BEMIDJI, Minn. - Bemidji State University and the BSU men’s ice hockey program today announced the fourth group of 10 members, in alphabetical order, of BSU’s 50 Legends for 50 Years Team. The Legends team has been established to recognize the top 50 players in the history of a program which this season is celebrating its 50th season of intercollegiate competition.
Joining the 50 Legends for 50 Years Team are wings Tim and Todd Lescarbeau (1982-86; 1983-87); goaltender Mark Liska (1981-85); defenseman Jim McElmury (1967-71); wing Craig Matatall (1992-96); defenseman Bryce Methven (2000-04); defenseman Chris Morque (1990-94); defenseman John Murphy (1975-79); forward Andrew Murray (2001-05); and center Joel Otto (1980-84).
This year, Bemidji State University and the BSU Athletics Department come together to celebrate the 50th season of competition for one of the most celebrated collegiate men’s ice hockey programs in the history of the sport. The 2005-06 season represents the 50th season of intercollegiate competition for the Beaver men’s ice hockey program, which played its first game on January 18, 1948. The BSU program was on hiatus for 10 years in the 1950s due to the lack of a facility in which to compete.
Throughout 2005-06, Bemidji State athletics will pay special tribute to the men who helped establish the Beaver program over the last 49 seasons. To celebrate this historic anniversary, BSU is announcing a lineup of the 50 greatest players in the history of the program and will recognize those men at a special pre-game ceremony during the Robert Morris series, Feb. 17-18, 2006.
The remaining 50 Legends for 50 Years lineup will be announced 10 players at a time, in alphabetical order, at various times throughout the season leading up to the Robert Morris series. Other events associated with the anniversary celebration are planned and will be announced at later dates throughout the year.
• Tim Lescarbeau (W; 1982-1986; Hopkins, Minn.) – Lescarbeau was a member of Bemidji State’s unbeaten, untied NCAA Division II national champion in 1984 which set collegiate records for most wins in an unbeaten season (31), most consecutive victories (42) and most consecutive home victories (54). He served as BSU’s captain during his senior season, was named First-Team All-Northern Collegiate Hockey Association and finished with a team-leading 35 goals scored. The performance helped him pile up 75-58=133 points for his career to rank 20th all-time at BSU. During Lescarbeau’s final three seasons at BSU, he played with his brother Todd - also a member of BSU’s 50 Legends for 50 Years Team.During Lescarbeau’s time at BSU, the Beavers went 113-21-4.
• Todd Lescarbeau (W; 1983-1987; Hopkins, Minn.) – Lescarbeau was a member of Bemidji State’s unbeaten, untied NCAA Division II national champion in 1984 which set collegiate records for most wins in an unbeaten season (31), most consecutive victories (42) and most consecutive home victories (54). Lescarbeau was a two-time First-Team All-Northern Collegiate Hockey Association honoree in 1986 and 1987, and after his senior year in 1987 he was named NCHA Player of the Year and was a Titan AHCA First-Team All-America selection. He served as BSU’s team captain in 1986-87 and led the team with 25-41=66 points, 41 assists and seven power-play goals. Lescarbeau finished his BSU career with 66-99=164 points, leaving him 11th on the program’s career scoring list, while his 99 assists are tied for sixth all-time at BSU. During Lescarbeau’s first three seasons at BSU, he played with his brother Tim - also a member of BSU’s 50 Legends for 50 Years Team.During his time at BSU, the Beavers went 105-27-4.
• Mark Liska (G; 1981-1985; Mendota Heights, Minn.) – Liska is the only three-time First-Team Titan AHCA All-America honoree in BSU history and is one of two players to earn First-Team All-America honors three times during his career. He also is one of only three BSU players to be named First-Team All-Northern Collegiate Hockey Association three times during his career. Liska posted a 61-10-3 record during his four-year career. His 61 wins rank him fourth all-time at BSU, and he ranks in the Top 10 of nearly every other major goaltending category as well. He is fourth on the program’s career lists for both save percentage (.903) and goals-against average (2.76), and is eighth all-time in saves (2,013) as one of eight netminders in BSU history with at least 2,000 saves. He posted four career shutouts to tie for seventh all-time at BSU, and his 4,717 career minutes played also rank seventh. Liska is one of only three goaltenders in BSU history with at least 60 wins, 2,000 saves and 4,000 minutes played in goal. During his time at BSU the Beavers went 113-17-4.
• Jim McElmury (D; 1967-1971; Cottage Grove, Minn.) – One of two players in Bemidji State history to earn All-America honors after all four years of his collegiate career, McElmury helped propel the Beavers to four consecutive NAIA national championships. McElmury became the fourth sophomore in BSU history to be named team captain when he was so elected for the 1968-69 season, and he captained the Beavers during each of his final three seasons with the program. McElmury finished his career with 34-44=78 points, 15th on BSU’s all-time scoring list for defensemen. His 34 career goals are second-most by a BSU defender, and he is one of just two defenders in school history to score 30 or more goals in his career. During his time at BSU, the Beavers went 83-20-1.
