Beavers to host No. 10 Colorado College
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Beavers to host No. 10 Colorado College

The match up
The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey team is back at Sanford Center this weekend for WCHA showdown versus No. 10 Colorado College. In addition to serving as the centerpiece to BSU’s 2012 Athletic Hall of Fame weekend, the two-game set marks the close of the Beavers’ season series with CC. 
    The Beavers, 13-12-3 overall and 7-10-3 in WCHA play, are coming out of a three-point weekend at Nebraka-Oamha (T, 1-1 (OT), W, 6-4).    
    BSU leading scorer, junior forward Jordan George, now has 23 points (14g-9a), but over the course of the last five games, no BSU player has contributed more than Ben Kinne.  The junior forward has five points (2g-3a), which includes having a hand in the deciding goal of both of BSU’s victories since Jan. 27. 
    Dan Bakala has started five of the Beavers’ last seven games in net. He is 3-1-1 on those games, with a 1.97 goals against average and has a .941 save percentage with 159 saves. The senior owns a 7-7-2 record with a 2.60 goals against average and a team-best .917 save percentage this season.   
    Colorado College is 15-9-2 overall and is third in the WCHA standings with a league mark of 12-7-1. The Tigers enter the series on the heels of a three-point home-and-home weekend versus Denver. After defeating DU 2-0 on the Pioneers’ home ice, the Tigers and DU tied 2-2 tie World Arena to cap the intrastate series.   
    Offensively, CC is led by one of the most dynamic duos in all of college hockey.  Brothers Rylan and Jaden Schwartz have registered 30 and 28 points, respectively, and pace a Tiger offense second in the WCHA scoring 3.65 goals per game.  Rylan leads the team with 18 goals scored, while Jaden is the Tigers’ top assist man piling up 18.  Josh Thorimbert has been CC’s go-to goaltender.  He is 10-4-1 on the season and leads the WCHA in save percentage (.931) while ranking second in goals against average (1.90).

The rivalry

The Beavers and Tigers enter the weekend with a very short history. Getting its start with a single nonconference game in 2000, CC holds a 5-2-1 edge in the series, which includes a 3-1, 6-4 sweep of BSU to open the 2011-12 WCHA season in Colorado Springs, Colo. Oct. 14-15. However, Tigers have never won a game in Bemidji (1-0-1). Last season, the teams played the Feb. 18 series opener to a 5-5 tie before BSU captured a 2-1 victory Feb. 19. 

The unparalleled tradition
The 2011-12 season represents the 13th at the NCAA Division I level, and the 56th year of intercollegiate competition, for a BSU program which has assembled one of the finest traditions in all of American collegiate sport.
* BSU owns 13 NAIA, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III national titles.
* The Beavers have captured 21 conference titles in 55 seasons of intercollegiate competition.
* In 2009, BSU became the first No. 16 seed to ever earn a spot in the Frozen Four.  In just its 10th year at the NCAA Division I level, only one team, the 1958 Denver Pioneers, found its way to college hockey’s grandest stage faster.
* BSU has developed seven NHL players, six Olympians and 82 All-America honorees.
* BSU has compiled an all-time record of 994-498-94 (.656) in 1,586 games.

The coaches

*Bemidji State’s Tom Serratore (Bemidji State ‘86) is in his 11th season and has an overall record of 190-158-40 (.541) as BSU’s head coach. In addition to directing the Beavers to seasons of at least .500 hockey in seven of the last eight seasons, Serratore’s teams won CHA regular-season championships five times since 2003-04 and made trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010, with a 2009 appearance in the Frozen Four.  He is a five-time CHA Coach of the Year recipient and was Spencer Penrose National Coach of the Year Runner-up in 2009.
*In 13 seasons at the helm of the Colorado College men’s hockey program, Scott Owens has posted a 296-178-43 (.614) overall record. A 1979 graduate of CC, Owens has led the Tigers to three WCHA regular-season titles and seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament.  His teams have average better than 23 wins per season since he took over the program.

