The homestanding Bemidji State Beavers (6-10-3 overall, 4-6-3 WCHA) had the jump from the get-go, and the visiting UAH Chargers (5-15-3, 4-11-0) never countered the punches, losing 4-0 for their fourth shutout of the season, the second to Bemidji in the last two seasons, and their 38th time since the Chargers’ last shutout.
This one hurt, especially after the raging success of last weekend. The win pushes the Beavers to 3-0-3 in their last six contests, their best such streak since the beginning of their 2009-10 season. (Hey, does anyone remember what two College Hockey America teams made the NCAAs that year?) Lastly, it pulled the Beavers three points clear of the Chargers in the WCHA table, ensuring that the hated intruders from the South wouldn’t leapfrog them in the standings.
Senior co-captain Matt Prapavessis (Oakville, Ont.) got the scoring started for Bemidji, taking a puck high near the top of the right-wing circle, ripping one past UAH sophomore goaltender Carmine Guerriero (Montréal, Qué) for a power-play goal at 6:39 of the 1st, :25 into senior defenseman Graeme Strukoff‘s (Chilliwack, B.C.) holding penalty. The goal was Prapavessis’s fifth marker of the season, and was assisted by junior forward Cory Ward (Las Vegas, Nev.) and freshman forward Kyle Bauman (Apopka, Fla.).
Sophomore forward Charlie O’Connor (Elk Grove Village, Ill.) pushed Bemidji’s advantage to 2-0 at 10:07 of the 1st, collecting a pass from senior defenseman Sam Windle (Maple Grove, Minn.) to fire one past a screened Guerriero (29 sv, 5-9-2). O’Connor’s seventh goal ties him for the team lead and also came courtesy of Ward’s secondary assist.
UAH was out-shot in all three periods: 15-8, 10-6, and 8-4 for a game total of 33-18. Freshman goaltender Michael Bitzer (Moorhead, Minn.) made all 18 saves for his first collegiate shutout, moving his record to 4-5-1 on the season.
Bauman scored unassisted at 7:21 of the second for the Beavers’ third goal of the game and his first collegiate marker. Senior forward John Parker (Green Brook, N.J.) got the Beavers’ final marker of the night at 16:21 of the final frame, circling around UAH freshman defenseman Richard Buri (Nitra, Slovakia), into the slot, dekeing Guerriero into committing, skating past him, and pushing the puck backhanded into the open net in a highlight-reel goal.
Puck drop in 21-ish hours, and it’ll be 0-0. Get a good night of sleep, learn from it, and go forward.
— UAHHockey.com (@weloveuahhockey) January 10, 2015
See you tomorrow night.