Updated Tue, Mar 5, 2013 10:59 pm
Led by a strong performance from their captain, Nigel Dube, the Minot State Beavers defeated the Ohio Bobcats in convincing fashion with a 5-1 victory in the semifinals of the ACHA National Tournament in Chicago.
Dube, a two-way force all game, recorded a goal, an assist, and was a catalyst for four of the Beavers’ five goals on the evening.
In the dying seconds of the second period, a blast from Dube was redirected by Michael Jordan, and the puck squeaked past Ohio goaltender Fedor Dushkin right before the buzzer sounded to end the period. The goal gave Minot State a 3-1 lead going into the third period.
“We’ve had so many of those go through on us this year,” Dube said. “So it’s been one of those things we’ve been preaching all year; keep going until the buzzer. That’s what we did, and we were rewarded.”
The last-second goal came on a power play that resulted from Ohio forward Zander Dover earning a five-minute major and game misconduct for charging. The hit left Donald Iverson of Minot State injured, and he required assistance from trainers to reach the locker room.
Ironically, the big hit and injury that ensued only sparked the Beavers into playing even harder.
“We always say, ‘one family’, and Donald’s a member of our family and we were going to stick up for him, and we said we were going to make [Ohio] pay on the power play,” Beavers captain Dube said.
Dube scored for himself 17 minutes earlier in the period, when a quick shot from the point beat Dushkin on a two-man advantage for Minot State’s first power play goal of the game.
The Beavers capitalized on two of their five power play chances, and they held Ohio scoreless on four power play opportunities.
Ohio struck first in the contest, as Tom Whetsel scored just 1:15 into the game on the Bobcats’ first shot of the game. Minot State goalie Wyatt Waselenchuk bounced back to stop all 26 shots Ohio threw his way through the rest of the game.
“I let the first shot in, but we buckled down, and I knew I would have to make some big saves after that,” Waselenchuk said after the game. “My teammates make it easy. If I have to make five to six big saves, I know they’re going to take away a heck of a lot more than that.”
Jordan Willert scored at 11:59 of the first period for Minot State to tie the game, 1-1, on a play that was set-up by Dube. In the third period, Cam McGeough and Daniel Lamb went on to add the Beavers’ fourth and fifth goals.
Fedor Dushkin got the call to start in goal from Head Coach Dan Morris after not allowing a goal to Iowa State in the quarterfinal round and was able to make 34 saves tonight, earning him a .928 save percentage in his two games of the tournament.
No. 3 seed Minot State will be moving on to play in their program’s first national championship game Wednesday, and they await the winner of No. 9 Lindenwood and No. 2 Arizona State.
Ohio, who was the No. 4 seed in the tournament, has their season end with a Final Four berth in the ACHA National Tournament and a CSCHL Championship to their name, but the Bobcats will see the departure of seniors Jay Mazzarella, Nick Rostek, Jonathan Pietramala, and the program’s all-time leading points scorer, Tyler Pilmore.