Now in his 16th season heading the Bemidji State men’s hockey program, Serratore and the Beavers are coming off a successful season in 2014-15 where they were winners of the second annual North Star College Cup and solidified their first ever WCHA home playoff series, finishing fourth in the WCHA standings with a record of 16-17-5, 12-11-5 (WCHA).
After taking over the program in 2001-02, Serratore has compiled a 227-224-61 (.503) record in 16 seasons at Bemidji State.
The legacy Serratore was asked to continue when named the seventh head coach at Bemidji State in 2001 was one of the finest in all of college athletics. Serratore was hand-selected to succeed future Hockey Hall of Fame member R.H. “Bob” Peters, who won 702 games and 13 national championships at Bemidji State while carving out one of the true dynasties in the history of athletics at any level.
BSU has continued to build success during each year of the Serratore era improving from 12 victories during his inaugural 2001-02 season to 14-14-8, then to 20- 13-3 in 2003-04 to 23-13-1 in 2005-06 and ultimately to 20-15-1 in 2009 en route to the school’s first appearance in the Frozen Four.
Bemidji State’s 2008-09 season was one not even a Caldecott Medalwinning author would have dreamed of penning. After beginning the season with one win in the first seven games, the Beavers finished the season with a 20-16-1, 12-5-1 (CHA) record with CHA Regular Season and Tournament titles, earning a spot in the NCAA Midwest Regional Tournament.
The postseason storybook began in Grand Rapids, Mich. where BSU, the unranked 16th seed, was pitted against Notre Dame--the No. 2 team in the land. It would take BSU just 1:42 to find the scoreboard and the team would build a 2-0 advantage heading into the first intermission. With 40 minutes gone, BSU led 3-0, then 4-0 in the opening minute of the third. A stunned Fighting Irish team and college hockey world was begining to take notice. BSU won the game 5-1.
After their first NCAA Division I Tournament win, the Beavers continued to ride a wave of momentum into the Midwest Regional Championship game versus No. 9 Cornell. The Big Red scored first, but BSU would answer with four consecutive goals to secure its second straight win over a top 10 team and a most unlikely spot in the 2009 Frozen Four in Washington, D.C.
The Beavers’ once-in-a-lifetime ride would come to an end at the hand of Miami (Ohio) in the national semifinal, but not before the Beavers, the first 16th-seed to ever win its way into the Frozen Four, turned the hockey world on its ear, putting Bemidji State University and Bemidji, Minn. on the map in the process.
BSU had six players garner recognition in the CHA’s season-ending awards. Matt Read and Brad Hunt were selected First-team All-CHA, while Tyler Scofield and Matt Dalton pulled down second-team laurels. In addition, Hunt was picked as the league’s Rookie of the Year and both he and Ben Kinne earned spots on the CHA All-Rookie Team.
In 2010-11, Serratore led the Beavers to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Final Five Semifinals in their inaugural season as members of the league. After finishing the regular season with an 8-15-5-conference record, Bemidji State opened the WCHA playoffs as the No. 10 seed and faced fellow league newcomer University of Nebraska Omaha, the tournament’s No. 3 seed, at the Quest Center in Omaha for a best-of-three-series. The Beavers took the series in two games with 4-2 and 3-2 victories to earn a spot in the WCHA Final Five at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
Making their first Final Five appearance, the Beavers, the No. 6 seed, opened play against Minnesota Duluth, the tournament’s No. 3 seed. Shea Walter’s power-play overtime goal propelled BSU to a 3-2 victory and a spot in the semifinal game. In the semifinals, The University of Denver abruptly ended the Beavers season after scoring four unanswered goals in the third period to down the Beavers 6-2 in the first semifinal game of the 2011 WCHA Final Five.
Prior to BSU
Serratore’s Coaching Career:
Career BSU Record: 227-224-61 (.503) in 14 seasons (through 2014-15 season).
Hometown: Coleraine, Minn.
Alma Mater: Bemidji State, ‘87
All-Americans Under Serratore
Serratore year-by-year at Bemidji State:
Bemidji State University is a member of the
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system