Bitzer earns WCHA Defensive Player of the Week award

Bitzer earns WCHA Defensive Player of the Week award
Monday, October 31, 2016
Bitzer earns WCHA Defensive Player of the Week award

EDINA, Minn. – Bemidji State University goaltender Michael Bitzer has been selected for Western Collegiate Hockey Association Defensive Player of the Week honors after leading the Beavers to a two-game WCHA series sweep of the University of Alaska Anchorage, Oct. 28-29.

Bitzer set Bemidji State’s career shutout record and helped the No. 18 Beavers remain undefeated in WCHA play (6-0-0), posting a .969 save percentage and a league-best 0.49 goals-against average in a sweep of visiting Alaska Anchorage. The junior from Moorhead, Minn. passed BSU great Matt Climie (2004-08) and entered the school record books Saturday night with his 13th career shutout (most among active NCAA goaltenders), a 17-save effort in a 4-0 win. Bitzer made 14 saves in a 2-1, overtime win Friday. He also helped Bemidji State’s penalty-kill unit to a perfect 7-for-7 mark on the weekend.

In addition to Bitzer, Ferris State University's Gerald Mayhew was named offensive player of the week and Michigan Tech goaltender Angus Redmond earned the league's rookie of the week honor.

This marks the ninth of Bitzer’s collegiate career and the Beavers’ third WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season. Bitzer, who also earned the Oct. 17 award follows freshman Zack Whitecloud, who was named rookie of the week following his collegiate debut, Oct. 7-8.

The Beavers, now 6-2-0 overall, continues WCHA play this week as it travels to Fairbanks, Alaska for a two-game series at the University of Alaska. Both games are set for a 10:07 p.m. (CST) start.

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 (NSIC).