Last time out for the Beavers
The Beavers earned three points in a WCHA road series at Nebraska-Omaha Feb. 3-4.  BSU rode a 37-save performance by Dan Bakala to a 1-1 tie Friday before matching a season-high goal-scoring output in a 6-4 victory Saturday versus the Mavericks, capturing their third WCHA series win of 2011-12.  Jordan George led the Beavers with three points on the weekend (1g-2a), which included a pair of power-play assists.

Last time versus Colorado College
Bemidji State opened the 2011-12 WCHA slate with a trip to Colorado Springs, Colo. to face the Tigers of Colorado College.  BSU rookie Mitch Cain logged his first collegiate goal in game one of the series, but that was all the offense the Beavers would generate as CC skated away with a 3-1 win.  The Tigers completed the sweep with a 6-4 victory in the finale.  BSU posted a season-high three power-play goals and held a 4-3 second period lead, but would see CC notch three consecutive third period goals to take the game and the series.

Beavers picked to finish tenth

Western Collegiate Hockey Association coaches picked Bemidji State to finish 10th in the 41st Annual Grand Forks Herald Preseason Coaches’ Poll. A tenth-place finish is just where the Beavers end the 2010-11 season with a 8-15-5 mark in league play.  The Beavers garnered 30 points in the poll to six points behind University of Alaska-Anchorage. Denver University was forecast as the favorite to win the 2011-12 regular-season and the MacNaughton Cup. The Pioneers garnered seven of 12 first-place votes and 115 points to edge University of North Dakota (110).

Oh captain, My captain
Junior forward Ben Kinne (St. Paul, Minn.) will captain the Beavers during the 2011-12 campaign. Senior defenseman Brad Hunt (Ridge Meadows, British Columbia) and junior blueliner Jake Areshenko (Port Coquitlam, British Columbia)  will have the “A” on their jerseys designating them as alternate captains.

Playing close to home
Seven of the 28 players on the Beavers’ 2011-12 roster hail form the state of Minnesota.  Drew Fisher calls International Falls his hometown, Shea Walters is from Hibbing, Sam Rendle is from Grand Rapids and Ben Kinne, from St. Paul, Danny Mattson, from Minneapolis, Matt Hartmann, who calls Hugo home, and Sam Windle, from Maple Grove, are from the Twin Cities-metro area. 

Familiar look
Tom Serratore returns 20 letter winners from a year ago including Jordan George and Brad Hunt. George posted a career-high 17-19=36 points in 2010-11 to lead the team, while Hunt registered 3-18=21 to finish fourth on the team. BSU returns 59 percent of scoring for a year ago, which includes 62 percent of its assist scoring (90-of-145), 49 percent of its goal scoring (43-of-89).

In the comfort of home
The Beavers are back at Sanford Center this weekend a place they have recorded a tremendous amount of success this season. BSU is 9-4-1 in 2011-12 when playing on its home ice which includes a 5-4-1 mark at home versus WCHA competition.  Bemidji State is unbeaten hen hosting the Tigers at Sanford Center (1-0-1).

Three is the magic number
In 2010-11, the three-goal mark was a threshold for Bemidji State.  The Beavers were 0-15-2 when allowing more than two goals and were 13-3-2 when scoring at least three.  That trend has continued into 2011-12.  This season, BSU is 10-2-2 when scoring in excess of three goals, and is 3-10-1 when scoring fewer than three.  When its opponent scores three or more goals, BSU is 3-10-2.

Quick to strike

BSU is 8-5-2 when scoring first in 2011-12. Even more, the Beavers have found the back of the net on their first shot on goal four times this season and scored on one of its first three shots on goal eight times.

The search for 200

In his 11th season as a collegiate head coach, BSU’s bench boss Tom Serratore has an eye on another milestone--his 200 victory as a head coach. He is 191-158-41 (.541) since inheriting the Beaver hockey program from legendary R.H. “Bob” Peters prior to the 2001-02 season.  Serratore is second at the school in victories by a head coach behind Peters, who posted 702 wins at BSU from 1966-2001. He will become the 29th current NCAA Division I coach to reach the 200-win mark.

