Beavers hit the road for a WCHA clash with Northern Michigan

Beavers hit the road for a WCHA clash with Northern Michigan
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Beavers hit the road for a WCHA clash with Northern Michigan

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men's hockey team makes its first road trip of the 2016-17 season this weekend as it travels to Marquette, Mich. for a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association matchup with Northern Michigan University.

BSU is 5-4-3 all-time versus the Wildcats, including a 3-1-2 edge in games played at Berry Events Center, since the series got its start in 2009.

This weekend's game times are set for 6:07 p.m. and can be heard live locally on 103.7 FM and around the globe online at

The Beavers take their 2-0-0 record to Marquette on the heels of a 2-1 and 4-1 sweep of WCHA preseason favorite Bowling Green State University, Oct. 7-8.


Bemidji State Notables
• The Bemidji State University men’s hockey program opened its 61st year of hockey with a sweep of WCHA rival and No. 15 Bowling Green State University, Oct. 7-8. BSU posted a 2-1 win in the opener and followed with a 4-1 victory Saturday.

• The sweep marked BSU’s first of the season and the first time the Falcons have been swept since Feb. 20 and 21, 2015.

• Including Friday’s win, since first fielding a men’s hockey team in 1947-48, the Beavers are 44-15-2 in season openers (.738) and are 45-14-2 in home openers (.754).

• BSU head coach Tom Serratore begins his 16th season as head coach at his Alma Mater (’87). He is 246-240-67 (.504).

• Phillip Marinaccio led all BSU players with three points on the weekend (3a), which included assists on the game-winning goal each night.

• Marinaccio posted the first multi-point game of his 108-game career, Saturday with two assists.

• Zach Whitecloud, Dylan McCrory, Tommy Muck and Hampus Sjodahl, BSU rookies this season, made their collegiate debuts this weekend. Whitecloud played in both games and recorded his first goal a Beaver in Friday’s 2-1 victory and first assist the following night.

• Seven different players recorded multi-point weekends to open the season.

• Dan Billett posted two assists Saturday to collect his first collegiate multi-point game.

• Myles Fitzgerald and Charlie O’Connor each picked up their first game-winning goals of the year in the series.

• Brett Beauvais showed his veteran leadership on the BSU blue line leading all defenders with three points in the series (1g-2a) and a team-best six blocked shots, while owning a +3 plus/minus rating.

• Michael Bitzer backstopped the Beavers to a pair of wins versus Bowling Green.  He is now 2-0-0 on the season with a 1.00 GAA, and a .955 save percentage. He allowed two goals, including a shot-handed goal, in 119:53 of play.

• Bemidji State opened the season with a pair of penalty-kill shutouts. The Beavers held the Falcons without a power-play goal in 13 opportunities, snuffing out five chances Friday and eight Saturday.

• The BSU power-play unit was 2-or-12 (.167) on the weekend. Whitecloud was inserted into the Beavers’ power-play unit and contributed. He had a hand in both of the Beavers’ power-play goals (1g-1a).

• Through two games, the Beavers have not trailed for a single second and have held a lead for 89:47 of 120 minutes played.

• BSU now hits the road for a WCHA series at Northern Michigan.  The Beavers are 5-4-3 all-time versus the Wildcats in a series that got its start in 2009. BSU is 2-1-2 in its last five meetings with NMU.

• Last season, the Beavers were 10-7-2 on the road.

• BSU holds a 3-1-2 edge in series games played in Marquette. The Beavers only loss to the Wildcats on their home ice came in the series finale, 3-1.

• The Beavers have out scored NMU 2.55 to 1.17 when playing in Marquette.

• Kyle Bauman leads all current Beavers averaging 0.50 points per game versus the Wildcats. He has three assists in six career games versus NMU.

• Goaltender Michael Bitzer is 3-1-1 all-time versus NMU, which includes a pair of shutouts. He carries a career 0.99 GAA and .959 save percentage versus NMU into the series.

• A win or tie Friday in Marquette would give the Beavers their first three-game WCHA unbeaten streak since BSU was 3-0-1 Jan. 2-9 last winter versus Alaska and Alaska Anchorage.

• Bemidji State seeks its first 3-0-0 start to a season since it went 4-0-0 to open the 2005-06 season.

• BSU was 3-1-2 on Olympic ice last season and averaged nearly 3.0 goals per game while allowing under 2.0. It’s power-play connected on 7-of-28 (.250) attempts, while its penalty-kill was 20-for-24 (.833).