BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Eighteen regular-season home games, eight games versus 2017 NCAA Tournament participants, including a home-and-home series with runner up University of Minnesota Duluth, and the return of the Air Force Academy highlight Bemidji State University’s 36-game 2017-18 men’s ice hockey schedule. The announcement came in conjunction with the release of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s upcoming 140-game regular-season schedule.
In addition to the Beavers’ 28-game WCHA slate, BSU has eight nonconference contests, which includes UMD, Air Force, a home-and-home series with the University of North Dakota and a November road trip to Princeton University.
The Beavers break the seal on their 62nd season of play at Sanford Center Oct. 13, when they welcome Minnesota Duluth, which is fresh off a Frozen Four appearance, for the first game of a non-conference home-and-home series. The Beavers continue play outside the league Oct. 20-21, when they host Air Force for the first time since 2009. The series marks the return of a rivalry based in the College Hockey America and features not only brothers Tom and Frank Serratore, who are the head coaches of BSU and AFA, respectively, but also a homecoming for Matt Serratore. The son of BSU’s head coach, Matt is a current Falcon forward, who graduated from Bemidji High School in 2013. The series is followed by an additional home series versus Ferris State University to open the WCHA slate and wrap up the month of October, Oct. 27-28.
BSU’s first road series of 2017-18 comes Nov. 3-4, when the Beavers travel to the Land of the Midnight Sun for a WCHA match up with the University of Alaska.
After a home series versus longtime rival Minnesota State University, Mankato, Nov. 10-11, the Beavers embark on a four-game road swing. BSU travels to Princeton, N.J., for a non-conference series versus the Tigers sandwiched around the Thanksgiving holiday, Nov. 22 and 24. BSU jumps back in to league play Dec. 1-2, when it makes the trip to Bowling Green State University for its only regular-season meeting with the Falcons.
The Beavers will play the bulk of the month of December in front of their own fans at Sanford Center. Northern Michigan University and new head coach Grant Potulny will make the trip to Bemidji, Minn., to open a six-game homestand for BSU Dec. 8-9. University of Alaska-Anchorage will visit Sanford Center Dec. 15-16, before the Beavers break for the holidays. Bemidji State is set to close out the 2017 calendar year and its longest homestand of the season Dec. 29-30, when it hosts the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
After a road trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to face Lake Superior State University Jan. 5-6, BSU returns home to host North Dakota for the front end of a non-conference home-and-home series, Jan. 12. The Beavers’ Jan. 13 trip to Grand Forks, N.D. to wrap up the two-game set with the Fighting Hawks also kick starts BSU’s longest road stint of 2017-18. Jan. 19-20, BSU will travel to Ferris State and then to Alabama-Huntsville the following weekend, Jan. 26-27, for return trips with the Bulldogs and Chargers.
After nearly a month without a home contest, BSU returns to Sanford Center for a two-game homestand with Lake Superior State, Feb. 2-3, before making the trek to Houghton, Mich. for its only meeting of 2017-18 with 2017 Broadmoor Trophy winner and NCAA Tournament participant, Michigan Technological University, Feb. 9-10.
Bemidji State wraps up its regular-season home slate with a rare Thursday-Friday series versus Alaska, Feb. 15-16, before the WCHA season and the chase for the coveted MacNaughton Cup comes to a close at Minnesota State, Feb. 23-24.
The revamped WCHA playoffs and the “Battle for the Broadmoor” begin March 2-4 with the top eight teams playing best-of-three quarterfinal series at the home sites of the top four seeds. The semifinal round, March 9-11, will again feature a best-of-three series on the campuses of the top two remaining seeds with the winners advancing to a single-game conference title game for the Broadmoor Trophy and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament on the home ice of the highest remaining seed March 18.
The NCAA Tournament opens March 23-25. Advancing teams will be seeded in any of the four regional sites, which include Bridgeport, Conn., Worcester, Mass., Allentown, Pa., and Sioux Falls, S.D.
After a weekend off the ice, the four regional championship teams will participate in the Frozen Four, which will take place April 5 and 7 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
The Beavers finished the 2016-17 campaign with an overall record of 22-16-3, to mark the first time BSU has posted at least 22 wins since the 2009-10 season. Bemidji State also recorded a 20-6-2-2 record in WCHA play, to set a program record for wins as a member of the league (since 2010-11), won its 22nd conference title and its first as a member of the WCHA, the MacNaughton Cup and treated its dedicated fans to a Sanford Center-record 13 home wins.
The 2016-17 men’s hockey season ticket renewal/purchase process is already underway with season tickets beginning at $275. For more information, to renew your current season ticket package or for questions regarding season ticket options, call (218) 441-4031.
For more information on the Bemidji State men’s hockey program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers or @BSUMHockey), 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).