BSU 18th in all-time wins
Bemidji State became the 18th program among the 58 current members of NCAA Division I to post its 900th all-time victory when it defeated Ala.-Huntsville, 3-2, on Dec. 15, 2006. BSU’s 993 victories currently rank 18th all-time among current members of Division I. Cornell is next ahead of BSU, in 17th all-time with 1,014 victories. Seventeen Division I programs have posted 1,000 wins, including 2011-12 BSU foe Minnesota which leads Division I with 1,650 all-time victories, and is the only program in the nation with 1,600 or more all-time wins, while Michigan is second with 1,548 victories.

Freaky Friday
BSU was a meager 4-10-4 in the first game of the weekend series in 2010-11, while the team has experienced much greater success, a 10-7-1 record, in the final game of a series.  Ironically, this season BSU is 6-5-3 on Friday this season and 7-7-0 on Saturday.

BSU versus the nationally-ranked
Since the Beavers made the jump to the NCAA Division I ranks for the 1999-2000 campaign, BSU is 17-52-4 (.254) versus teams in the top-15. With that said, BSU is now 15-17-2 (.469) versus the top 15 since the beginning of the 2008-09 campaign. BSU is 3-7-0 versus the nationally-ranked in 2011-12.

Climbing BSU’s Division I assists list

Brad Hunt has accumulated 82 assists during his first 140 games, or just over three complete seasons as a Beaver to surpass BSU great Matt Read (2007-11) to sit atop the BSU Division I assists list and top BSU’s all-time assist-scoring by defensemen list. Hunt surpassed Terry Mattson (1986-89), father of current Beaver freshman Danny Mattson, last weekend with two helpers versus Nebraska-Omaha. 

Offensive defenseman
Junior defenseman Brad Hunt has been a big factor for BSU on both ends of the ice since becoming a Beaver in 2008-09.  In addition to his duties in BSU’s defensive zone, he has been a true offensive threat--especially on the power play. As a freshman, he was third on the team scoring 9-23=32 points with a team-leading 7-16=23 coming on the man advantage.  As a sophomore he had seven goals and a team-leading 26 assists to pace all BSU defenders, while ranking sixth among the nation’s top blueliners (0.89 ppg). His 17 points (5-12=17) on the power play again paced the team.  Last season, he had two goals and 18 helpers. Twelve points (2-10=12) came on the man advantage to place him fourth on the team in power-play scoring.  This season he enters the 18th week of play second on the team (4-15=19) in scoring and has six power-play points (1-5=6).

The Hunt for power-play goals
In his fourth season, defenseman Brad Hunt has piled up 15 power-play goals, including seven in 2008-09, which matched a BSU Division I-era record for power-play goals by a defender.  With his first power-play goal of the season Dec. 17, Hunt surpassed Clay Simmons (1999-02) for BSU’s Division I-era mark for power-play goals by a defenseman.  The goal ended a 25-game power-play goal scoring drought for Hunt--the longest of his career.

Don’t call it a shutout

BSU was held without a goal Oct. 29 at Minnesota Duluth.  The shutout marked the first time the Beavers were scoreless in a game since a Dec. 11, 2010 game at Wisconsin.

Man advantage
The Beavers put an end to a three-game power-play drought going 2-for-7 (.286) on the man advantage in the final game of the UNO series Feb. 4.  BSU is now 18-for-91 (.198) on the power-play this season and 14-for-69 (.203) to rank seventh in WCHA play.

It’s a fine line...
Last season, 19 of BSU’s 38 games were decided by one goal or less, which included seven one-goal losses by the Beavers.  Bemidji State was 7-7-5 in games decided by a goal or less. BSU is 6-5-0 in one-goal games this season.
Beaver scoring by class
This season’s juniors currently lead BSU’s scoring race with 41-52=93 points after 4-6=10 points versus Nebraska Omaha Feb. 3-4.  Next is the senior class with 18-28=46 points, followed by the sophomores (10-16=26).  The BSU freshman class has four goals and 17 assists to its credit this season.

