EDINA, Minn. – Bemidji State University goaltender Michael Bitzer has been selected as the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Goaltender of the Week for his role in Beavers’ series victory versus Ferris State University to open the league slate, Oct. 27-28.
Bemidji State opened defense of its MacNaughton Cup title with a five-point weekend against Ferris State, thanks in large part to Bitzer’s work in net. The senior from Moorhead, Minn. went 1-0-1, posted 34 saves, a 0.96 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage, while also helping the Beavers to a shootout victory. He made 15 stops through 65 minutes of an official 2-2 tie Friday, but then added five stops in the 3-on-3 overtime period to get BSU to the shootout – where he stopped the lone Ferris State attempt to give the Beavers the extra league point. Bitzer turned aside all 19 shots he faced Saturday in a 3-0 victory, extending his own WCHA record with his 18th career shutout. He also backstopped a penalty-kill unit that held the Bulldogs to one goal in eight power-play opportunities.
In addition to Bitzer, Minnesota State University, Mankato senior Zeb Knutson won the league’s Offensive Player of the Week award, Minnesota State senior Clint Lewis got the nod for the league’s Defensive Player of the Week and Bowling Green State University’s freshman goaltender Eric Dop was tabbed WCHA Rookie of the Week.
This is Bitzer’s second WCHA weekly award of the 2017-18 season and his 13th career honor, including a pair of Rookie accolades and nine Defensive awards. He was also named WCHA Goaltender of the Week, Oct. 16 of this season.
Bemidji State, 3-1-2; 1-0-1-1 WCHA) now sets its sights on Alaska as the Beavers travel to Fairbanks for a WCHA match up with the University of Alaska, Nov. 3-4. Each game is set for a 10:07 p.m. (CST) opening face off.
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.