The Minot State University men's club hockey team's offense came alive after a slow start en route to a 5-1 victory over NJCAA opponent and in-state rival Williston State College on Thursday at Maysa Arena.
MSU senior forward Eric Herbel and junior forward Cam McGeough each registered a goal and two assists for the Beavers, who finished off the 2012 portion of their schedule.
After being stymied by Tetons goaltender Corey McMahon in the first period, the fourth-ranked Beavers (13-4 overall) jumped on WSC with two goals in the first minute of the second period and put up five goals before the end of the frame.
Williston State College’s Al Maul looks to pass the puck as MSU sophomore defensemen Mitch Peeke closes in during Thursday’s game at Maysa Arena.
"For us, we had to use that first period as an opportunity to play better," MSU coach Wade Regier said. "We came out inspired, played more motivated, took advantage of those power plays. We're a team that's contagious. Once we start scoring goals we just keep scoring."
MSU senior forward Dan Lamb put the Beavers on the scoreboard at 24 seconds of the second period. Lamb received a pass from sophomore defenseman Brad Olynyk at the near-side faceoff circle and blasted a slap shot past McMahon, beating him stick side. Freshman Brody Haygarth scored 15 seconds later on a rebound attempt in front of the net.
"We kind of work up I guess," McGeough said. "We seemed a little sluggish at the start because of the long weekend against Ohio. It took guys a period to get their breath again. This team (WSC), we've kind of had our way with them so it's kind of tough to get up for a game like that."
The Tetons (7-2) unraveled after Herbel scored the Beavers' third goal at 6:12 of the second period. WSC committed consecutive penalties 39 seconds apart, including a five-minute major penalty on Ian Harvie for charging Haygarth. Harvie was ejected for the hit and Haygarth was helped off the ice by the medical staff. He didn't return to the game. Regier said he may have suffered a concussion.
Herbel was none too happy with Harvie's actions on the ice.
"That was extremely dirty," Herbel said. "There's no room for that in the game of hockey and that's how I feel about it. It's too bad because (Haygarth) is one of our best players."
The Beavers took advantage of the 5-on-3 opportunity, tallying their fourth goal of the game and second on the power play.
The MSU defense played strong in front of junior goaltender Wyatt Waselenchuk. The Beavers killed off three consecutive penalties in the latter end of the second period, including 1:34 of 5-on-3 hockey.
"Our power play in the second period looked great," Regier said. "Penalty kill was outstanding and ultimately that was the difference in the game."
WSC's Darius Cole scored on the power play with 8:43 remaining in the third period as the Tetons avoided the shutout. WSC finished 1-for-7 with the man advantage.
The Beavers return to the ice on Jan. 3 when they travel to play top-ranked Arizona State at 8 p.m.