Penalty killers...
The BSU penalty-kill unit finished the conference series versus Nebraska-Omaha 12-for-13 (.923) and has allowed just six power-play goal since Dec. 2. On the season, BSU is now 102-120 (.850) to rank 10th in the country.  The mark includes snuffing out 75-88 (.852) opponent power plays in WCHA action to sit second in the league in efficiency.

Walters-powered power play
Shea Walters currently leads BSU in power-play in point production netting nine points (4g-5a). The senior scored a goal and an assist on the man advantage last weekend versus Nebraska-Omaha.

Power-play goose eggs
It’s not all that uncommon for a team to be held without a power-play goal in any individual game, but Dec. 17 versus Bowling Green, BSU didn’t get a single power-play opportunity (0-for-0).  Since Bemidji State made the jump to the NCAA Division I level for the 1999-2000 season, it has only happened three times in 448 games.

Then there were seven
Matt Read, a 2011 graduate of Bemidji State and the Beavers’ Division I-era scoring leader, made the Philadelphia Flyers’ 2011-12 opening-day roster and scored his first NHL goal in the Flyer’s second game of the season.
    Read’s trip to the NHL makes seven products of the Beaver Hockey program to skate in the NHL ranks.  He joins former BSU goaltender Matt Clime (2005-2009) and his teammate Andrew Murray (2001-05) as the only other former Beavers currently in the NHL.

Its share of OT

Extending their March 17 WCHA Final Five quarterfinal game versus Minnesota  Duluth to overtime, the Beavers completed the 2010-11 season playing in 12 overtime games, marking its most since playing in a school-record 15 in 2002-03. 
    In the 11 years since the Beavers moved to Division I, they have escaped overtime with at least a tie in 76 percent (68) of the 89 games that have needed extra time to decide the outcome.
    Since March 11, 2006, BSU is 12-6-21 in games extended to sudden death, including a 1-0-3 record in extra time in 2011-12.

Shoot the puck
BSU has been out shot in 21 of its 28 games this season.  The Beavers trail their opponents 854-683 (-6.1 spg) on the season, which includes a 656-495 (-8.1 spg) differential in WCHA games. BSU is 7-10-3 when being out shot this season and 5-2-0 when out shooting its foes with a win in its only game with the shots even.

Big shots
After failing to record a 30-shot game in 17 games, BSU has posted 30-plus shots in two of its last six games.  BSU record 30 shots Jan. 13 at Denver and posted 31 Jan. 28 versus Minnesota State, ironically, BSU has lost each of those games.

Directions to the scoring column
With nine new faces in the BSU line up, the opening of the WCHA season brings with it many collegiate firsts--games, goals, assists.  Freshman Mitch Cain and junior transfer David Boehm were the first of BSU’s new faces to log a point.  Rookies Danny Mattson and Tyler Tosunian each scored their first collegiate points versus Ala.-Huntsville Dec. 17. Feb. 4, Sam Windle etched his name in the scoring column for the first time netting a goal. Sophomore Garrett Ladd and junior Matt Hartmann (0-0=0) remain the only BSU veterans without a point to their name.

Assistance from the crease
January 7, 2011 BSU’s blueliners produced a goal and three assists including a helper from goaltender Dan Bakala.  The assist was the third of his career and first to come from between the pipes for the Beavers since Bakala contributed to a goal Nov. 12.  With three in his career, he is just two behind Jim Scanlan who holds BSU’s all-time record with five from 1978-82.

1-0 wins...
BSU’s victory versus UND Nov. 20 seventh 1-0 victory in the history of the program. Since making the jump to NCAA Division I for the 1999-2000 campaign, BSU is 3-57-7 when scoring only one goal.

I am Iron Man
Brad Hunt is BSU’s current Ironman.  Since stepping on campus in the fall of 2008, he has dressed and played in each of the Beavers’ 140 games consecutively. Matt Read set a new mark for game played during BSU’s Division I era a year ago, playing in 147 games for BSU, which included 143 straight to begin his career.

