BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University’s Alexis Joyce and Michael Bitzer have been selected as Beaver Pride Athletes of the Week, after outstanding athletic performances during the week of Feb. 9-Feb. 15.
Joyce paced all BSU rookies with three points (3 assists) versus Minnesota State University, Mankato. She notched all three assists in Friday’s 4-0 win over the Mavericks. The Lakeville, Minn. native was also instrumental to BSU allowing just three goals in two games (1.50 goals per game) and keeping MSU’s power-play unit off the scoreboard in three opportunities with a team-leading five blocked shots in the series.
Joyce leads Bemidji State’s freshman class with 16 points (4g, 12a), which leads all WCHA freshman defensemen and she ranks second nationally with 106 blocked shots.
She was also named Western Collegiate Hockey Association Rookie of the Week for her efforts. It is the third time this season that Joyce has been bestowed that honor.
Bitzer backstopped the Bemidji State men’s hockey team to a road series sweep of Northern Michigan University, posting a goals against average of 0.50 and stopped 61-of-62 shots faced in 120 minutes in net for a .984 save percentage. He opened the weekend with a 25-save shutout of the Wildcats—marking the rookies fourth shutout of the season, 1-0. He followed that up by making a career-high 36 saves in a 5-1 victory Saturday to lead the Beavers to their first WCHA road series sweep of 2014-15. In addition, he anchored a BSU penalty-kill unit that snuffed out all seven of NMU’s power-play opportunities on the weekend (7-for-7).
Bitzer, who has started 13 of the last 14 games in net for BSU, is 10-9-2 with an 1.86 goals against average and .926 save percentage this season. Bitzer’s 1.86 goals against average along with his four shutouts led the nation among freshmen goaltenders.
The Bemidji State men’s hockey team returns home to host University of Alaska-Anchorage in a WCHA series Feb. 20-21. The Beavers are unbeaten (5-0-2) in their last seven games played at the Sanford Center.
The Bemidji State women’s hockey team will close out the regular season Feb. 20-21 at home against No. 2 University of Minnesota. The games are scheduled for a 2:07 p.m. puck drop each day from Sanford Center.