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 WCHA series win at then-No. 11 Minnesota State University, Mankato, Nov. 11-12.
Bitzer continued his stellar play, backstopping now-No. 13/14 Bemidji State to a five-point road weekend at MSU. The junior from Moorhead, Minn. collected 57 saves during a pair of overtime contests, while his .966 save percentage and 0.95 goals-against average led all WCHA goaltenders that made two starts last weekend. Bitzer turned aside 25-of-26 shots faced through 65 minutes in a 1-1 tie Friday night, setting the stage for BSU to earn an extra league point with a victory in 3-on-3 overtime. He then recorded a 32-save effort over 61:37 of the Beavers' 2-1, overtime win in Saturday's series finale.
In addition to Bitzer, Bowling Green State University's Kevin Dufour was named offensive player of the week and Michigan Tech forward Gavin Gould earned the league's rookie of the week honor.
This marks the 10th of Bitzer’s collegiate career and the Beavers’ fifth WCHA weekly award of the 2016-17 season. Bitzer, who also earned the Oct. 17 and Oct. 31 awards follows freshman Zack Whitecloud, who was named rookie of the week following his collegiate debut, Oct. 7-8 and Phillip Marinaccio, last week’s WCHA Offensive Player of the Week.
Bemidji State, now 9-2-1 overall and 9-0-1-1 in WCHA play, sits atop the league standings and returns to Sanford center for a two-game WCHA series with Northern Michigan University, Nov. 18-19. The opening faceoff for each game is set for 7:07 p.m. Tickets are still available for both games of the series. Stop by the Sanford Center Bob Lowth Ford Pickup Window to reserve your seat today.
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.