Bemidji State set for rare Wednesday/Friday series at Princeton

Bemidji State set for rare Wednesday/Friday series at Princeton
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Bemidji State set for rare Wednesday/Friday series at Princeton

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Bemidji State (4-4-2; 2-3-1-1 WCHA) hits the road for a non-conference series versus Princeton University, Nov. 22 and 24. The Beavers look to stop a pair of trends in the rare Wednesday-Friday series as BSU is coning off a pair of losses to Minnesota State and look to avenge two losses to Princeton a year ago. The series is set for Hobey Baker Arena in Princeton, N.J. with a 7 p.m. (EST) opening face off each night.

A series that got its start in 1999, BSU and Princeton have met on only four previous occasions. The Tigers used 4-1 and 3-1 victories a year ago at Sanford Center to even the series at 2-2-0.  

This is the first time the team have met in New Jersey.

Bemidji State notables:

• Bemidji State was swept in a WCHA regular-season series for the first time since Dec. 11-12 2015 in its last action (Nov. 10-11). Then-no. 10/11Minnesota State earned a 5-2 victory Friday in Bemidji, Minn. before winning a wild 8-6 series finale.

• The Nov. 11th 14-goal affair with the Mavericks marked the first time BSU had allowed eight-or-more goals since an 8-0 loss to Ferris State, March 14, 2014. It also stood as the first time BSU logged at least six goals in more than a year (Nov. 4, 2016) , and was the first time BSU had combined with its opponent for at lease 14 goals since an 11-3 loss to St. Cloud State Dec. 15, 2001.

• When scoring five-or-more goals in a game since the 1999-2000 season, BSU is now 103-5-4. The last time BSU scored five-or-more and lost was a 7-5 loss to Robert Morris in the College Hockey America tournament semifinal game March 10, 2007.

• This season, BSU is without a win when failing to score three goals (0-2-1).

• BSU has allowed three or more goals four times this season and is 0-4-0 in those games.

• The Beavers dip to 4-4-2 overall and 2-3-1-1 in league play and slide to seventh place in the league standings.

• Last season BSU was 20-6-2 in league play to claim the MacNaughton Cup the regular-season crown with two games to play.
• BSU head coach Tom Serratore is in his 16th season as head coach at his Alma Mater (’87). He is 270-258-73 (.510).

• Senior Kyle Bauman posted his team-leading sixth goal of the season Nov. 10. He now has seven points  (6g-1a) in BSU’s five Friday contests, while he recorded his first Saturday point logging a career-best three assists in the series finale.

• BSU’s leading scorer Gerry Fitzgerald (3g-9a) extended his scoring streak to eight games Saturday with his team-best ninth assist of the season. He now has two goals and six assists in those games.

• Junior Jay Dickman recorded his first collegiate hat trick Nov. 11 leading BSU with three goals.  It was the first BSU hat trick since Oct. 25, 2013. He now has 24 points (14g-10a) in 67 games as a Beaver.

• Sophomore Adam Brady logged the second multi-assist game of his career Nov. 11. He has two goals and four assists in 10 games for BSU and ranks fourth on the team in scoring.

• Freshman Ethan Somoza recorded the first point of his collegiate career Nov. 11. He has one assist in six appearances for BSU.

• Despite playing  40 games prior to Nov. 11, junior MIke Soucier (3g-1a) netted his first assists in the 8-6 loss to MSU.

• Freshman Charlie Combs scored his first goal as a Beaver in teh Nov. 11 loss.

• Bitzer completed the weekend with 2,579 saves. He is 96 stops from Chuck Scanlon (1971-75) and third place (2,657) on BSU’s all-time saves list.

• At 53-45-13 in his BSU career, Bitzer is eighth at BSU all time and in sole possession of the BSU Division I-era victories lead.

• His 18 career shutouts is a BSU all-time record and stands as the mark for career shuts for a WCHA goaltender.

• BSU’s opponents have been the first to score in seven of their 10 games this season. BSU is 3-4-0 in those games.

• The BSU penalty-kill unit surrendered its first power-play goal since Oct. 27 in the opening game of the series.  Saturday the team got back on track snuffing out all three of MSU’s power-play chances to move to 33-of-35 in 2017-18. The Beavers rank third in the country (.943) in penalty-kill percentage. At 19-of-21 (.905) in WCHA play, BSU is second  only to Ferris State (.929).

• BSU was 0-for-3 on the power-play Nov. 10 marking the end of a three-game power-play goal streak during which the Beavers were 5-for-14 (.357), but bounced back in the finale with a 2-for-5 performance.  BSU is  11-for-41 (.268) on the season to rank seventh nationally and its 7-for-25 (.280) in WCHA play to rank third.

• Bemidji State was off Nov. 17-18 and now shifts its focus away from WCHA play to Princeton in a rare Wednesday-Friday series in Prenceton, N.J., Nov. 22 and 24.

• The series will mark BSU’s first trip to Hobey Baker Rink and the fifth and sixth meetings since the teams first met in 1999. BSU is 2-2-0 all-time versus the Tigers. Last season, Princeton swept the Beavers at home (Nov. 25-26) 4-1 and 3-1 to even the series.

• No current BSU player has logged a point versus the Tigers.  All point production a year ago came from its 2016-17 series class.

• Michael Bitzer is the only current BSU goaltender with any experience versus Princeton. He is 0-1-0 with a .3.08 GAA and .885 save percentage.

• BSU is 5-8-5 all-time versustcurrent members of the ECAC.

• Sophomore defenseman Zach Whitecloud will be back with the Beavers, Nov. 22 and 24 after playing with Team Canada in the Karjala Cup in Switzerland and Finland Nov. 8-12. He has four assists in eight games for BSU this season.