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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

Royals defeat Sabres despite being outshot

Timely saves and special teams lead to a Bethel victory last night.

The Bethel University men’s hockey team kicked off their 2023-24 season last night against the Marian University Sabres at Bethel University Arena in Blaine. The Royals found themselves down 2-1 midway through the second period, but timely penalty kills and 31 saves on 33 shots from goaltender Austin Ryman propelled the Royals to four unanswered goals and a 5-2 victory over the Sabres. 

Marian started the scoring early when forward Daunte Fortner took advantage of a Bethel turnover on defense and put the Sabres up 1-0 just two minutes into the opening period. Bethel responded quickly as junior Ben Doherty netted his first goal of the season – courtesy of an assist by forward Sam Wilhite – on a two-on-one scoring chance to knot the game at one a piece. 

The Royals squandered opportunities to take the lead on the power play late in the first period, going 0-2 with two shots on goal. 

“It was tough battling the first game jitters early,” Ryman said. “But we were able to reset after that first goal and come back.” 

The Royals found themselves on the penalty kill yet again halfway through the second on a goaltender interference penalty. The Royals killed off the minor penalty, but surrendered the lead moments later on a goal by Marian forward Jaymes Knee. 

Bethel answered with a goal from forward Justin Kelley and a big save on a breakaway from Ryman, keeping the game tied at 2-2 heading into the second intermission. 

Bethel netted the go ahead and eventual game-winning goal early in the third courtesy of sophomore forward Jack Brown, giving the Royals a 3-2 lead they would not give up. The Royals added on two insurance goals to make the final score 5-2, despite being outshot 33-20. 

“Bethel’s a well-coached team. You have to play a full 60 minutes to beat them,” Marian coach Clay Van Deist said. “We only played 40.” 

The Royals continue their 2023-24 season tonight against St.Norbert College. The Royals are 1-12 all time against the Green Knights, with the lone win coming in February 1989. It will be the first time St. Norbert and Bethel have met in the regular season since Nov. 6, 2010. St. Norbert will come in with a record of 1-0-0, getting their first win of the season last night as well with 4-3 over St. Olaf.

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