Redshirt freshman Mike Louwerse scored two goals as No. 18 Minnesota State, Mankato, defeated Bemidji State 5-2 in the season-opening game for both teams.
Louwerse sat out all but four games last season with a sports hernia and was given an extra year of eligibility for medical reasons. He scored the game's opening goal during a 5-on-3 power play at 4:16 of the first period and added an even-strength goal in the second period.
Geoff Irwin, Justin Jokinen and Trevor Bruess also scored goals for the Mavericks (1-0-0). Jokinen, a true freshman, netted the game-winning goal at 11:41 of the second period. Kurt Davis and Ben Youds each had two assists for Mankato. Goalie Mike Zacharias made 16 saves in the win.
Bemidji State got power-play goals from Travis Winter and Brad Hunt. The game was filled with penalties (26 minors in all), as the NCAA has gone to a two-referee system and is emphasizing rules to limit obstruction. Goalie Matt Dalton finished with 24 saves.
The win was the first season-opening win for Mavericks coach Troy Jutting, who is beginning his ninth season.
The penalties didn't stop in the second period, with nine more calls. And the teams made each other pay for their mistakes. Scoring went like this:
3:44, BSU-Winter (Marino, Bostock) 5x4 ppg ... rebound goal, Winter was open at the right post
7:01, MSU-Irwin (Wiley, Youds) 4x4 ... a pretty play in which Irwin turned as he crashed the net and backhanded Wiley's rebound in
9:38, BSU-Hunt (Marino) 4x3 ppg ... off a faceoff
11:41, MSU-Jokinen (Mueller) 5x5 ... yes, this was an even-strength goal!
18:53, MSU-Louwerse (unasssted) 5x5 ... second goal of the game; this guy looks good
Redshirt freshman Mike Louwerse got things started with a 5-on-3 power play goal at 4:16, getting assists from Mick Berge and Kurt Davis. The score easily could have been 3-0 or 4-0, but Beavers goalie Matt Dalton made several outstanding saves.
Anyone predicting that the two-referee system and some rule changes would increase penalties was right on the money. The first period featured nine penalties, including four on the Mavericks.
Shots were 12-6 in favor of MSU.