BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State men's hockey team will face a Western Collegiate Hockey Association competition for the first time since Jan. 23 this weekend as it travels to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. for a two-game league series versus Lake Superior State University.
The Lakers took three of four points from the Beavers Nov. 20 and 21 at Sanford Center, defeating BSU 3-2 to open the series before the teams tied 1-1 in the finale.
LSSU owns a 27-21-3 advantage in the all-time series dating back to 1966, which includes a 13-10-1 mark versus the Beavers in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. With that said, BSU is 4-4-0 at Taffy Abel Arena since 2004-05.
The Beavers improved to 12-11-5 overall with a 2-1 victory at the University of Minnesota Duluth Tuesday. BSU is 7-9-4 in WCHA play to sit sixth in the league standings.
Bemidji State notables:
• Bemidji State defeated Minnesota Duluth Tuesday, 2-1. The Beavers improve to 12-11-5 overall, including a 5-2-1 mark in nonconference play in 2015-16.
• In his 15th season as head coach of the Beavers, Tom Serratore has a career record of 239-234-66 (.504).
• After going 2-9-2 to open the season, goaltender Michael Bitzer is 6-2-2 in his last 10 appearances, has stopped 225-of-241 shots (.934) and has a 1.64 goals against average in 585:05 minutes during that span.
• BSU’s assist leader Brendan Harms (15) posted an assist in each game of the 2016 NSCC, Jan. 30-31. He has a helper in four of BSU’s last five games and has an assist in all four of the NSCC games he has played in during his career.
• Senior forward Markus Gerbrandt has five points in BSU’s last three games (3g-2a).
• His 14th helper of the season Jan. 30 established a new career-high for Gerbrandt.
• BSU’s leading scorer, Gerry Fitzgerald, posted an assist at UMD. He now has a career-high 22 points (12g-10a).
• Since Jan. 1, BSU is unbeaten in nine of 11 games (7-2-2) and has out scored its opponents 36-22.
• BSU is 8-4-2 away from Sanford Center this season, which includes a 6-2-2 mark in WCHA road play.
• Senior defender Graeme McCormack leads all BSU blueliners and is fifth on the team with 15 points (6g-9a). He has a team-best 12 points (4g-8a) on the power play. He is tied for 18th on the national power-play scoring list.
• McCormack has a team-high 59 blocked shots to lead the WCHA and rank 14th in the country.
• The Beavers’ power-play unit is 22-of-105 (.210) in 2015-16, while posting a 16-of-80 (.204) effort in league play to rank second.
• On the season, BSU has surrendered 11 power-play goals in 110 opponent opportunities. At 90 percent (.900), BSU is fourth in the country in penalty-kill success.
• BSU has killed 23 of its opponent’s last 24 power-play chances and is 34-of-36 (.945) since Jan. 3.
• In BSU’s 11 losses this season, it has been out scored 14-3 in the third period and overtime. In its 12 wins and five ties, BSU has out scored its opponents 34-10 in the third period and overtime.
• BSU is 7-2-2 this calendar year, which includes a 5-1-1 mark away from Sanford Center.
• A year ago, Bemidji State went 11-5-2 during the second half of the regular season, which included a seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) from Feb. 13-March 7.
• Junior blueliner Ruslan Pedan logged an assist Jan. 30 to reach the 30-point plateau.
• Kyle Bauman posted a goal and an assist Jan. 31. He finished the weekend with three points (1g-2a) to snap a three-game scoring drought. He has four points (1g-3a) in BSU’s last three outings.
• This season, 10 different BSU players have logged a game-winning goal. Markus Gerbrandt is the only BSU player with more than one game-winner (3).
• BSU is 21-27-3 versus Lake Superior State in a series that got its start in 1966.
• The Beavers travel to Sault Ste. Marie looking for their first win versus LSSU since Jan. 11, 2014—a streak spanning four games (0-3-1).
• The Lakers took three points from the Beavers in a visit to Bemidji, Minn. Nov. 20-21 of this season. After taking the opener, 3-2, LSSU and BSU tied 1-1 in the finale.
• Cory Ward Leads all current BSU players with eight points (4g-4a) in 10 appearances versus the Lakers, which includes a game-winner.
• Markus Gerbrandt also has four goals in nine games versus LSSU and totals six points (4g-2a).
• BSU is 10-13-1 versus the Lakers in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., but is 4-4-0 at Taffy Abel Arena since 2004-05.
• The Beavers are 3-1-2 versus WCHA competition since the start of the 2016 calendar year, but return to league action for the first time since a Jan. 23 1-1 tie with Ferris State at Sanford Center.
• Junior Nate Arentz will play in his 90th game as a Beaver Friday. He has 39 career points (16g-23a).