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NCAAM: Bullet Points (March 26)

By Kyle McLaughlin , 03/26/24, 5:00PM CDT


Catch up on the Beavers, Huskies, and Golden Gophers.

No. 20 Bemidji State (20-16-2) vs. Michigan Tech (19-14-6)

The Mason Cup Championship game featured the No.1-seed Beavers versus the No. 3-seed Huskies at the Sanford Center. All four games between these teams during the regular season were close affairs, with Michigan Tech narrowly coming out on top 2-1-1. 

It was a fast-paced and physical first period, with the Beavers drawing first blood off a goal from Kasper Magnusson 14:07 into the game, marking goal No. 7 on the season for the Norway native. Michigan Tech quickly answered with their own goal, with Chase Pietila scoring off a rebound 52 seconds later to make it 1-1 at the first intermission. At the midway point of the second period, an ill-timed Bemidji State change granted the Huskies an odd-man rush opportunity, and Ryland Mosely scored to put Michigan Tech ahead 2-1, scoring his 18th goal and 33rd point this season.

The Beavers would go on to outshoot the Huskies 11-7 in the period but were unable to respond. In the third, the Beavers gave it everything and put 17 shots on net, but Michigan Tech goaltender Blake Pietila stood on his head and saved everything, leading to a 2-1 final. The win marks the first Mason Cup Championship in program history for Michigan Tech.

The loss abruptly ended Bemidji State’s season, which saw the Beavers go on a 9-0-1 run leading up to the conference final.

Four of the six spots on the All-CCHA First Team were filled by Bemidji State players, including Lleyton Roed, Kyle Looft, Eric Pohlkamp, and Mattias Sholl. Looft earned the Defenseman of the Year award, and Sholl earned the Goaltender of the Year award.

White Bear Lake’s Lleyton Roed closed out the season at the top of the team’s leaderboard with 14 goals and 30 points in 38 games. 

Eric Pohlkamp, Bemidji State

No. 17 St. Cloud State (17-16-5) vs. No. 3 Denver (27-9-3)

In the second NCHC semifinal game at the Xcel Energy Center on 3/22, St Cloud State jumped out to a quick lead off a goal from Cooper Wylie, scoring his third goal of the season 1:40 into the game. Seven minutes later, Zeev Buium scored to tie it at 1-1, but it would not take long for the Huskies to regain the lead, with Nick Portz making it 2-1 only 1:17 later.

Tied 2-2 to start the second, St. Cloud’s Adam Ingram notched his 10th goal of the season one minute into the period. Shortly after, a power play goal from Denver’s Miko Matikka retied the game at 3-3, but the Huskies capitalized on their own power play 2:36 later, with Gentry Academy’s Barrett Hall tallying his eighth goal of the season. Denver added another late-period goal off a tip in front from Matikka to head into the second intermission all square at 4-4.

Following two back-and-forth high-scoring periods, the third period went goalless, and the game headed to overtime. With 13:39 remaining in extra time, Zeev Buium scored his second goal of the game to end it 5-4 Denver, marking point No. 48 in his excellent freshman season, which earned him the NCHC Rookie of the Year award.

The semifinal round loss marks the end of the Huskies’ season as the team narrowly missed receiving an at-large bid. Senior Veeti Miettinen ends the season as the team’s points leader with 20 goals and 35 points in 37 games. Senior goaltender Dominic Basse had the most starts in net with 24, ending with a 12-10-2 record in those starts and a .896 SV%. 

Veeti Miettinen, St. Cloud State

No. 7 Minnesota (22-10-5) 

Only three seasons removed from a Frozen Four that featured three Minnesota programs, of the six teams, the Minnesota Gophers are the sole entrant into the NCAA Tournament this season.

With a seventh-place finish in the Pairwise rankings, the Gophers earned a No. 2 seed in the Sioux Falls regional and will face Nebraska Omaha (23-12-4) round one, with puck drop at 7:30 PM CT on Thursday, 3/28.

The Gophers did not face the Mavericks during the regular season but went 3-2-1 in their three series against NCHC competition. 

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