• Niagara’s split with Findlay last weekend helped Bemidji State maintain a share of the College Hockey America lead; BSU and Niagara are tied for first place with 16 points at 8-2-0.
• BSU is 4-0-0 the weekend after a bye this year, sweeping Findlay after having the Oct. 31 weekend off and sweeping Air Force after a two-week Christmas break.
• BSU is 3-0-1 all-time against Wayne State the weekend after it has a bye week.
• BSU is just 1-2-2 in its last five games at Wayne State.
• BSU has its highest-ever national ranking (22nd) in this week’s USCHO.com Top 15 poll. The Beavers were not ranked in the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine poll.
[complete release (1.2 MB PDF)] It has already been a season of historic firsts for Bemidji State men's ice hockey (11-7-2 / 8-2-0 CHA) – the program posted its first road sweep at Findlay, Nov. 7-8; snapped an eight-game road losing streak at Ala.-Huntsville with a 5-3 win on Dec. 13; and picked up its first-ever win at Niagara with a 3-2 win in its last start on Jan. 10. Now, the Beavers enter the stretch run of the 2003-04 regular season and continue pursuit of the program’s first Division I-era conference championship.
BSU is even with the Niagara Purple Eagles for first place in College Hockey America. Bemidji State is in CHA action this weekend against last-place Wayne State (6-14-2 / 2-8-0 CHA) while Niagara is in non-conference action this weekend against Canisius giving BSU an opportunity to regain sole possession of the lead. Ultimately, the race for the No. 1 seed in the CHA Tournament should go down to the season’s final weekend, when BSU hosts Niagara on March 5-6.
Bemidji State will square off with a Wayne State program which is a three-time defending CHA Tournament champion but has fallen on hard times this year with a very young roster. After starting 1-0-2, Wayne State has gone 5-14 and have six losses in their last seven starts. The lone win in that span was a 3-2 CHA win over Air Force on Jan. 10.
Bemidji State is in its fifth season of Division I play, continuing the evolution of a program which has assembled one of the finest traditions in college hockey and all of American collegiate sports. A small-college dynasty prior to its ascension to Division I status in 1999, the Beavers hold 13 NAIA, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III national titles and have developed five NHL players, five Olympians and more than 80 All-America selections. Now in its 48th season of collegiate hockey, Bemidji State has compiled an all-time record of 840-379-68 (.679) and has the highest all-time winning percentage of the 58 programs which currently comprise NCAA Division I ice hockey.
Bemidji State: /athletics/
Wayne State: http://www.wsuathletics.com
College Hockey America: http://www.collegehockeyamerica.com
BSU Head Coach Tom Serratore
• Third season at Bemidji State, third season as a collegiate head coach; 37-39-15 record.