Minot State University men's club hockey coach Wade Regier and sophomore forward Mike Jordan both admitted that the Beavers may have overlooked Williston State College in the first-ever game between the two schools last year.
The result was a 4-3 loss in the Beavers' home opener. MSU looks to return the favor at 7 tonight when the Beavers face the Tetons in WSC's home opener.
"Last year we really underestimated them," Jordan said. "They took us by storm. It was a shell-shock for us."
Minot State University freshman defenseman Dallas Drysdale brings the puck up the ice against Iowa State earlier this season. The Beavers play at Williston State College tonight.
Since their first meeting, the Beavers have dominated the Tetons, winning the last five matchups.
The Beavers (8-2 overall) are coming off an 8-1 loss at Adrian College (Mich.) Sunday and Regier said MSU will have its hands full with the Tetons.
"It will be a very competitive game," he said. "Coach (Seamus) Gregory has done a good job recruiting. They were the runner-up in the (junior college) national championship game last year so I'm expecting a really good game."
The Tetons haven't played since losing to Monroe Community College in the national championship game in February. WSC finished last season 15-15 overall.
"They're going to have a good team," MSU sophomore forward Mike Jordan said. "They're supposed to be better than they were last year and last year they were pretty good."
Regier said the difference in the game could by MSU's size advantage. The Beavers have five players at 6-foot-4 or taller and eight who weigh at least 200 pounds.
"We're very big, especially our defense," Regier said. "If we can utilize our size and strength then hopefully we can take control of the game."
Jordan pointed to the experience factor as an advantage for the Beavers. MSU has eight seniors and five juniors on the roster, while the junior-college Tetons are all freshmen and sophomores.
"We have a lot more experience," Jordan said. 'We're an older and more experienced team than most in the country. They're a bit younger than us and we should be able to take it to them."
MSU junior goaltender Wyatt Waselenchuk will start tonight and sophomore Riley Hengen will get the start in the game Saturday at Maysa Arena.