The Hunt for 100 is over
Alternate Captain Brad Hunt scored the game-winning goal in a 3-1 victory at St. Cloud State Dec. 3 eclipsing the 100-point plateau. During his three seasons in the green and white, he has accumulated 23-80=103 points to climb into a tie for fifth on BSU’s all-time defensemen scoring list and fourth on BSU’s Division I-era scoring list. With three points this weekend, he will tie Terry Mattson (1986-89) and Greg Biskup (1984-88) for third on the Beavers defensemen scoring list.

Blueline’s offensive push
The Beavers got a goal and two assists from its defensive corps Feb. 3-4 at Nebraska-Omaha.  Beaver defensemen have now scored in 23 of BSU’s 28 games this season and have accounted 14 goals and 35 assists (14-35=49) accounting for 25 percent of BSU’s total scoring with an average of 1.75 points per game in 2011-12.

Hints at the outcome
The Beavers are 18-4-3 since 2008-09 when captain Ben Kinne scores a goal.  This season Kinne has seven goals and BSU is 6-2-1 in those contests.  Alternate captain Jake Areshenko scored less frequently, but has the same effect on the game’s outcome.  BSU is 9-2-3 when he logs a point and 3-0-0 when he scores a goal.

Rookie contributions
Following an impressive month of December by fellow Rookie Andrew Walsh, Danny Mattson has solidified himself as a freshman with a bright future. After playing the first six games of his collegiate career without a single point, the Minneapolis native Mattson has scored in five of the Beavers’ last nine contests and has 2-4=6 points during that stretch including a career-best four-game assists streak.

Career year
With a goal and an assist in the Nebraska-Omaha series, senior Shea Walters is third on the team with 18 points (9g-9a).  His 18 points surpass stand as a new career-high.

Tiger tamer
Senior Shea Walters has experienced more success versus Colorado College than any other BSU player.  In four games versus the Tigers, the senior has  one goal and five assists for six points, which includes a power-play goal.

Bak in the net
Senior goaltender Dan Bakala earned a 6-4 victory at Nebraska-Omaha Feb. 4 to claim second place behind only Matt Climie (45) on BSU’s Division I-era goaltending victories list with 40 wins.

Bakala’s savings plan
With 2,134 career saves, senior goaltender Dan Bakala needs just 67 this weekend to  surpass Matt Clime (2,201) to take over second place on BSU’s Division I-era saves list.  Grady Hunt (2000-04) holds down the top spot with 2,7`17 stops.

Areshenko’s offensive output

With a pair of assists in last Jan. 27-28 versus Minnesota State, junior defender Jake Areshenko matched a career-high for single-season point total.  He now has 2-6=8 points to equal the blueliner’s 2010-11 total of eight (1g-7a).

Power-play shortage
Of the 58 Division I men’s hockey teams in the country, only Dartmouth (77) and Cornell (83), which have played six fewer games than BSU, have fewer power-play opportunities than the Beavers’ 91 chances this winter. In WCHA play, BSU has just 69 PP opportunities trailing its nearest opponent, Denver (82) by 13. Minnesota State leads the league with 107 man advantage opportunities.

Dropping third period leads
Last season, Bemidji State has its streak of 47 consecutive games entering the third period without a loss at 47 games (45-0-2)--a streak stretching back more than three seasons. Since that point, the Beavers have not been water-tight translating third period leads into victories.  This season when leading after two periods, BSU is 11-4-0.  Much of that could be attributed to BSU being out scored 32-19 in the third periods this season, which includes a 28-13 differential in WCHA games.

BSU’s man in the net
In his last five appearances, Dan Bakala has been nothing but spectacular.  He is 3-1-1, with a 1.97 goals against average and has made 159 saves for a .941 save percentage. Bakala is 7-7-2 on the season and leads the team with a .917 save percentage.

Offensive explosion
Entering Saturday’s finale averaging just 2.42 goals per game in WCHA play to rank 11th in scoring offense, while were 43rd in the nation posting 2.63 goals per game overall, BSU matched a season-high six goals in the victory.