|March 05, 2016||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||09:18||BSU||Harms, Brendan (Pedan, Ruslan , Eichstadt, Dillon)|
|Shots on Goal||23||38|
MANKATO, Minn. (Verizon Wireless Center) – Michael Bitzer turned aside all 38 shots he faced Saturday to lead the Bemidji State University men's hockey team to a 1-0 victory at (16) Minnesota State University, Mankato and establish a new Beaver Hockey single-season record with his sixth shutout.
Bitzer surpassed BSU greats Blane Comstock (1968-69), Jack Horner (1976-77) and Matt Climie (2007-08) to sit atop the Beavers’ single-season list and his 10 career shutouts are second only to Clime (12).
The goaltender’s performance came on a night when BSU needed it most. The Beavers were outshot 38-23, including Bitzer making 21 saves in the third period along to keep a team that managed only one goal in position to cap the season with a win and improve to 16-14-6 overall and 11-12-5 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play.
Bemidji State scored first, taking a 1-0 lead on Brendan Harm’s eighth goal of the season at the 9:18 mark of the first period. Ruslan Pedan and Dillon Eichstadt were credited with assists on the play.
BSU took a one-goal lead into the first break after out shooting the Mavericks 8-7 in the frame.
The Beavers held a 1-0 lead through the second period, despite being outshot 10-9 in the period and going 0-for-1 on the man advantage.
In the third period, Bitzer and the Beavers held off a determined Maverick squad. BSU was out shot 21-6 in the stanza, including a flurry in the game’s final 1:14 after the Mavericks pulled their goaltender.
Bitzer bounced back from an early exit 24 hours earlier to pick up the shutout victory and improve to 12-14-5.
The Beavers claim the No. 6 seed in the WCHA Playoffs and will travel to the No. 3 seed Bowling Green State University (20-12-6; 16-7-5 WCHA) March 11-13 for a best-of-three series for a berth into the WCHA Final Five March 17-19 at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MIch.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.