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MEN'S HOCKEY: Hats off for Dickman

BSU junior Jay Dickman (6) yells in celebration of his second goal of the first period against Alaska-Anchorage Friday, Dec. 15, at the Sanford Center. Dickman scored three goals for the Beavers for a hat trick. (Jillian Gandsey / Forum News Service)1 / 2
BSU junior Jay Dickman (6) swings at the puck and scores in the first period against Alaska-Anchorage Friday, Dec. 15, at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey / Forum News Service)2 / 2

BEMIDJI—Jay Dickman relished his hat trick Friday night, Dec. 15, more than his last one.

The Bemidji State junior recorded his first career hat trick last month, but in an 8-6 loss to Minnesota State, making for a bittersweet moment.

This time, Dickman could completely bask in his moment of glory.

The Beaver men's hockey team scored three first-period goals to top Alaska Anchorage 5-1 in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series opener.

"This was fun, definitely because we got the win out of it," said Dickman who is up to a team-leading nine goals. "Obviously getting the first one the first time was fun but it really took away from it when we didn't win."

The goal that sealed the deal for the junior was a bit unorthodox. Carter Struthers shot a puck from the blue line that Dickman tipped from the slot, catching goalie Olivier Mantha by surprise.

"After practice Carter and I work on tipped pucks," Dickman said. "Me and the (defensemen) like to shoot pucks. I like to stand in front and tip. It's been one of my big things. Like I've always been really good (with) hand-eye (coordination) and I just tipped it perfect. It might have been the slowest goal I've ever seen."

Not to be overlooked, Myles Fitzgerald bagged a pair of goals, including the first of the game just 42 seconds in, and Kyle Bauman assisted on four of the team's goals. The second line of Dickman, Bauman and Fitzgerald combined for 10 points collectively on the night.

"It was a good night for us," Fitzgerald said. "We were finding each other a lot. We had tons of chances. I've been playing with Kyle and Jay for quite a bit, especially Jay last year. We find each other, we know where we are on the ice a lot of the time. We play really well together."

"That line had a heck of a night with Myles, (Dickman) and Kyle," BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. "But you want to see other guys score so hopefully tomorrow a few other guys can pitch in."

Fitzgerald's goal paved the way for a three-goal first period punctuated by a pair of Dickman goals.

Dickman then scored twice in two minutes late in the period. The junior backhanded his own rebound in for the first strike before using his stickhandling skills for the second at the 18:08 mark.

Anchorage used an early-period goal of its own to start the second. Jarrett Brown put the Seawolves (1-12-4, 1-7-3-3 WCHA) on the board 20 seconds into the frame to cut into BSU's lead.

But Dickman's hat-trick clincher in the final minutes of the second period restored a three-goal cushion, a lead that ballooned to four with Fitzgerald's second goal at 1:01 of the third period.

When all was said and done, four Beavers players enjoyed multi-point nights—Dickman (3g-1a), Bauman (4a), Fitzgerald (2g) and Struthers (2a).

The victory snaps a five-game winless streak that began after a 5-3 win at Princeton on Nov. 22.

The Beavers (6-6-5, 3-4-4-2 WCHA) will go for their first sweep of the season in tonight's 7:07 series finale.

With only three more home games left in 2017 and 11 of their final 16 games on the road, Dickman knows BSU needs all the points it can get.

"We (have to) start putting wins together, especially come the second half because we're going to be on the road a lot and these home games are huge," Dickman said. "We (have to) take it to people and play the way we do. It shows tonight how well we can play, and if we can put up 40 shots to 20, we're going to win a lot of games."

Bemidji State 5, Alaska Anchorage 1

UAA 0 1 0—1

BSU 3 1 1—5

First period—1, BSU, M. FItzgerald (Bauman, Muck), 0:42; 2, BSU, Dickman (Struthers, Bauman), 16:08; 3, BSU, Dickman (unassisted), 18:08.

Second period—4, UAA, Brown (Kozun, Jackstadt), 0:20; 5, BSU, Dickman (Struthers, Bauman), 14:35.

Third period—6, BSU, M. Fitzgerald (Bauman, Dickman), 1:01.

Goaltending (Shots-Saves)—BSU, Bitzer (22-21); UAA, Mantha (40-35).

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

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