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Beavers Woes Continue Against Sioux

Nick Ross| Sports Writer | 11-19-2011

The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux returned to the Sanford Center for the first time since the first men’s hockey game in the building last October.  The game would renew the one-sided rivalry that coming into the weekend has seen UND amass a 21-1-1 advantage over the Beavers.  The Beavers would not be able to get over that hump, falling to the Sioux by a score of 5-2.

“I thought it was a great effort out of our guys,” Head Coach Tom Serratore said in the post game press conference.  “I thought we executed well.  They are a tough team to play against, and that is all you can ask.  We could have used some breaks there at the end but they earned it at the end.”

The Beavers got ahead early in the first period when junior forward Brance Orban buried his third goal of the season.  Orban received the puck from freshman forward Mitch Cain and beat the UND netminder over his left shoulder and into the top shelf.

The Sioux would get the equalizer with 13:11 remaining in the first period.  Corban Knight would sneak a puck past the Beavers starting goaltender Dan Bakala for a power play goal.  The goal came just seconds after Bemidji was issued a hooking penalty.

That would be the end of the scoring for the first period.  The Beavers would control the pace for the majority of the period, mustering 11 shots on goal to the Sioux’s seven.

The Sioux would strike first in the second period with a goal in the first five minutes.  Bakala would make a few saves with traffic in front but the Beavers would fail to clear the puck and Brendan O’Donnell would put his own rebound to the back of the net to give the Sioux a 2-1 lead.

“It fits with our style of play, we play a tough rough style so if we can keep that going it will be a good thing,” senior forward Shea Walters said.  “We played a lot better and a lot tougher this week, and we have to start putting together some wins soon.”

The game would continue on a very physical pace for the rest of the second period, which saw five penalties including matching five minute majors for post-whistle shoving and facemask grabbing between Bemidji’s Jake Areshenko and North Dakota’s Michael Parks.  The two were ushered to the penalty box with just under a minute remaining in the second period.

The Beavers would even the score just one minute twelve seconds into the third period when Walters buried a one-time pass from Brady Wacker.  Walters snuck around the net to the back post and Wacker sent a crisp pass to his stick for a goal.

Beaver forward Jamie MacQueen would get called for a slashing penalty 4:49 seconds into the period, which would lead to many good scoring chances by the Sioux.  Bakala would deny all of them, making multiple saves in a row at many points.  The Beavers would kill the penalty but not gain much for momentum.

“We were all over the place, and we were leaving our feet,”  Serratore said.  “The bottom line is when you are fatigued like we were you have to stay square and make sure you have the puck.  To me [killing the penalty] was a good omen, you turn that into something positive and it just didn’t happen.”

The Sioux would take a late lead with 4:38 remaining in the game when Mario Lamoureux beat Bakala glove side, making it 3-2 UND.  They would not stop there however, they would add a power play goal with 1:30 remaining in the game from Brock Nelson.  Nelson would add an empty net goal with 29 seconds remaining in the game as well.

Bakala would finish the night with 31 saves and four goals against.  The loss will lower his record to 2-5-1 on the season.  The Beavers are now 4-8-1 (2-6-1 WCHA) on the season and the Sioux are now 4-6-1 (2-5-0 WCHA).

The Beavers and Sioux will be back on the ice tomorrow for a 5:07 pm start and the final game between the two teams this season.  The Beavers will try to get over a 30-year hump, with the last Beaver win coming on February 7, 1970.