3.28 IB File

Will Baginski takes a shot during the second period of the Ice Bears' game against Lindenwood. The Bears fell 3-2 to the Lions on Feb. 26.

In the final regular season games for the Missouri State Ice Bears, they swept Division II school East Texas Baptist in two games.

With the regular season over, the team now awaits their matchup in the first round of the American Collegiate Hockey League’s national tournament.

Friday’s game

Senior center Josh Bell opened the scoring just four minutes in, giving the Ice Bears a lead it would not relinquish. Two more goals came from freshman forward Terrance Josephson and junior winger Hunter Cooley to make it 3-0 MSU after one period.

East Texas Baptist scored one early in the second period, but Missouri State had another three-goal period with two from Rubin and one from freshman center William Baginski. The Ice Bears led 6-1 after two.

The Tigers scored two goals in the third period, and in the process leveled MSU freshman goaltender Matt Griffin. Griffin exited the game and senior Bailey Stephens took over for him.

Missouri State went on to win 6-3.

Saturday’s game

Ice Bears assistant coach Clif Cook classified the game on Saturday as “odd.”

Missouri State had significantly more scoring chances but could not get past ETBU goaltender Tyler Fitzgerald for most of the night.

Freshman winger Jacob Wiethaupt opened the scoring for MSU, but ETBU scored two goals near the end of the first period to make it 2-1 in favor of the Tigers.

The Tigers had the lone goal of the second, making it 3-1 heading into the final frame.

Wiethaupt finally got past Fitzgerald four minutes into the third, and Baginski scored on a power play goal with three minutes left in the game to tie it.

MSU had two power plays in overtime, and sophomore forward Jack Brachbill scored on the second one to end the game 4-3.

“I would say overall the entire game was a little odd,” Cook said. “We told the players that we think we played better (Saturday) than we did (Friday). It was a team working hard and an extremely hot goaltender in (Fitzgerald).”

What’s next?

Missouri State will have a couple weekends off before they make a trip to St. Louis for the ACHA Division I national tournament at Maryville University. The tournament is scheduled to be played April 15-20. Missouri State received their league’s automatic bid as they were the only Western Collegiate Hockey League team to play this season.

Cook said they will likely find out who they play on Wednesday, March 31.

“We’re going to be ready once the puck drops on either the 15th or 16th, whenever we play,” Cook said.

Follow Stephen Terrill on Twitter, @stevethe2nd

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