EDINA, Minn. – Bemidji State University goaltender Michael Bitzer has been selected for Western Collegiate Hockey Association Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors following back-to-back shutouts at Northern Michigan, Oct. 14-15.
Bitzer was perfect in Bemidji State’s two-game series sweep at NMU, stopping all 42 shots he faced in back-to-back, 2-0 shutout victories. The NCAA’s active career shutout leader, the junior from Moorehead, Minn. is now tied with Matt Climie (2004-08) for the all-time Bemidji State record with 12 career blank slates. Bitzer, the only goaltender in the country with a pair of shutouts this past weekend, turned aside 21 shots each night. He also helped the Beavers’ penalty-kill unit stave off all nine NMU power-play opportunities.
Bitzer shares the WCHA defensive honor with Lake Superior State University defender Owen Headrick, who posted six points (1g-5a) in a pair of Lakers’ victories over Michigan State University last weekend.
This marks the eighth of Bitzer’s collegiate career and the Beavers’ second WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season. Bitzer follows freshman Whitecloud, who earned the league’s Rookie of the Week honor following his collegiate debut, Oct. 7-8.
The Beavers, now 4-0-0 overall and 4-0-0 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play play, breaks from league action as it travels to Grand Forks, N.D. to battle No. 1 University of North Dakota this weekend. The series will get underway at 7:37 p.m. Friday from Ralph Engelstad Arena, while the finale is set for 7:07 p.m. Saturday.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).