Serratore rivalry takes new importance as Beavers pursue CHA championship
• Bemidji State received one point in this week’s U.S. College Hockey Online poll.
• BSU stands just two wins shy of the league season record for wins in College Hockey America play.
• Tom Serratore needs one win to move into sole possession of second place on BSU’s career coaching victories charts. He is currently tied with Vic Weber with 42 wins.
• Bryce Methven will tie BSU’s career record for games played (136) on Saturday.
Bemidji State (16-11-3 / 13-2-1 CHA) became the first team to clinch a bye in the 2004 College Hockey America Tournament when it picked up three critical points in CHA play last weekend against the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers. BSU holds a slim two-point lead over the Niagara Purple Eagles for first place in CHA, and the Beavers will attempt to retain that lead this weekend in a two-game series at rival Air Force (12-18-2 / 4-11-1 CHA).
The Beavers and Falcons will square off in a continuation of one of College Hockey America’s fiercest rivalries. BSU head coach Tom Serratore is the younger brother of Air Force head coach Frank Serratore, and thus far youth has been served. Tom has posted an 8-0-1 record against his older brother since becoming head coach at BSU for the 2001-02 season, with the nine-game unbeaten streak being BSU’s longest against any CHA opponent.
However, the lone tie in that nine-game BSU unbeaten streak came in 2002 and had drastic consequences - it knocked BSU out of first place in the CHA standings, and after that tie the Beavers failed to win another game the rest of the season going 0-6-2 in their last eight starts. While Air Force will be looking to play a similar spoiler role, BSU will hope to avoid a repeat performance of that effort.
Additionally, the Beavers should avoid the temptation to look past a team which most members of the BSU roster have never lost to in their careers to the following weekend - when BSU hosts Niagara, March 5-6, in a two-game series which very well could decide the CHA regular-season title.
Bemidji State is in its fifth season of Division I play, continuing the evolution of a program which has assembled one of the finest traditions in college hockey and all of American collegiate sports. A small-college dynasty prior to its ascension to Division I status in 1999, the Beavers hold 13 NAIA, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III national titles and have developed five NHL players, five Olympians and more than 80 All-America selections. Now in its 48th season of collegiate hockey, Bemidji State has compiled an all-time record of 845-383-69 (.678) and has the highest all-time winning percentage of the 58 programs which currently comprise NCAA Division I ice hockey.
Bemidji State: /athletics/
Air Force: http://airforcesports.ocsn.com
College Hockey America: http://www.collegehockeyamerica.com
BSU Head Coach Tom Serratore
• Third season at Bemidji State, third season as a collegiate head coach; 42-43-16 record.