Men’s hockey pre-game report: Minnesota vs. No. 7 Bemidji State

Max Sanders

Don’t look now, but after a rough start the Minnesota men’s hockey team appears to have fixed its holes and will enter tonight looking for their fifth win in six games.

After a tight first period, the Gophers (4-4-1; 3-4-1 WCHA) dominated the last 40 minutes of play, cruising to a 4-1 win over No. 7 Bemidji State (7-1-1; 4-0-0 CHA). The loss is the Beavers first of the season, ending their run as college hockey’s lone remaining undefeated team.

Minnesota scored all of its goals from different players, including two scoreres held unusually quiet to start the season.

Jordan Schroeder and Mike Carman each snapped long scoreless streaks during last night’s third period. Schroeder’s first goal of the season snapped a 14-game scoreless streak, while Carman’s goal ended a 18-game scoreless streak that had dated back to Feb. 6.

The story of the night however was the Gophers defensive efforts. In the second period with the game still very much in doubt, Bemidji State had a four-minute power play that included over two minutes of a five-on-three advantage. Junior Alex Kangas stopped shot after shot, and from that point on Minnesota had all the momentum it needed to easily get the "W".

Ryan Flynn injured his leg during the first period of last night’s action and is out of tonight’s starting lineup. More on the injury in Monday’s paper, as more information becomes available.

Minnesota Offensive First Line:

Left Wing-Mike Hoeffel

Center-Jordan Schroeder

Right Wing-Nico Sacchetti

After much finagling of the lineup in the early series of the season, Lucia has stuck with the Hoeffel-Schroeder-Sacchetti line in the past two series in the wake of the Barriball injury and with the success of Minnesota as of late it comes as no surprise to see the same line tonight.

The remainder of Minnesota’s offensive lineup remains intact, with the exception of Ryan Flynn. Taking the injured senior’s place on the third line is Josh Birkholz. The freshman moves up to the third line, and taking his spot on the fourth line is sophomore Joe Miller, who did not see action last night.

Minnesota Defensive First Line:

Left-Aaron Ness

Right-David Fischer

Following a two-point effort by Ness and an extremely solid defensive effort all-around, Lucia finds no need to alter his defensive lineup, as it remains identical on all three lines to last night’s squad.

Goalie:

Alex Kangas

Lucia talked about Patterson likely getting a chance to see action this weekend, but with Kangas arguably the best player on the ice last night he earned his place between the pipes tonight for consecutive back-to-back starts.

Bemidji State Offensive First Line:

Left Wing-Jordan George

Center-Matt Read

Right Wing-Ian Lowe

Defensive First Line:

Left-Jake Areshenko

Right-Brad Hunt

Goalie:

Mathieu Dugas

The only change made of note to the Beavers roster is at goalie. Following a four-goal Minnesota performance, sophomore Dan Bakala has been supplanted at the No. 1 spot in the lineup at least for tonight by freshman Mathieu Dugas. Dugas has played in one game heading into tonight allowing no goals and posting a perfect 1.000 save percentage.