The Minot State University men's club hockey team didn't wait until the third period to showcase its offense Saturday.
After being held scoreless in the first period for the second straight night, the Beavers recorded three goals in a span of 4 minutes, 5 seconds during the second stanza and defeated Briercrest College (Sask.) 4-0 at Maysa Arena to complete a four-game sweep.
Saturday's game followed the same script as the night before early on, with both teams struggling to solve the opponent's goaltender. MSU (4-0) stuck with senior Wyatt Waselenchuk, while the Clippers (0-4) started Christian Mueller. The Briercrest netminder stymied the Beavers offense through the first half of the game, but MSU junior forward Logan Herauf broke the scoreless tie at 14:19 of the second period. Herauf threw a routine shot on net from the side of the cage that snuck past Mueller on his glove side.
Minot State University freshman Cole Olson follows through on a slap shot toward Briercrest goaltender Christian Mueller on Saturday at Maysa Arena.
"We've always had a history of scoring in bunches," MSU coach Wade Regier said. "We just needed a spark and an opportunity for a guy to make a play and obviously he scores and that opens up the floodgates for a little bit."
Herauf's goal sparked the Beavers as sophomore defenseman Bob Pond scored exactly a minute later to open a two-goal advantage. MSU senior forward Will Kinsman found a streaking Pond with a cross-ice pass and the 6-foot-4 defenseman took advantage, swatting the puck out of the air and into an opening on Mueller's glove side.
"I actually screwed up," Kinsman said. "I was trying to give him a saucer pass and he ended up batting it out of the air so it worked out good for me."
MSU senior forward Jared McIntosh added the Beavers' third goal of the second period with 1:36 remaining. McIntosh stuffed home a rebound off a shot from junior forward Michael Jordan.
The Beavers added to their lead at 7:17 of the third on a nifty play by Kinsman. With a delayed penalty upcoming to the Clippers, Kinsman skated in on net from the left faceoff circle and floated a shot over Mueller's stick-side shoulder.
"The offense just started to click a little bit," Kinsman said. "Hard work finally paid off."
The goal support was more than enough for Waselenchuk, who posted his second straight shutout. Waselenchuk recorded 29 saves. The senior goaltender allowed just six goals in four games against the Clippers.
"We played very well on the defensive side of the puck," Pond said. "It was nice to not give them anything all weekend."
Said Regier: "We were the number one team in the country last year defensively and all of our stuff was there when we needed it to be."
Mueller finished with 48 saves for the Clippers.
Minot State appeared to have broken the scoreless tie with 2:51 left in the first period. MSU senior forward Josh Rutherford redirected a shot from the blue line that slid by Mueller, but the officials disallowed the goal, ruling that Rutherford deflected the puck on a high stick.
The Beavers return to the ice on Oct. 4 against Central Oklahoma at Maysa Arena.
Mike Kraft covers high school athletics, the Minot Minotauros and the Minot State University men's club hockey team. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.