Beavers jump back into WCHA play at Lake Superior State

Beavers jump back into WCHA play at Lake Superior State
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Beavers jump back into WCHA play at Lake Superior State

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).