Buerkle and Bakala garner Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week honors
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Buerkle and Bakala garner Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week honors
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State University’s Kristi Buerkle (Sr., Stacy, Minn.) and Dan Bakala (Jr., G, Calgary, Alberta) have been named Beaver Pride Athletes of the Week after recording outstanding athletic accomplishments during the week of Nov. 29-Dec. 5.

Buerkle, an All-America sprinter and 2011 NSIC Preseason Track Athlete of the Year, kicked off the 2011 indoor track and field season with a pair of victories at the College of St. Scholastica’s Mini Meet Dec. 4. The senior captured individual 200-meter dash honors with a time of 25.66 before taking first place in the 600-meter dash with a BSU school-record time of 1:36.53, trimming more than a second from a mark Shelby Hougen set in 2002 (1:37.61).  

Buerkle now owns BSU indoor records at the 60-, 200- (25.25), 300- (40.25), 400- (54.76), 600- (1:36.53) and 800-meter (2:19.11) distances.

This week’s award stands as the first time this season that Buerkle or a member of the BSU track and field teams has been honored as Beaver Pride’s Athlete of the Week, while it marks the 11th time Buerkle has been selected for the award during her career.

Bakala, a native Calgary, Alberta, was the backbone of the BSU men’s hockey defensive unit that held a University of Nebraska Omaha offensive attack, averaging more than four goals per game, to a single goal on the weekend, while BSU posted its first WCHA series sweep.  Bakala stopped 64-of-65 Maverick shots, while allowing just one goal to fuel the Beavers first series sweep as a member of the WCHA.  He finished the weekend with a 0.50 goals against average and .985 save percentage, while improving his record to 4-4-0 on the season.  

Friday, the junior turned away 26 shots for his second consecutive and fifth career shutout, 3-0, before making a career-best 39 saves Saturday en route to leading the Beavers to a 3-1 victory.  Saturday’s first-period goal by UNO snapped a 134:09 shutout streak by Bakala that stretched back to Nov. 12.

In addition, Bakala served as the last line of defense on a BSU penalty-kill unit that held UNO’s power-play scoreless on nine man advantage opportunities (0-for-9).  

The third Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week award of Bakala’s career, marks the third time a member of the BSU men’s hockey team has been recognized by the organization in 2010-11.  He follows Jordan George (So., F, Madison, Wis.), who was selected for the honor Nov. 10, and Nov. 17 pick Matt Read (Sr., F, Ilderton, Ontario).

BSU, 5-8-1 overall and 4-7-1 in WCHA play, is back on the road Dec. 10-11 to close out the first half of the season with a trip to Madison, Wis. to battle the University of Wisconsin.  The Beavers and Badgers are set for a 7:07 p.m. opening face-off from the Kohl Center Friday and Saturday.

Buerkle and the BSU track and field teams are idle over the semester break but will return to action Jan. 8 when they host the 2011 BSU Alumni Meet.  The annual event is set for a 3 p.m. start at the Gillett Fitness/Recreation Center.