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MEN’S HOCKEY: Bemidji State swept by Ferris State in stunning blowout

The Bulldogs entered the weekend seventh in the eight-team CCHA. They certainly didn’t look like it.

012622.S.BP.BSUMHKY Gavin Enright.jpg
Bemidji State goalie Gavin Enright (1) makes a dive in front of the net in the second period against Ferris State on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State men’s hockey team was disappointed with its 2-1 loss to Ferris State on Friday.

The Beavers probably have some stronger words in mind for Saturday’s game, a contest where they trailed 5-0 and ultimately lost 5-2 in their most disappointing performance of the year.

“I thought early in the game, we generated some pretty good scoring chances,” assistant coach Travis Winter said. “And we didn't capitalize on our chances. Give credit to Ferris State. They capitalized on their chances.”

The Bulldogs entered the weekend seventh in the eight-team CCHA. They certainly didn’t look like it.

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A scuffle breaks out in the second period during a Bemidji State game against Ferris State on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

FSU (9-17, 7-11 CCHA) grabbed the early lead when Liam MacDougall scored at 3:31 in the first period. The Bulldogs backed it up with goals by Dallas Tulik at 7:42 and Stepan Pokorny at 19:05 for a 3-0 advantage at the first intermission.

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“They got that lead, and they're a tough team to play when you're behind,” Winter said. “They're really good with a lead. And we got down too many goals.”

Bemidji State (13-13, 11-7 CCHA) showed some energy early in the second period, but it didn’t translate to any scoring. Ferris State, meanwhile, found the back of the net with a score by Marshall Moise at 14:20. Then, with the Beavers on the power play, Nick Nardecchia scored shorthanded at 19:50, and the rout was officially on.

BSU did find a bit of a silver lining in the third period. After Lukas Sillinger received a five-minute major and game misconduct for cross-checking, the Beavers not only killed the major, but got a goal immediately afterward by Alex Adams. There weren’t many positive moments to take away from Saturday’s game, but that was one of them.

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Bemidji State sophomore Lukas Sillinger (20) fires a shot in the first period against Ferris State on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

“Our biggest message going into the third period is just, ‘We got to keep playing,’” Winter said. “We wanted our players to keep doing the things we were asking them to do and not deviate from how we play. And I thought for the most part in the third period, we did that.”

Tyler Kirkup added another consolation score at 19:37 to reduce the final margin. But the game had already been decided.

Winter was insistent after the game that this weekend will not determine the fate of BSU’s season. How the Beavers respond in the coming weeks will decide whether that becomes the truth.

“It wasn't a good weekend for us,” Winter said. “We can't feel sorry for ourselves. We got to get back to work on Monday and get ready for Michigan Tech. We're facing adversity obviously right now. But one weekend doesn't define this hockey team.”

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Bemidji State junior Elias Rosen (28) controls the puck in the first period against Ferris State on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

By virtue of its existing lead, Bemidji State remains in second place in the CCHA standings ahead of Michigan Tech. They will face the Huskies next week, but if BSU doesn’t make any changes, it will more than likely lose its spot in the top two.

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“We still got four more weeks of regular season games, then playoffs,” Winter said. “We just got to make sure that we can improve in the areas we need to improve on and get ready for next weekend.”

The Beavers will face the Huskies at 6:07 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28, and 5:07 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, in Houghton, Mich.

Ferris State 5, Bemidji State 2

FSU 3 2 0 -- 5

BSU 0 0 2 -- 2

First period -- 1, FSU GOAL, MacDougall (Pokorny, Michaelian), 3:31; 2, FSU GOAL, Tulik (Cooper), 7:42; 3, FSU GOAL, Pokorny (Michaelian, MacDougall), 19:05.

Second period -- 4, FSU GOAL, Moise (Marek), 14:20; 5, FSU GOAL, Nardecchia (unassisted), 19:50, SH.

Third period -- 6, BSU GOAL, Adams (Rosén, Myers), 10:18; 7, BSU GOAL, Kirkup (Magnuson), 19:37.

Saves -- Sholl (BSU) 7; Enright (BSU) 15; Giesbrecht (FSU) 33.

012622.S.BP.BSUMHKY Alex Ierullo - Sat..jpg
Bemidji State senior Alex Ierullo (14) controls the puck in the third period against Ferris State on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
012622.S.BP.BSUMHKY Owen Sillinger - Sat..jpg
Bemidji State senior Owen Sillinger (12) shoots the puck in the first period against Ferris State on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
012622.S.BP.BSUMHKY Donte Lawson.jpg
Bemidji State freshman Donte Lawson (8) moves the puck in the third period against Ferris State on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
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.
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