Bemidji State announces 2005-06 men’s ice hockey schedule
Thursday, June 9, 2005
Home game with 2005 Frozen Four participant North Dakota highlights 14-game non-conference slate

BEMIDJI, Minn. - [2005-06 schedule] Six games against both the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and Central Collegiate Hockey Association, including a home-and-home series with 2005 Frozen Four participant North Dakota, highlight Bemidji State’s 34-game 2005-06 men’s ice hockey schedule as announced today by head coach Tom Serratore. BSU will also play its traditional 20-game College Hockey America schedule, where it will pursue its third consecutive regular-season CHA championship.

After playing a balanced schedule of 17 home and 17 road games a year ago, BSU tilts in favor of away contests this season with 15 home games and 19 on the road. The Beavers will play eight of their first 10 contests away from home, hosting only Minnesota State on Oct. 14-15. After Game 2 of that series, BSU is not home again until Dec. 2 against Niagara - a span of 47 days.

For the second consecutive season, BSU’s non-conference slate focuses on the WCHA and CCHA. BSU plays six games, including its first four of the season against WCHA foes. The Beavers continue their annual rivalries with the Minnesota State Mavericks and Minnesota, Duluth Bulldogs in intra-state series entering their fourth and seventh consecutive seasons, respectively. BSU and UMD will square off for the “Babe the Blue Ox” traveling trophy, the only traveling trophy involving BSU hockey, for the third consecutive season and will be seeking its first win.

BSU also plays a home-and-home with 2005 Frozen Four participant North Dakota, hosting the Fighting Sioux on Dec. 16 before making a Dec. 17 trip to Grand Forks. The Dec. 16 game will mark UND’s first visit to Bemidji since March 2-3, 2001.

The CCHA also factors heavily in BSU’s 2005-06 non-conference slate, as for the second consecutive year six games against that league dot BSU’s schedule. The Beavers cap a two-year battle with Ferris State, traveling to Big Rapids, Mich. Nov. 18-19; play host to small college-era arch-rival Lake Superior State on Dec. 9-10; and travel to Western Michigan on Feb. 10-11.

BSU’s Dec. 9 home game with Lake Superior State will mark the first trip to Bemidji for the Lakers’ program since March 6, 1974, when LSSU downed BSU in the finals of the 1974 NAIA National Championship. The Beavers and Lakers met for the NAIA national title three times from 1969-74, with BSU winning twice.

The Beavers will also make a two-game foray into the ECAC Hockey League, Dec. 30-31, when they participate in Vermont’s holiday tournament. The Beavers will tackle Clarkson in the first round, then face off against either Dartmouth or Vermont on Day 2. BSU has never played Dartmouth or Vermont in its hockey history; they are the only two foes on BSU’s 2005-06 schedule against which the Beavers have not played.

Not including its second-round game against either Dartmouth or Vermont in Vermont’s holiday tournament on Dec. 31, BSU’s 2005-06 non-conference opponents posted an aggregate 2004-05 record of 88-118-31 (.448). Dartmouth and Vermont posted nearly-identical records a year ago, with Dartmouth going 20-13-2 while Vermont posted a 21-14-4 mark. BSU will play two teams which won 20 or more games a year ago, with North Dakota posting a 25-15-5 mark and either Dartmouth or Vermont in the Holiday Tournament. Aside from those three teams, the other five non-conference opponents finished below .500, with Ferris State (22), Lake Superior State (22) and Clarkson (23) each losing 22 or more games.

BSU will play a 20-game schedule against College Hockey America opposition, beginning Oct. 28-29, 2005 at Air Force. BSU plays its first four CHA games on the road before welcoming Niagara to the John S. Glas Fieldhouse on Dec. 2-3, 2005. The Beavers then take more than a month off from CHA play before closing their regular season with 14 CHA games in their last 16 starts, beginning Jan. 6-7, 2006 at Robert Morris. The final month of the season could again decide the CHA regular-season title, as BSU plays Ala.-Huntsville four times in four weeks, hosts Robert Morris (Feb. 17-18, 2006) and travels to Niagara (Feb. 24-25, 2006).

Following the regular season, Bemidji State will seek its second consecutive College Hockey America Tournament championship, March 10-12, 2006. The host site for the 2006 CHA Tournament has yet to be announced by the league office. BSU has reached the championship game of the CHA Tournament each of the last three years.

Bemidji State finished its 2004-05 season with a 23-13-1 record, setting a school Division I-era record for wins and posting the second-most wins in a single season by a member of College Hockey America. The Beavers became the third team in the history of CHA to win both the league’s regular-season and conference tournament championships in the same season and tied their own CHA single-season record by winning 16 games in conference regular-season play. The CHA Tournament championship propelled BSU to its first NCAA Tournament appearance as a Division I program, where it took the now two-time national champion Denver Pioneers into overtime.

BSU finished the 2004-05 season ranked No. 15 in the nation in the USA Today / USA Hockey Magazine Poll, marking the program’s first ranking in a final poll since making the move to Division I in 1999.

2005-06 Schedule notes:
• BSU’s 34-game schedule is split into 15 home games and 19 road games. The 15 home games are the fewest for the team since 2003-04 when BSU played just 14 games on its home ice.

• Eight of BSU’s first 10 games in 2005-06 will be played on the road. It will mark the most road contests in the first 10 games of a season in school history. Previously, the Beavers had played seven of their first 10 games on the road to open a season in 1970-71 and 1984-85.

• BSU will have a span of 47 days between home games from Oct. 15, when it hosts Minnesota State, to Dec. 2, when it hosts Niagara.

• For the second consecutive year, BSU will play six games against the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. In its first five years of Division I competition, BSU played just nine games against CCHA foes.

• BSU does not have an Atlantic Hockey (formerly MAAC) opponent on its schedule for the first time since 2000-01.

• BSU has five bye weeks on its 2005-06 schedule: Oct. 21-22, 2005; Nov. 4-5, 2005; Nov. 25-26, 2005; Dec. 23-24, 2005; and Jan. 27-28, 2006.