No. 18 Beavers travel to Alaska to open WCHA series with the Nanooks

No. 18 Beavers travel to Alaska to open WCHA series with the Nanooks
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
No. 18 Beavers travel to Alaska to open WCHA series with the Nanooks

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men's hockey team takes its 6-2-0 overall record and perfect 6-0-0 mark in league play to Alaska this weekend to battle the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The two-game series will get underway at 10:07 p.m. Friday from Carlson Center. The series finale is also set for a 10:07 p.m. opening faceoff.

The Beavers open the series riding a three-game unbeaten streak versus the Nanooks and are 8-3-2 all-time versus, which includes a 2-1-1 mark in in games played at Carlson Center.

Bemidji State Notables:
• Bemidji State improved to 6-2-0 on the season in 6-0-0 in WCHA Oct. 28-29 with a 2-1 overtime victory versus Alaska Anchorage Friday and a 4-0 win Saturday.  

• In its 61st season, BSU, which is 1,053-584-120 all-time, ranks second only to Boston College in all-time wining percentage (.634).

• At 6-0-0 in league play, the Beavers sit atop the WCHA standings. Since the Beavers joined the WCHA for the 2010-11 season, the earliest BSU had previously climbed to six wins was Dec. 10 of the 2011-12 season.

• The last time BSU opened a conference season with six or more consecutive wins was the 2009-10 campaign. BSU went 8-0-0 to open that season en route to a CHA regular-season title and an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.

• BSU head coach Tom Serratore is in his 16th season as head coach at his Alma Mater (’87). He is 250-242-67 (.504).

• Serratore logged his 250th victory at Bemidji State Saturday. He is second all-time in wins at BSU behind legendary R.H. Bob Peters (704) and ranks 22nd among active coaches.

• Michael Bitzer has backstopped the Beavers to a 6-2-0 start. He owns a 6-0-0 record in league play with a .975 save percentage and 0.50 GAA. He leads the WCHA is save percentage, GAA and winning percentage (1.00).

• Bitzer leads the country in minutes played (478:27), shutouts (3) and wins (6), is fifth in goals against average (1.38 ), and is ninth in save percentage (.941) and saves (176).

• Saturday night’s shutout was Bitzer’s third of the season and the 13th of his career. With it, he surpassed BSU great and former NHLer Matt Climie (2004-08) for BSU’s career shutouts record.

• After registering just six points (1g-5a) in 39 games as a sophomore a year ago, Brett Beauvais is second on the team in scoring this season with six points (2g-4a) through the Beavers’ first eight games.

• Gerry Fitzgerald has logged at least a point in the Beavers’ last four games (1g-4a) and has moved into the lead for BSU’s top scoring honors. Last season he posted 14 goals and 11 assists to match Brendan Harms for the team’s lead in scoring.

• Phillip Marinaccio logged his third career game-winning goal Friday. He has figured in on the scoring in three of BSU’s six game-winners this season (1g-2a).

• Kyle Bauman has four points in BSU’s last five games (2g-2a).

• Jay Dickman, Adam Lovick, Dylan McCrory and T.J. Roo all logged firsts versus UAA. Dickman and Lovick each posted their first collegiate assists (it was Lovick’s BSU debut), while McCrory and Roo each scored their first collegiate goals.

• Bemidji State held Alaska Anchorage scoreless on seven power-play opportunities in the series to improve to 35-of-37 (.946) this season. The BSU unit is fifth in the country.

• BSU has yet to allow a power-play goal in WCHA play. The Beavers are 29-for-29 (1.00) to lead the league.

• The Beavers netted a power-play goal in each game of the UAA series. BSU is now 8-for-43 (.186) overall and 6-for-32 (.188) in WCHA play to rank third in the league.

• Brendan Harms leads all BSU players in power-play scoring this season.  All three of his goals have come on the man advantage. He has two power-play goals in BSU’s last four games.

• No. 1 North Dakota led BSU for more than 40 minutes Oct. 22. Still through seven games, the Beavers have trailed for just 47:29 and have held a lead for 314:19 of 482:05 minutes played.

• This season, the Beavers have been the first to score in each of their eight games played and have out scored their opponents 10-2 in the first period.

• BSU is 8-3-2 all-time versus Alaska Fairbanks and is 2-1-1 in games played at Carlson Center.

• BSU is unbeaten in its last three versus Alaska (2-0-1) and are 5-1-1 versus the Nanooks since Jan. 25, 2014.

• This season BSU is 2-0-0 on Olympic ice.  Last season the Beavers were 3-1-2 on the larger sheet and averaged nearly 3.0 goals per game while allowing under 2.0. BSU’s power-play connected on 7-of-28 (.250) attempts.

• Brendan Harms leads all current BSU players versus Alaska, averaging one point per game. In 10 career games versus the Nanooks, the senior has 10 points (4g-6a) which includes a pair of power-play goals.

• Nate Arentz (4g-2a) and Charlie O’Connor (4g-1a) have also fared well versus Alaska. Each has four goals.

• In net, Reid Mimmack has a 2-0-0 record with a 3.87 goals against average and .864 save percentage versus Alaska, while Michael Bitzer is 1-1-1 versus the Nanooks, he has a 1.96 goals against averse and a .917 save percentage.