BEMIDJI, Minn. — The Bemidji State University men’s hockey team takes its 8-2-0 overall record and perfect 8-0-0 mark in league play to Mankato, Minn. this weekend to battle the Minnesota State University. The two-game series will get underway at 7:07 p.m. Friday from the Verizon Wireless Center. The series finale is set for a 7:07 p.m. opening face-off Saturday.
The Beavers split with the Mavericks last season when the teams met in Mankato, Minn. (L, 6-1, W, 1-0) and look to improve upon that success this weekend seeking their fifth series sweep of the young 2016-17 season.
Bemidji State Notables:
• Bemidji State improved to 8-2-0 on the season in 8-0-0 in WCHA following a 6-2 and 3-1 series sweep at Alaska., Nov. 4-5. The Beavers moved to No. 15 in the USCHO.com poll—its highest rank since it was No. 10 March 22, 2010.
• BSU head coach Tom Serratore begins his 16th season as head coach at his Alma Mater (’87). He is 252-242-67 (.504).
• Michael Bitzer has backstopped the Beavers to a 8-2-0 start. He owns a 8-0-0 record in league play with a .938 save percentage and 1.40 goals against average.
• Bitzer leads the country in wins (8) and shutouts (3), is second in goals against average (1.40 ), seventh in save percentage (.938) and 13th in saves (213).
• Bemidji State allowed its first power-play goal in league play Friday, snapping a streak of 33 consecutive opportunities killed. The Beavers went 7-for-9 versus Alaska to improve to 36-of-38 (.947) to lead the WCHA and 42-of-46 (.913) overall. The BSU unit is seventh in the country.
• The Beavers netted four power-play goals versus Alaska, going 4-for-8 on the weekend. BSU is now 12-for-51 (.235) overall and 10-for-40 (.250) in WCHA play to lead the league.
• Gerry Fitzgerald (3g-4a) leads all Beavers in power-play scoring, netting seven of his 10 (4g-6a) points this season on the man advantage.
• BSU is now 4-2-0 away from Sanford Center this season and has averaged 3.17 goals per game on the road, while allowing 1.83.
• At 8-0-0, the Beavers sit atop the WCHA standings. The last time BSU opened a conference season with nine consecutive wins was the 1994-95 campaign in NCHA play. BSU finished 16-3-1 in NCHA play and won the NCAA Division II title.
• Gerry Fitzgerald has logged at least a point in the Beavers’ last six games (3g-5a) and leads BSU in scoring with 10 points (4g-6a). Last season he posted 14 goals and 11 assists to match Brendan Harms for the team’s lead in scoring.
• Phillip Marinaccio logged his fourth career game-winning goal Friday. He has figured in on the scoring in five of BSU’s eight game-winners this season (2g-3a).
• Kyle Bauman has six points in BSU’s last seven games (4g-2a).
• Freshman Zach Whitecloud leads all BSU rookies and is tied for sixth among all Beavers in scoring with five points (1g-5a). He is tied for second in WCHA defensemen scoring with five points (1g-4a) in league play. All of his points have come on the power play.
• Following a four-point weekend in Alaska, Charlie O’Connor has netted six points in BSU’s last four games (2g-4a).
• Brendan Harms collected a goal and an assist in the series finale at Alaska. The two-point night marked the first multi-point effort of the year for the senior. He leads all BSU players with 12 career multi-point games.
• No. 1 North Dakota led BSU for more than 40 minutes Oct. 22. Still through eight games, the Beavers have trailed for just 47:29 and have held a lead for 392:58 of 602:05 minutes played--that’s 65-percent.
• This season, the Beavers have been the first to score in each of their 10 games played and have out scored their opponents 12-3 in the first period.
• O’Connor logged his 40th collegiate point Friday. He now has 23 goals and 19 assists in 117 games played for BSU.
• With three series sweeps in the entire 2015-16 season, BSU already has four in five series in 2016-17.
• In BSU’s last three games, the Beavers have out scored their opponents 8-1 in the third period and 16-6 from the third period on this season.
• The Beavers have out shot their opponents 235-158 in league play, which includes a 124-71 differential in the last three league games alone.
• Bemidji State continues its road swing as it travels to Mankato, Minn. for a top-15 match up with No. 11 Minnesota State University, Mankato.
• BSU leads a series with Minnesota State that began in 1974, 50-48-13 and are 17-30-8 all time in Mankato. But since both BSU and MSU moved to the Division I level, the Beavers trail the Mavericks 11-28-2.
• Brendan Harms leads all current Beavers with seven points (2g-5a) in 13 collegiate games versus MSU.
• Gerry Fitzgerald has piled up five points (2g-3a) in nine games versus the Mavericks. Both of his goals have come on the man advantage, with one standing as a game winner.