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Beavers leave no doubt, shutout Ferris State in 1st-round playoff sweep

Mar. 9—BEMIDJI — Mattias Sholl wasn't satisfied with how he played on Friday night.

The junior goaltender made 23 saves for the Bemidji State men's hockey team in a 5-4 overtime win over Ferris State. He didn't see a shot in the last five minutes of regulation or the 37-second overtime session.

Sholl returned for the second of a best-of-three playoff series against Ferris State at the Sanford Center on Saturday, determined to leave with a sweep.

He left with more, picking up a 25-save shutout, the fourth of his career.

"Last night was a little bit tough for myself," Sholl said. "I didn't like the way I played. I looked at the video, and I learned a few things from our goalie coach. I just got back in there, and it felt really good to get the shutout. The boys played great."

Sholl was tested heavily in the first two periods with 22 shots. He turned them aside one after the other. In the third period, the Beavers allowed just three shots on goal in a 4-0 win over the Bulldogs.

"You want to give your goalie a shutout, and our guys take a lot of pride in that," head coach Tom Serratore said. "It's hard sometimes. With a four-goal lead, you can let your foot off the gas with five or six minutes to go. Our guys didn't. They took care of the puck. They played with a lot of speed. We got pucks out when needed. A lot of that was playing the right way, and it's also playing for your goaltender."

Serratore was complimentary of Sholl's efforts in the first two periods to keep the game scoreless. Then, the Beavers broke through.

Adam Flammang made one of the plays of the year to set up the first goal.

Jere Vaisanen lofted the puck from 100 feet away to the neutral zone. With one arm, Flammang stretched out his stick to corral the puck out of mid-air. He carried the puck over the blue line and fed a drop pass to Carter Jones, who sniped the top-left corner to give BSU (19-15-2) a 1-0 lead.

"It was unbelievable," Serratore said. "Good hand-eye coordination by Flammer, and then he makes the play off of it. He's been playing such good hockey over the course of the second half of the season. I'm really happy for Flammer. He's confident and clutch. He's been really clutch for us. He's a stud on the wall and in front of the net."

Ferris State (10-24-2) head coach Bob Daniels challenged the play for high-sticking. After a lengthy review, the call on the ice was confirmed.

"It was kind of a baseball (play) or maybe some lacrosse skill. I don't want to pump his tires too much," Eric Pohlkamp quipped. "He made a great play, and Jonsey ripped that one. It's the hardest shot I've seen Jonsey take."

Bemidji State took a three-goal lead into the locker room after Pohlkamp scored a pair of power-play goals late in the second period.

With two goals, Pohlkamp increased his season total to 10. He's the first BSU defenseman to score 10 goals in a season since John Haider (11) in 2003-24. His 10 goals in a single season are tied for third by a single defenseman in Bemidji State's Division-I history.

"He's a stud," Sholl said of Pohlkamp. "There's a reason he's an NHL draft pick and a gold medal winner. He's a great kid, and he's a heck of a teammate. I enjoy having him in front of me, of course."

Lleyton Roed also hit a milestone. With a secondary assist on Pohlkamp's second tally, Roed became the first Bemidji State player to record back-to-back 30-point seasons since Jordan George did three years in a row starting in 2009.

On Friday, the Beavers scored three man-advantage goals in three different ways. The first was on a delayed penalty before Kasper Magnussen buried a true power-play in the second period. Eric Martin tied the game in in the final minute of the third period with the goalie pulled.

With two more power-play goals on Saturday, BSU's special teams confidence is surging.

"It comes and goes," Serratore said. "It's hard sometimes. We had some opportunities, and we cashed in. It was good to get our power play going. I'm happy for those guys. And those 6-on-5 (goals), you can't ask for anything more.

"You have to have a high battle level. When we scored those goals, we won some battles and kept the puck in the zone. That helped a lot. I'm happy (about) that because there have been times when we've been late to the puck, and (the other team) gets a clear. Our guys were playing on their toes, and we were good on the wall. When we kept the puck in the zone, and we got the puck up top, we had a little time and space, and we made the right plays."

Bemidji State has struggled mightily on both ends of the special teams spectrum. It had the second-worst power play among all CCHA teams at 15.3% and the worst penalty kill at 74.5%.

"In the regular season, we were awful," Pohlkamp said. "Our power play was really good this weekend. Those two goals were kind of lucky (tonight). Their goalie was so worried about (Jackson Jutting) in front of the net. I kind of just slid one under his pad, and the other went off a skate."

BSU scored on three of its seven power plays against Ferris State this weekend.

"The results speak for themselves," Sholl said. "It's really important for our power play to get going. They popped a bunch of huge goals for us this weekend. Same for the penalty kill. If we can score on the power play and kill off those penalties, we'll have an advantage. It was a huge step in the right direction."

Jake McLean made it 4-0 for BSU with a post-in shot early in the third period, which ensured its unbeaten streak would continue.

It's been 50 days since the Bemidji State lost a game against a CCHA opponent, dating back to Jan. 19 in Houghton, Mich., against Michigan Tech.

Any end to the Beavers' unbeaten streak will mark the end of the 2023-24 season. Bemidji State returns to the Sanford Center at 7:07 p.m. next Saturday and will play Minnesota State or Lake Superior State.

"We came in here not wanting to (play) on Sunday for a multitude of reasons," Sholl said. "Now, we just get to watch and see who we get next week."

Bemidji State 4, Ferris State 0

FSU 0 0 0 — 0

BSU 0 3 1 — 4

First period — No scoring.

Second period — BSU GOAL: Jones (Flammang, Vaisanen) 3:50; BSU GOAL: Pohlkamp (Looft, Jutting) PP, 15:24; BSU GOAL: Pohlkamp (Looft, Roed) PP, 19:09.

Third period — BSU GOAL: McLean (Lawson, Magnuson) 3:35;

Saves — Sholl (BSU) 25; Stein (FSU) 35.