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Hockey season has returned, as the Minot State men’s hockey team began regular season play over the weekend. On Friday, the Beavers started the year on the road at the University of Jamestown and on Saturday, both teams turned around for another matchup at Maysa Arena.

In a back-and-forth affair on Friday, it was the Beavers who got the best of Jamestown as they utilized a second period boost to start the season out with a 4-3 win.

Both teams brought out the offensive showing early, as Joey Moffatt got the Beavers on the board first with a goal, assisted by Jay Buchholz. Jamestown would have an answer in the period when Jordan Branesky netted one, making it a 1-1 tie at the first break.

Moving into the second period, Moffatt would break the tie once again, scoring his second goal of the night on the second assist from Buccholz, giving the Beavers a 2-1 lead. After a penalty put the Beavers down a man, Morgan Venne would cash in five seconds into the penalty with a goal to make it a 2-2 game.

Ready to join the goal scoring party for MSU was Buchholz, who netted his first goal of the season, assisted by Christian Kadolph to help the Beavers regain the lead at 3-2 with the second period coming to a close.

Following the goal by Buchholz, the Beavers would maintain the lead for the rest of Friday’s contest, however, they would extend their lead with a goal by Eric Soar on a Moffatt assist, as the Beavers looked to close out strong with a 4-2 lead in the third period.

Venne of Jamestown would net his second powerplay goal of the evening, but that would be all they could muster together as MSU closed out Friday night with a 4-3 victory.

Jake Anthony was the starting goaltender for the Beavers, who made 25 saves on 28 shots. The Beavers led the way in shots, topping Jamestown 33-28 and the Beavers penalty kill went 2-for-4 on the evening.

Wanting to continue the positive momentum following an opening night win were the Beavers, who would come out victorious once again on Saturday, beating Jamestown 6-1 to secure an opening weekend sweep.

Saturday night’s game featured a different story, as the Beavers exploded for goals early and never trailed or had a tie beyond 0-0. Continuing to show a balanced scoring attack, the Beavers would once again score at least one goal in every period.

Reid Arnold broke the scoreless tie with a powerplay goal in the first, assisted by Kadolph and Carter Barley, giving the Beavers a 1-0 lead. Sheldin Howard with assists to Moffatt and Buchholz, and Moffatt with assists to Buchholz and Howard would add goals in the first period as well, as the Beavers jumped out to a commanding 3-0 lead early.

Not wanting to slow down after an excellent opening period were the Beavers, who would extend their lead to 5-0 in period two after goals by Connor Navrot and Davis Sheldon. Carter Barley and Sheldon earned assists on the Navrot goal, while Reid Arnold assisted on the Sheldon powerplay goal.

Moving into the third period, Sheldon would net one more goal, giving the Beavers a 6-0 lead as their strong play on offense would come to an end there. Jamestown would break the scoreless tie late, with a goal by Jordan Baranesky to bring the game to its final score of 6-1.

Anthony got the start in the net for the Beavers again on Saturday, where he made 19 saves on 20 shots and held Jamestown scoreless for most of the contest. The Beavers would lead the way in shots again at 35-20. The team cashed in two powerplay goals and killed both penalties they had.

The Beavers men’s hockey team will be back in action on Friday, Oct. 7 and Saturday, Oct. 8 when they host Liberty University at Maysa Arena. Both games are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.

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