored three of its four goals with at least a one-man advantage, and Lleyton Roed got the prolific second period started with a score amid traffic in front of the net at 3:26. Kyle Looft netted the Beavers’ lone even-strength goal, stalking in from the right circle at 7:32.
Then Armour took over, sliding a slow shot through the crease during a 5-on-3 at 11:21 and picking up a quick deflection in the slot on the power play at 18:52.
“We needed that (after) not scoring in the first,” Armour said. “Getting those power-play goals was huge for our power play and just building off that.”
Bemidji State essentially held the line from there, though Lake State (2-12-2, 1-8-1 CCHA) got one goal back on Louis Boudon’s power-play score at 7:27 in the third period. The Beavers nearly let in another goal during the final five minutes, prompting Serratore to call a timeout.
“At the end of the day, we're trying to learn how to close down a game,” Serratore said. “That was the biggest thing, it was good practice for us to close down a game. But then you get out of your rhythm by getting penalties. How can you get into a rhythm if you're going to get penalties? That's what happened to them in the second period, and it was a little bit of our problem in the third.”
Yet BSU successfully surmounted Alexander Lundman’s late tripping minor and secured the three-goal win – Bemidji State’s first at home and third overall this season.
“Last night, we had a little letdown,” Looft said. “It's big in hockey, you’ve got to be able to learn how to hold that lead. And if you don't, obviously, you're going to have issues. So we addressed that. I thought we did a good job tonight. And that's all that matters going forward, keep working on it.”
Up against the last-place Lakers, the Beavers were primed for their first six-point weekend of the year but let that opportunity slip away on Friday night. The loss of those two conference points stung even after BSU’s big win on Saturday, and the pain reminded a young Bemidji State group how much growing it still has to do.
“It’s baby steps,” Serratore said. “That's how I look at it. But we’ve got to learn how to close games down, and we've got to learn how to play the last two minutes. It's been a disease for us this year. You’ve got to do something about it, you’ve just got to deliver.”
Mattias Sholl stopped 23 shots in goal for the Beavers, nearly recording a shutout, while LSSU’s Ethan Langenegger compiled an equivalent total of 23 stops.
Bemidji State next faces CCHA points leader No. 16 Minnesota State on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 15-16, in Mankato.
Bemidji State 4, Lake Superior State 1
LSSU 0 0 1 -- 1
BSU 0 4 0 -- 4
First period -- No scoring.
Second period -- 1, BSU GOAL, Roed (Armour, Martin), 3:26, PP; 2, BSU GOAL, Looft (unassisted), 7:32; 3, BSU GOAL, Armour (Zmolek, Rosén), 11:21, 5v3; 4, BSU GOAL, Armour (Rosén, Zmolek), 18:52, PP.
Third period -- 5, LSSU GOAL, Boudon (Tritt, Bakos), 7:27, PP.
Saves -- Sholl (BSU) 23; Langenegger (LSSU) 23.