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Bemidji State vs Minnesota State Live Blog & Musings

Greetings from the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, where I am taking in game two of Beavers-Mavericks.

With a win tonight, MSU would cap its second sweep in as many weekends as new head coach Mike Hastings’ squad appears to be gaining traction in the WCHA.

A BSU win tonight would even Bemidji and Mankato in the WCHA standings as we move one week closer to the end of the virtual first half of the season. Keep it here and hit refresh for updates and thoughts throughout:

18:11 left 1st Period — MSU’s Stephon Williams, who stopped 20 shots last night to earn his first career shutout, just made two brilliant saves to keep this game scoreless, including one from the full splits to rob Danny Mattson after a nice pass from behind the net.

14:01 left 1st Period — Mavericks take a 1-0 lead on a weird play. Defenseman Brett Stern gains control of the puck at the blueline, and fires a shot through traffic that is stopped by  BSU’s Dugas. The puck sat in front of the net for a good three seconds as guys whiffed on the rebound before Stern, a former Centennial Cougar, skated in from the point, gained control in the slot and fired a snapshot upper corner for his first career goal.

9:12 left 1st Period — Minnesota State gets the first power play of the night as BSU’s David Boehm is called for boarding.

7:39 left 1st Period — MSU takes advantage as junior Johnny McInnis rips his fifth goal of the season on a snap shot from the slot. Two freshmen — Teddy Blueger and Dylan Margonari — earn assists, 2-0 Mavs.

2:52 left 1st Period — Mavericks will get their second power play as Jake Areshenko is off for holding. MSU is already up 2-0 and is outshooting the Beavers 15-2.

End of 1st Period — Mavericks lead 2-0 and hold a 17-2 edge in shots. Had MSU scored on their last power play, this one could have gotten out of hand. Considering how badly they were dominated over the opening 20 minutes, the Beavers have to be pleased to be down only two. Direction of this game could be shaped in the opening two or three minutes of the second period — will Bemidji show signs of life or will they pack it in?

14:03 left 2nd Period — MSU heads to the power play once again as Sam Rendle is off for a hold. Beavers still looking for their first shot on goal here in the second.

7:01 left 2nd Period — Bemidji has not had a shot on goal in over a period and a half. Shots are 23-2 right now.

4:51 left 2nd Period — Beavers finally get a shot on goal, but also get another penalty. Cory Ward is off for boarding. Just nine seconds in, MSU makes it 3-0 on a goal by Chase Grant, set up by a great pass from behind the net by Blueger. Margonari also gets his second helper of the night.

3:00 left 2nd Period — Nasty wrister by Matt Leitner gets through traffic in front for his fourth of the season. Mavericks are running Bemidji out of the building tonight.

2:20 left 2nd Period — And now some frustration setting in perhaps as BSU’s Phil Brewer has been sent to the locker room after kneeing MSU defenseman Tyler Elbrecht behind the play. Elbrecht got up after staying on the ice a few moments and looks OK, but MSU will now get 5 minutes of power play.

End of 2nd Period — Mavericks lead 4-0 after 40 minutes and have 2:40 left of power play to start the third period. After going without a shot for over a period and a half, the Beavers managed to throw a couple of shots on Williams to bump their total in that category to six through two periods.

19:15 left 3rd Period — Minnesota State goes to the box for the first time as McInnis is hit with a holding penalty. Play will be 4-on-4 for 1:43 before BSU gets a five second power play.

17:38 left 3rd Period — The Beavers are losing control. With 18 seconds left on their first major, Brady Wacker was just sent to the locker room for yet another one — this time, a contact to the head major. MSU will have another extended power play in 23 seconds.

16:51 left 3rd Period — Josh Nelson makes it 5-0 on a shot from the slot. 4:14 left in the PP too. Hide the women and children.

12:37 left 3rd Period — Just one second after the power play ended, Eriah Hayes buries yet another one in the slot, it’s 6-0.

11:55 left 3rd Period — First big mistake of the night for MSU as Jon Jutzi is sent to the locker room for a check from behind. Didn’t catch the number of the guy he hit, but it was a legitimate call. Extended power play coming for Bemidji.

8:15 left 3rd Period — Another penalty on Mankato, another check from behind. Another major. Bemidji will have 1:21 of 5-on-3 and another long stretch of 5-on-4 after. For those counting at home, that’s four major penalties tonight.

6:53 left 3rd Period — Beavers are on the board and I don’t know how. I heard the whistle blow, looked down, looked back up and the red light was on. It’s 6-1 now and BSU has 3:30 left on the PP. Goal is first allowed by Williams in 172:18, stretching back to the 49 second mark of the second period last Saturday at Wisconsin.

Final — Mavericks sweep the Beavers 6-1. And it wasn’t that close. MSU outshoots BSU 32-18. Mankato wins four straight for the first time in almost two years and have won four WCHA games in a row for the first time since February of 2008.

Dan Myers has been covering hockey at all levels for over a decade. After falling in love with the game as a youth watching games with his dad, Dan began writing about it while in college at Minnesota State University, working for the MSU Reporter, Mankato Free Press, and College Hockey News. Dan currently covers the Minnesota Wild in his role as the team’s Digital Content Coordinator. His work has also appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Rocky Mountain News, and others.

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