Beavers shut out UCO to open regular season

New jerseys. Same result.

The Minot State University men’s club hockey team donned an alternative black jersey for its American Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season opener against the University of Central Oklahoma on Friday.

The top-ranked Beavers continued their dominance at home, defeating the No. 11 Bronchos 5-0 at Maysa Arena.

“When we first came into the dressing room and saw them all laid out it was pretty exciting,” MSU junior forward Michael Jordan said. “It kinda felt like we were little kids on Christmas Day.”

MSU junior forward Logan Herauf opened the scoring at 6 minutes, 30 seconds of the first period. Jordan and senior forward Jared McIntosh fought for puck control with UCO defensemen before Jordan came away with it and found Herauf alone in front of the net. Herauf didn’t hesitate and fired a shot past UCO goaltender Tory Caldwell.

“We played a real solid team game out there,” Herauf said, “especially for our first game of the year at home. There were a lot of expectations and I think we played pretty good.”

The Beavers (1-0) didn’t need much time to capitalize on their first power-play opportunity. Just 11 seconds into the man advantage after UCO’s Peter Kressner was called for slashing, Jordan gave MSU a two-goal lead, beating Caldwell stick side. McIntosh recorded his second assist of the game on Jordan’s power-play goal.

“After the weeklong break that we had, it was good to come out and get off to a good start and we did that,” Jordan said. “We’re pretty excited, but we know that today doesn’t mean anything without a big win tomorrow.”

The top line of Jordan, Herauf and McIntosh combined for three goals and four assists.

“When they’re clicking on all cylinders they can be the best line in the country,” MSU coach Wade Regier said. “They showed it tonight. Every time they were on the ice they were a threat to score.”

MSU tallied two more goals in the second period less than a minute apart to build a 4-0 advantage. Freshman forward Cole Olson jammed the puck home from in front of the net at 4:19. Freshman forward Jeremy Johnson followed at 5:05 of the period with a wrister from the slot.

Herauf tallied his second goal of the game at 5:21 of the third period, swatting a pass from Jordan out of the air and into the net over Caldwell’s glove-side shoulder.

Any momentum the Bronchos (4-2) could muster was thwarted by a slew of penalties. UCO was whistled for five infractions – four in the second period. The Bronchos’ power play couldn’t get going either, coming up empty on five chances.

Senior goaltender Wyatt Waselenchuk continued his strong performance between the pipes, recording his third consecutive shutout. Waselenchuk blanked Briercrest College (Sask.) in a pair of exhibition games at Maysa Arena in September. The 6-foot goaltender recorded 34 saves.

“Whenever we have scrambling or whenever we have issues and are running around, he’s always there to make a big save at the right time and that’s exactly what you want,” Regier said. “Every time he’s in goal it gives us a chance to win and that gives all of our defense confidence and everybody else who plays in front of him.”

The teams meet against at 7:30 tonight at Maysa Arena. Prior to the opening faceoff, the Beavers will raise their 2012-13 national championship banner.

Mike Kraft covers high school athletics, the Minot Minotauros and the Minot State University men’s club hockey team. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.