After sweeping Bowling Green the weekend prior and sitting at No. 16 in the USCHO rankings, Minnesota State Mankato (10-7-1) hoped to build off those wins in their series against Bemidji State (7-5-4).
Game one of the series kicked off on Thursday, 12/15, with the Beavers' Alexander Lundman scoring just shy of six minutes in, his team-leading seventh goal of the season. The Mavericks responded before the period closed, with David Silye forcing a Will Zmolek turnover and scoring his thirteenth goal of the season. Bemidji reclaimed their one-goal advantage two minutes into the second period, with Jakub Lewandowski scoring what ended up being the lone goal of the period.
Early in the third, the Mavericks found themselves on back-to-back power plays, scoring twice only a minute apart to make it 3-2. With 12:44 remaining in the game, Thief River Falls native Aaron Myers buried a loose puck in front to tie the game at three.
The game would then head to overtime, and with only 28 seconds remaining and the Beavers on the power play, Mankato native Kyle Looft scored to claim the 4-3 victory for Bemidji. Mattias Sholl earned the win in net for the Beavers, saving 34 of 37 shots.
Friday's game saw an almost scoreless first period before the Beavers' Jakub Lewandowski tallied a goal with one minute remaining, his second goal of the series. At the 15:06 minute mark of the second period, Mankato's Ondrej Pavel scored to tie the game at 1-1 before the Beavers responded midway through the period, retaking the lead off a Jere Vaisanen goal. The Beavers built on their lead early in the third, with Prior Lake alum Jackson Jutting scoring on the power play to make it 3-1. The Beavers' Mattias Sholl would brush aside all 16 Mankato shots in the period, with Bemidji adding an empty net goal to win 4-1 and claim the series sweep.
After being swept at home back on December 2nd and 3rd by Ferris State, this now marks the first time the Mavericks were swept at home twice in a row dating back to the 2006-07 season. After claiming five points in the CCHA standings this weekend, the Beavers move into first place as they head into the holiday break.
Kyle Looft scored the game-winning goal for Bemidji State last Friday against Minnesota State.
The University of St. Thomas (4-13-1) hosted the Ferris State Bulldogs (7-7-2) for a two-game series, with this being the second time these two teams have faced off this season, with the previous series ending in a split.
Game one on Friday was action-packed, with 11 total goals scored and 11 penalties called. The Bulldogs scored first five minutes into the game before St. Thomas responded, scoring back-to-back goals at the midway point of the period to take a 2-1 lead into the second.
Ferris State retied the game only ten seconds into the second, the first goal of seven that would eventually be scored in the period. The Tommies Luke Manning buried the next goal a few minutes later before Buffalo High School grad Jake Braccini made it 4-2, scoring on the power play. The Bulldogs then made it 4-3 on a Tyler Schleppe goal before St. Thomas again scored back-to-back goals in quick succession, with Luke Manning and Mack Byers both tallying their second goals of the game. The Tommies' comfortable three-goal lead was cut to two when the Bulldogs' Bradley Marek scored to close out the period, heading into the third with the score sitting at 6-4.
The third period was much quieter compared to the goal-filled second, with Tommie goaltender Aaron Trotter saving all 17 shots faced and the team adding a late empty net goal, winning the game 7-4.
In Saturday night's game, the Tommies started the scoring late in the first, with captain Matthew Jennings recording his first goal of the season.
Like the night prior, it took the Bulldogs very little time to score in the second period, with Stepan Pokorny tallying his second goal of the series only a minute into the second frame. With 13:02 remaining in the period, Jake Braccini ripped home a goal on the power play to make it 2-1, scoring his fourth goal and eleventh point of the season. Ferris State would again retie the game, scoring with 6:33 left in the period to knot it up at two going into the third.
The Tommies would go on to have all 15 of their shots saved in the third, with Ferris State scoring the go-ahead goal eight minutes into the period before adding an empty net goal with one minute remaining, ending with a 4-2 win and another series split between these two teams.
The Tommies will head north to battle Minnesota Duluth at Amsoil Arena on New Year's Eve.
Jake Braccini scored the second goal for St. Thomas in the Tommies' 4-2 loss to Ferris State.
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