BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey team has announced the addition of goaltender Zach Driscoll (Apple Valley, Minn.) bringing its 2018-19 incoming class to six. Driscoll has signed the necessary NCAA National Letter of Intent and plans to begin his Beaver Hockey career in the fall of 2018.
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
* Zach Driscoll (G, 6-0, 174; 2/25/1997; Apple Valley, Minn.) capped the 2017-18 season as an United States Hockey League Second All-Star Team goaltender for the Omaha Lancers. Appearing in 38 of 60 games, Driscoll recorded a 23-9-1-1 record leading the Lancers to second place in the USHL’s Western Conference and a trip to the Clark Cup Playoffs. He ranked third among the league’s goaltenders during the regular season posting a 1.90 goals against average to go with a .934 save percentage and a league-best eight shutouts. He allowed one-or-fewer goals in 18 of his 38 appearances, which includes a 1-0 playoff loss to Fargo. Despite going 0-3 in the postseason, he registered a .929 save percentage and 2.29 goals against average.
Driscoll’s junior hockey career began in 2014-15 when he appeared in 14 games for the Austin Bruins of the North American Hockey League before finishing the season with the Lancers. In 18 USHL games he was 6-4-2-0 with a 2.86 goals against average and .897 save percentage.
The Apple Valley, Minn. native made the jump to the British Columbia Hockey League in 2015-16, playing in 26 games for the Penticton Vees. He was 21-4-0-0 with a league-best 1.90 goals against average, while leading the BCHL with a .933 save percentage. He also recorded a 1.89 goals against average and .925 save percentage in nine postseason games, leading the Vees to the into the second round of the Doyle Cup Playoffs. Following the season he was recognized with the BCHL’s Top Goaltender Award.
Also a member of the Eastview High School boy’s hockey team, Driscoll played for former Beaver Drey Bradley (1980-84) and helped lead the Lightening to the State Tournament in 2012-13 and came two games short of a return trip in 2013-14, falling in the section semifinal.
The veteran goaltender will open 2018-19 as a transfer sophomore. He saw time in 14 games for St. Cloud State University in 2016-17 and logged a 6-6-1 record with one shutout for the Huskies.
“Zach is an extremely athletic and highly-competitive goaltender with a ton of experience,” commented Eddie Olczyk, BSU’s assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. “His ability to make the big save and battle for second and third chance opportunity rebounds is just one reason he had such a tremendous year in Omaha for Head Coach David Wilkie. He can shut the door when you are up a goal or steal you a game when offense is lacking.
Olczyk added, “Zach has had to battle through adversity as a goaltender throughout his career and I think Beaver fans are going to see a very determined and driven goaltender next season. He’s a high character kid that understands you have to earn everything, which is why he will fit very well in our dressing room.
“Adding another Minnesota native means a lot to our program and we can’t wait to welcome Zach back to the State of Hockey for the remainder of his college hockey career.”
Driscoll joins Alex Adams (Grand Rapids, Minn.), Tyler Jubenvill (Gilbert Plains, Manitoba) and Tyler Kirkup (Virden, Manitoba), who also inked NLIs during BSU’s regular period and Nicholas Cardelli (Wood Dale, Ill.) and Darby Gula (Steinbach, Manitoba, who both signed NCAA National Letters of Intent with the Beavers during the early signing period.
The Beavers finished the 2017-18 campaign with an overall record of 16-14-8 and recorded a 13-9-6-4 mark in WCHA play, to earn fourth place in the WCHA standings and the right to host the first round of the WCHA Playoffs for the third time in four years. Senior goaltender Michael Bitzer earned a spot as a member of the All-WCHA Second Team and 18 BSU student-athletes were recognized with 2017-18 WCHA All-Academic awards. Following the season, six Beavers signed contracts to play professional hockey, including sophomore defender Zach Whitecloud, who inked an entry-level contract with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s hockey program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
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).