BEMIDJI, Minn. — Adam Brady and Charlie Combs led the way with two goals apiece as the Bemidji State men’s hockey team cruised to a 7-1 win over Lake Superior State on Friday night, Nov. 8, at the Sanford Center. Ten players wrote their names on the scoresheet for the Beavers (2-3-2, 2-1-0-0 WCHA) with goals also coming from Aaron Miller, Alex Ierullo and Nick Cardelli.
The Lakers (4-7-0, 2-1-0-0 WCHA) struck a few pipes early on, but Brady and Combs scored 90 seconds apart to quickly hand BSU a 2-0 lead by the 8:06 mark of the first period.
“They took it to us in the early going,” head coach Tom Serratore said. “It’s amazing how a game can shift and how momentum can shift by different happenings during the game. They had some opportunities. We were very fortunate.”
The last time BSU won by six goals came nearly a decade ago in an 8-2 win over Niagara on Dec. 4, 2009, at the John Glas Fieldhouse. Friday’s win also came almost a year to the day since the team’s last game with seven or more goals scored, an 8-3 home win over Merrimack on Nov. 9, 2018.
The Beavers extended the lead to as large as 7-0 in the third period before LSSU ended the shutout with less than nine minutes to go, though it was too little, too late for the visitors.
“You’ve got to be really detailed with your game,” Brady said of playing with such a large lead. “Sometimes when you get a lead, it’s tough to stay composed. But you have to do it no matter what because we’re playing them tomorrow and all our work carries over.”
BSU scored two quick goals against the run of play early in the game. Brady scored from the slot for the first and Combs deflected a long-range shot by freshman blueliner Kyle Looft on the second just 90 ticks later. Brady buried his second goal on a breakaway minutes later for a 3-0 lead at the first intermission.
Looft and fellow freshman defenseman Will Zmolek teamed up on Miller’s goal that made it 4-0 midway through the second period. Each rookie earned their first collegiate points Friday as Looft finished with two assists and Zmolek one.
Sophomore Alex Ierullo netted his first goal of the season with seven seconds to go in the second and later assisted on Combs’ second tally of the night in the final frame that made it 7-0. In between, sophomore Nick Cardelli tacked on an unassisted goal for his first of the season and his second point of the night at 7:19 of the third.
Zach Driscoll was 8 minutes, 41 seconds away from his second shutout of 2019-20 when Max Humitz tallied the Lakers’ lone goal. The junior netminder still saved 26 of 27 shots and earned the win to improve to 2-2-1.
“I was happy how our guys played in the third period,” Serratore said. “I thought we stayed above the puck, we managed the game well and we talked about that. We played with maturity. … We didn’t go out there with a 5-0 lead thinking that the game was over and we were going to hang our goaltender out to dry.”
Mareks Mitens conceded five goals and saved 24 shots over the first two periods before getting pulled for Roman Bengert to start the third. Bengert stopped 10 shots in relief.
BSU outshot the visitors 41-27 for the game.
Only two penalties were called with each team going 0-for-1 on the power play.
Though a six-goal win may feel good, the team knows not to savor it too long.
“It was nice to see some goals in bunches,” Serratore said. “But we all know it’s going to be a totally different game tomorrow. We just know it’s going to be a dogfight. And we’ve seen it over and over when one team wins handily one night, it is totally different the next night.”
Serratore could reach 300 career wins with a victory in the series finale. He currently sits at 299-287-95 over 19 seasons at the helm of the Beavers.
The teams will square off at 6:07 p.m. Saturday to close out the weekend.
Bemidji State 7, Lake Superior State 1
LSSU 0 0 1 — 1
BSU 3 2 2 — 7
First period — 1, BSU, Brady (Sjodahl, Cardelli), 6:36; 2, BSU, Combs (Looft, Sillinger), 8:06; 3, BSU, Brady (unassisted), 14:53.
Second period — 4, BSU, Miller (Zmolek, Looft), 12:16; 5, BSU, Ierullo (B. Johnson), 19:53.
Third period — 6, BSU, Cardelli (unassisted), 7:19; 7, BSU, Combs (Ierullo), 8:29; 8, LSSU, Humitz (Eriksson), 11:19.
Goalies (saves-shots) — BSU, Driscoll (26-27); LSSU, Mitens (24-29), Bengert (10-12).