Bemidji State takes its seven-game unbeaten streak on the road

Bemidji State takes its seven-game unbeaten streak on the road
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Bemidji State takes its seven-game unbeaten streak on the road

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men's hockey team takes its four-game wining and seven-game unbeaten streak on the road this weekend for a two-game series at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

The Beavers (9-6-5; 6-4-4-2 WCHA) look to carry their recent home success onto the road as the team makes its first road trip since a Dec. 1-2 trek to Bowling Green, Ohio to face the Falcons. In order to continue its recent winning trend, BSU will have to bring its best game as the Beavers trail the Lakers 28-23-4 in series that got its start in 1966. In the last three calendar years, BSU has just two wins versus LSSU, but the Beavers are 2-1-2 the last five meetings with the Lakers, including a series split in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Fevb 12-13, 2016.

Opening face off is set for 6:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday from LSSU's Taffy Abel Arena.

Bemidji State notables:
• Bemidji State picked up its third and fourth consecutive wins and stretched its unbeaten streak to seven games (4-0-3) Dec. 29-30 with 3-1 and 4-1 wins versus Alabama-Huntsville. The Beavers move to 9-6-5 overall and 6-4-4-2 in league play to sit in fifth place in the league standings.

• BSU’s six-game unbeaten streak is its longest stretch without a loss since an eight-game streak (7-0-1) from Oct. 28-Nov. 19, 2016.

• During its current streak, BSU has averaged 3.43 goals per game, while allowing just 1.57.

• Friday, BSU topped 40 shots for the second time this season. The Beavers’ 42 shot total was their most since logging 48 versus Bowling Green during a WCHA playoff game March 10, 2017.

• Sophomore Adam Brady led the Beavers in scoring Friday, netting two goals. It was the first multi-goal game of his BSU career and marked his fourth multi-point game of 2017-18. Following a goal Saturday, he has five points in BSU’s last three games (3g-2a).

• BSU is 7-1-1 when Brady logs a point and are unbeaten in the five games in which he has a goal (4-0-1).

• Zach Whitecloud logged the first goal of his 2017-18 season Friday. It marked the end of a 21-game goal drought dating back to March 3, 2017. His eight points (1g-7a) is second among BSU defenders.

• Whitecloud posted the game wining goals in each game of BSU’s series sweep of UAH. They were the first GWGs of his career.

• Jay Dickman logged an assist Friday and a goal Saturday. He now has seven points (5g-2a) in BSU’s last four outings.

• BSU is 3-0-1 when Dickman posts an assist in 2017-18.

• T.J. Roo’s assist Friday was his third of the season. After logging just one point in his first nine appearances, Roo has three points in his last five games.

• Gerry Fitzgerald led BSU to victory Saturday, logging a goal and two assists. It was his team-leading sixth multi-point of the year, matching a career-high three points.

• Despite seeing his four-game point streak come to an end Friday, Myles Fitzgerald got back on track with an assist Saturday. He has six points (4g-2a) in BSU’s last six games.

• BSU head coach Tom Serratore is in his 17th season as head coach at his Alma Mater (’87). He is 275-262-75 (.507).

• Michael Bitzer enters the Jan. 5-6 series with 2,780 saves. Dec. 15 he surpassed Grady Hunt, who had 2,717 saves (2000-04), to move into second place on BSU’s all-time saves list. All-time leader Steve O’Shea has the BSU record with 3,065 stops.

• At 58-44-15 in his BSU career, Bitzer moved past Steve O’Shea for seventh on BSU’s all-time victories list and is in sole possession of the BSU Division I-era victories lead.

• His 19 career shutouts is a BSU all-time record and stands as the mark for career shuts for a WCHA goaltender. In addition he ranks third on the NCAA all-time shuts list.

• The BSU penalty-kill unit was 4-for-5 Dec. 29-30 to move to 57-of-63 in 2017-18. The Beavers rank second in the country (.905) for the nation’s most efficient unit. At 40-of-44 (.909) BSU leads the WCHA.

• BSU was 0-for-3 on the power-play Friday and 1-for-4 Saturday.  BSU is 167-of-74 (.230) this season and is second in the WCHA at 13-of-54 (.241) in league play.

• BSU has allowed three or more goals nine times in 2017-18 and is 1-7-1 in those games. When scoring three or more, BSU is 8-2-2.

• Since Dec. 2, Michael Bitzer is 4-0-3 with a 1.52 goals against average and a .932 save percentage. In BSU’s first 13 games, Bitzer was 4-5-2 with a 2.70 GAA and a .899 save percentage.

• BSU will now travel to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich Jan. 5-6 for its first road test since a trip to Bowling Green, Dec. 1-2. The Beavers are 2-3-2 on the road in 2017-18 and have averaged 2.29 goals per game while surrounding 2.71 away from Sanford Center.

•Gerry Fitzgerald leads all current Beavers in road scoring. He has two goals, including a game-winner, and four assists in seven road games this season.

• Dating back to 1966, BSU is 23-28-4 when facing Lake Superior State, which includes a 11-14-1 record when playing in Mich.

• Of all current BSU players, only 11 points have been logged versus LSSU despite totaling 69 games played. Myles Fitzgerald (3a) and Kyle Bauman (1g-2a) lead the team in points versus the Lakers.

• Michael Bitzer is the only current BSU goaltender with any experience versus LSSU. He is 2-4-1 with a .908 save percentage and 1.87 goals against average.