Beavers open WCHA Playoffs at regular season champion Ferris State
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Beavers open WCHA Playoffs at regular season champion Ferris State

BEMIDJI, Minn. --The No. 8 seeded Bemidji State University men's hockey team travels to Big Falls, Mich. this weekend to face the No. 1 seed, Ferris State University, in a best-of-three Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoff series for the right to advance to the WCHA Final Five.

The Beavers finished the regular season with a 10-19-7 overall record and a 10-14-3 mark in league play to wrap up the eighth and final playoff spot by virtue of a tie breaker with Lake Superior State University. The Bulldogs, now 25-9-3 overall with a WCHA mark of 20-6-2, captured the regular season crown, the No.1 seed in the playoffs and the right to host their first round game.

Friday's series opener is set for a 6:07 p.m. CT opening tap at Robert L. Ewigleben Ice Arena. If the series is not settled after a 6:07 p.m. CT start Saturday, the teams will play again Sunday at 4:07 p.m. CT.

Bemidji State Notables:
• The Bemidji State men’s hockey team suffered a sweep to end the 2013-14 regular season at Bowling Green. The Falcons took the series opener 5-3 before topping BSU 5-2 in the regular season finale. BSU moves to 10-19-7 overall and 10-14-4 in conference play to settle into a tie for the eighth and the No. 8 and final seed in the 2014 WCHA Playoffs.

• The 2014 playoff berth marks the fourth consecutive WCHA postseason for the Beavers. BSU is 3-5 in the WCHA playoffs, including a 3-2 overtime victory over University of Minnesota Duluth in the quarterfinal round of the 2011 Final Five.

• Under Tom Serratore, BSU has accumulated a postseason record of 15-15-1 in 12 seasons, which has included a WCHA Final Five appearance, three College Hockey America Tournament championships and four NCAA Tournament appearances, most notably, the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four.

• The first round match up with Ferris State marks the first time the Beavers and Bulldogs have met in the postseason.

• Bemidji State is 5-7-0 versus Ferris State all-time. This season, BSU has played FSU tough. The Beavers and Bulldogs traded wins during a Feb. 14-15 series in Bemidji and FSU swept a series in Big Rapids, Mich. Nov. 8-9, although it needed overtime before defeating BSU 5-4 in overtime of the season series opener.

• BSU is 1-6-3 this season when playing teams ranked among the top 15 according to the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll. BSU’s lone win came against its first round opponent, Ferris State. BSU beat, then-No. 4 FSU, 2-1, Feb. 15.

• Sophomore newcomer John Parker netted his third point and second goal as a Beaver March 8. Parker, who has played in just seven games for BSU, enters the postseason with three points in BSU’s last four games.

• When BSU’s opponents score more than one goal this season, BSU has just one win (1-19-7).

• Defender Sam Rendle snapped out of a career-long 12-game scoreless streak March 8 contributing an assist. Prior to Saturday, his last point came Nov. 29 versus Miami.

• Cory Ward leads BSU with a career-best 28 points (18g-10a) this season. His team-leading 18 goals stand as BSU’s top single-season goal scoring output by a sophomore at the Division I level (since 1999-2000) and is the most by any BSU player since Jordan George netted 19 in 2011-12. The last BSU player to score 20-or-more goals in a season was Matt Read in 2010-11 (22).

• With 28 points, BSU’s top scorer Cory Ward sits just two points from becoming the 23rd BSU player since the Beavers moved to the NCAA Division I level, to top 30 points in a single season.

• Not to be overshadowed by Ward, Markus Gerbrandt has a career-high 25 points (15g-10a) and his 15 goals place him in a tie with former Beaver and current Philadelphia Flyers forward Matt Read at 15 on BSU’s sophomore goal scoring list.

• BSU penalty-kill unit enters the 2014 postseason ranked 10th in the nation, snuffing out 132-of-155 (.852) opponent power-play chances, while it ranks fifth in the WCHA killing 101-of-120 (.842) opponent power-play opportunities.

• BSU was 0-for-9 on the power-play in the final weekend of the regular season and is 23-of-153 (.150) on the season, which includes a 18-of-122 clip (.148) in WCHA play to sit ninth in the league.

• BSU has just one power-play goal in its last eight games. Since Feb. 7, BSU is 1-for-29 on the man advantage (.034).

• Markus Gerbrandt leads all BSU players netting a team-best 12 goals and six assists for 18 of his 25 points on the road.

• Cory Ward and Markus Gerbrandt are tied for sixth in the WCHA, each netting 13 goals in league play this season.

• Matt Prapavessis has logged 5g-12a in 27 WCHA games to sit tied for fifth among league blueliners in scoring.

• BSU is 5-9-3 on the road this season (.383), which includes a 5-7-2 (.429) mark in WCHA road games.

• Cory Ward has scored 22 (13g-9a) of his 28 (18g-10a) points in league play to lead BSU and rank 12 in WCHA scoring.

• Markus Gerbrandt leads all current BSU players versus Ferris State. The sophomore has five points (4g-1a) in four career games versus the Bulldogs, which includes the game-wining goal versus FSU Feb. 15.

• Four (1g-3a) of freshman defender Ruslan Pedan’s 13 points (3g-10a) this season have come in four games played versus FSU—That’s over 30 percent of his career scoring.

• BSU is 5-11-3 on the road this season, including a 5-9-2 in WCHA road games.