• Craig Matatall (W; 1992-1996; Regina, Saskatchewan) – Matatall was a two-time All-Northern Collegiate Hockey Association honoree, bringing home first-team honors in 1995 and earning a spot on the league’s honorable mention lineup in 1996. He led BSU in goals during his final two seasons, with 21 as a junior and 20 as a senior, and his 66-84=150 points rank him 16th all-time at Bemidji State. Matatall also holds BSU’s all-time record for penalty minutes by a forward, spending 283 minutes in the penalty box during his career - including 100 minutes during his freshman season alone. That was one of only three 100 penalty minute-seasons in BSU history. During Matatall’s career at BSU, the Beavers went 62-32-9.
• Bryce Methven (D; 2000-2004; Mora, Minn.) – One of the dominant defensemen during the early years of College Hockey America, Methven became just the third player in CHA history to earn First-Team All-Conference honors in back-to-back seasons. He was a First-Team All-CHA honoree in 2003, then earned pre-season First-Team All-CHA honors prior to his senior campaign in 2003-04 and culminated his career with a spot on the league’s first team in 2004. Methven finished his career with 16-39=55 points, tied for 30th on BSU’s career scoring list for defensemen, and he ended his career as the sixth-leading scorer amongst defensemen in CHA history. He set BSU all-time records (since broken) for most career games played (140) and most consecutive games played (139). During his four-year career, BSU posted a record of 50-71-20.
• Chris Morque (D; 1990-1994; Grand Forks, N.D.) – Morque made his mark at Bemidji State on the scoreboard and in the penalty box, finishing his career as the program’s all-time leader in penalty minutes and as the second-highest scoring defenseman in school history. Morque was a three-time All-Northern Collegiate Hockey Association selection, earning honorable mention honors as a sophomore in 1992 and first-team honors during his final two seasons at BSU. In 1994, he was named First-Team Titan AHCA West All-America. Morque finished his career with 28-79=107 points, second-most all-time by a BSU defenseman and one of only two defensemen to top 100 career points. His 107 points tie him for 38th all-time at BSU at all positions. Morque’s 28 career goals rank fourth all-time amongst BSU defensemen while his 79 assists are tied for second and just two shy of the school career record. He twice led BSU in penalty minutes with 107 as a sophomore in 1991-92 and a school-record 112 as a senior in 1993-94 en route to a BSU career-record 345 penalty minutes. During his time at BSU, the Beavers went 82-31-11.
• John Murphy (C; 1975-1979; Bovey, Minn.) – A two-time NAIA All-America selection in 1977 and 1979, Murphy ended his BSU career with 71-98=169 points to rank ninth all-time at BSU. His 98 career assists rank eighth in BSU history. Murphy helped propel BSU to four consecutive conference championships and led the Beavers to the 1979 NAIA national championship. He led the team in goals (27), assists (35) and total points (62) in 1979. During his time at BSU, the Beavers went 98-20-4.
• Andrew Murray (C; 2001-2005; Selkirk, Manitoba) – Murray was the first player in Bemidji State history to begin his career during the program’s Division I era and depart amongst the program’s all-time Top 50 in scoring. BSU’s Division I-era career leader in points scored (115) and assists (69), Murray put up 46-69=115 points during his career to rank 30th all-time at BSU. He also became the first Division I-era player at BSU to earn All-America honors, as he was named Third-Team All-U.S. College Hockey Online in 2005. Murray was a three-time team captain, and became just the sixth sophomore in school history to be named a captain as a sophomore. He entered BSU as an eighth-round draft pick of the Columbus Bluejackets, and was the first NHL draftee recruited by BSU after the program moved to Division I. He is the only player in College Hockey America history to earn the conference’s Player of the Year and Student-Athlete of the Year awards during the same season, bringing home both honors after his 2005 senior campaign. During Murray’s career at BSU, the Beavers posted a 69-58-17 and posted the program’s only two 20-win seasons as a Division I program.
• Joel Otto (C; 1980-1984; Elk River, Minn.) – Perhaps the most-decorated athlete in Bemidji State history, Otto was a three-time All-America selection, a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Player of the Year, a Hobey Baker Award winner, a U.S. Olympian and a Stanley Cup champion. Otto helped the 1984 BSU squad make history en route to the school’s first NCAA Division II National Championship and only the second perfect season in NCAA hockey history at 31-0-0. BSU set a college hockey record for most wins in an undefeated season and remain one of just five unbeaten, untied teams in the history of the sport. The perfect season helped BSU build a 42-game winning streak, another still-standing collegiate record. Otto captained BSU’s 1983-84 national champions, scoring 32-43=75 points and leading the team in assists, scoring and short-handed goals (4). Otto earned Division II All-America honors for his efforts. In addition, Otto was the 1984 recepient of college hockey’s most prestigious honor, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award (Division II). Otto departed Bemidji State in 1984 and went on to a lengthy career in the NHL. He played 14 seasons for the Calgary Flames (1984-’95) and Philadelphia Flyers (1995-’98), finishing his career with 195-313=508 points in 943 games played. In 1996, Otto helped drive Team USA to the World Cup of Hockey championship as an alternate captain. On Oct. 17, 2003, Otto became the first player in Bemidji State history to have his jersey number retired. During his time at BSU, the Beavers went 110-18-2.