BEMIDJI, MINN. -- The Bemidji State University men’s hockey team is back at Sanford Center this weekend, where it is 7-1-2 this season and has averaged over 4.5 goals per game, to host Michigan Technological University for a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series. The Beavers open play owning second place in the WCHA standings with an 12-3-1-0 mark. Meanwhile, the Huskies hold down sixth at 8-7-1-0 record versus the league.
Aaron Miller leads the Beavers’ attack with a career-high 21 points (10g-11a) and shares the assist-scoring lead (11) with Elias Rosén. Adam Brady is second on the team with 20 points (9g-11a) and has been a vital cog in the BSU power play, netting seven goals and a team-best 10 points (7g-3a) on a unit that ranks third in the WCHA (.310). Recently, no BSU player has contributed more than Owen Sillinger. The sophomore has posted at least a point in four straight games and leads all BSU players during that span with seven points (1g-6a).
Zach Driscoll is 11-5-2 in net for the Beavers and won three straight. His 1.77 goals against average ranks fifth in the nation, while his .928 save percentage places him 13th in the NCAA Division I goaltender ranks.
The BSU penalty-kill unit has been stingy all season. It has allowed just six power play goals in 71 opponent opportunities (.915) to rank third in the nation. Despite allowing three power-play tallies Jan. 10, BSU has surrendered only four opponent power-play goals since Nov. 2.
Michigan Tech arrives in Bemidji, Minn. at 13-10-2 overall. The Huskies have not picked up a win in league play since Dec. 7, but are 3-2-1 in non-conference play, including victories over University of Michigan and Michigan State University to claim the Great Lakes Invitational title, Dec. 30-31.
The Huskies’ offense has been propelled by underclassmen. Sophomore Alec Broetzman (10g-7a) leads the team in goals (10), and is tied with fellow sophomore Trenton Bliss (9g-8a) for the team’s point scoring lead with 17. Bliss has also accounted for 30-percent of MTU’s power-play scoring with six goals.
Senior Matt Jurusik has been in the crease for most of the Huskies’ 2019-20 season. He is 12-7-2 in 21 appearances and is sixth the league with a 2.24 goals against average, while his .913 save percentage ranks eighth.
It is ironic for teams logging in excess of 4,600 games between them, to have met just 32 times prior to this weekend, but the first head-to-head match up between the Beavers and Huskies didn’t take place until Jan. 12, 2007. MTU opens the weekend with a 15-12-5 edge in the rivalry, but BSU is 9-7-0 when hosting the series in Bemidji. The Beavers come into the weekend having won the last two meetings between the teams, which included a 4-3 overtime thriller outdoors during Hockey Day Minnesota Weekend, Jan. 18, 2019.
Bemidji State notables:
• Bemidji State earned its fourth straight win Friday capping a series sweep at Alabama-Huntsville with 4-3 victory. BSU moved to 12-7-3 overall and is second in the WCHA at 12-3-1-0 in league play.
• Tommy Muck led all BSU players in the series posting four points, which included his second collegiate three-assist night Friday. He was named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week by the WCHA.
• With his ninth assists Friday, Muck matched his career, single-season high of nine assists, set in 2016-17, while establishing a new single-season career-high for points in a season with 11 (2g-9a).
• Muck has six points in BSU's last three games (1g-5a). That is 24-percent of his career scoring (2g-23a in 135 games).
• Elias Rosén posted his first collegiate multi-goal game Thursday, netting a pair of power-play goals to lead the Beavers in scoring. He paces all BSU defenders and rookies with 15 points (4g-11a).
• Rosén leads WCHA rookies in scoring and ranks second among freshman blueliners across the country.
• Alex Adams netted his team-leading third game-winning goal of the season Thursday.
• Rookie Sam Solensky netted the first goal of his collegiate career in Friday's win. It was his fourth game in the green and white.
• Adam Brady, who logged a goal and an assist and on the man advantage last weekend, leads the Beavers' power-play scoring effort with 10 points (7g-3a). He is tied for fourth in the country in power-play goals with seven.
• Brady has seven of BSU’s 17 power-play goals this season. Of his 27 collegiate goals, 15 have come on the man advantage.
• Owen Sillinger has at least a point in BSU's last four games and leads all Beavers with seven points (1g-6a) since Jan. 3.
• Nick Cardelli netted three points in the UAH series and has at least a point in each of the Beavers' last three games (1g-3a).
• Charlie Combs scored his seventh goal of the season Friday logging the 50th point of his career. The junior has 13 goals and 19 assists in 93 collegiate games.
• Driscoll was in next last weekend earning his 10th and 11th wins of the season (11-5-2). His .928 save percentage ranks him 13th in the nation, while his 1.77 goals against average sits fifth.
• Driscoll is 11-3-1 versus the WCHA and ranks second in goals against average (1.53) and save percentage (.938).
• BSU’s sophomores have netted 64 points (27g-37a) to lead the scoring push. The team’s juniors are second with 24 goals and 31 assists for 55 points. It’s three seniors have 40 (15g-25a) and freshman 29 points (6g-23a).
• BSU was 3-for-9 on the man advantage versus UAH. BSU now has six power-play goals in its last three games (6-for-14). BSU is 17-for-78 (.218) on the season, to tie for 17th in the nation, and 16-for-64 (.250) to rank third in WCHA play.
• Allowing just six power-play goals in 71 opportunities this season, BSU is third among NCAA Division I teams (.915). At .909 (50-of-55) in WCHA play, BSU ranks second on the WCHA penalty-kill list to Minnesota State's .951 (58-of-61).
• BSU held UAH to 0-for-7 on the power-play Thursday marking the first time BSU's penalty-kill unit has made seven appearances since March 2, 2018 and the first time BSU killed seven penalties in a single game since it was 8-for-8 Oct. 8, 2016.
• The Beavers allowed three power-play goals Friday. It was not only the first multi-power-play goal night BSU has suffered since March 8, 2019, it also marked the first time BSU has given up three-or-more power-play goals since March 12, 2016
• With 62 goals in 16 WCHA games, BSU's 3.88 goals per game leads the WCHA.
• BSU has held its opponent to one goal or fewer in nine of its 22 games this season. It is 9-0-0 in those games. That also means BSU is 3-7-3 in games it surrenders two-or-more goals.
• Bemidji State returns to Sanford Center this weekend to host Michigan Tech. In a series that didn't get a start until 2007, the Huskies hold a 15-12-5 record versus the Beavers, however, BSU holds a 9-7-0 record in games played in Bemidji.
• At home this season, BSU is 7-1-2 and has averaged 4.50 goals per game, while allowing 2.00. It's power play is 9-for-33 (.273) and its penalty kill 24-for-26 (.923).
• BSU swept MTU in the last meeting between the teams (4-3 (OT) and 3-0) Jan. 18-19, 2019, which included a overtime thriller capped with a game-winning goal by Bemidji's own Dillon Eichstadt on the Hockey Day Minnesota outdoor rink.
• Zach Driscoll is 2-1-0 in three appearances versus MTU to lead BSU's goalies. He has a .902 save percentage and a 2.74 goals against average in the series.
• Ross Armour, Adam Brady and Ethan Somoza lead BSU with five points apiece versus MTU. No BSU player has more then two goals versus the Huskies, while Armour leads the Beavers with five helpers in just two games versus MTU.