No. 10 Beavers host Lake Superior State to open 2019-20 WCHA Postseason

No. 10 Beavers host Lake Superior State to open 2019-20 WCHA Postseason
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
No. 10 Beavers host Lake Superior State to open 2019-20 WCHA Postseason

No. 10 Beavers host Lake Superior State to open 2019-20 WCHA Postseason
Beavers look to advance to semifinal round for the first time since 2017

BEMIDJI. Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s hockey team has turned its focus to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association postseason. This weekend the second-seeded Beavers will host the No. 7 seed Lake Superior State University in a best-of-three series to open the league’s postseason tournament.

The series will get underway at 7:07 p.m. Friday with Saturday’s puck drop set for 6:07 p.m. and, if needed, the series will be extended to a 6:07 p.m. start Sunday at Sanford Center.

This weekend’s series marks the 10th straight WCHA postseason appearance for the Beavers and the second consecutive season the Beavers and met in the opening round. A year ago the No. 4 seed LSSU disposed of BSU is back-to-back games (4-2 and 3-1) to end the Beavers’ season.

This season BSU and LSSU has met four time, with BSU holding a 3-0-1 edge in the season series. The Beavers swept a series at Sanford Center Nov. 8-9 with convincing 7-1 and 5-1 wins.  Nov. 29-30, SBU made the trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. and took four-of-6 points after a 4-1 victory and a 2-2 draw that LSSU won in 3-on-3 play.

Tickets for the series still remain and are available at the Sanford Center Box Office beginning at $12 for adults and $8 for youth.

Bemidji State notables:
• Bemidji State recorded a 3-1 win to open its WCHA series No. 2/3 Minnesota State, Friday before falling to the Mavericks 4-1 Saturday. BSU moved to 20-9-5 overall and 20-5-3-2 in WCHA to finish second in the standings and clinch the No. 2 seed.

• BSU's 20 WCHA victories matches its best WCHA win total, a 20-win 2016-17 campaign (20-6-2) that was capped with a regular-season title. It also marks BSU's sixth 20-win season at the NCAA D-I level (since 1999-2000) and its first since 2016-17.

• Now 12-2-2 since Jan. 1, BSU trails only Minnesota State (13-2-1) and American International (13-2-0) across the nation for wins lead during that time, while BSU's (.812) stands tied for third-best second half winning percentage in the NCAA this year.

• Charlie Combs as a point in five of the Beavers' last six games (4g-1a) and 10 of the last 13 games (6g-4a), including the game-winner over Minnesota State Friday.

• Combs' 12th goal of the season Friday brings him to within one of his career-high (13) set as a freshman (2017-18).  

• Despite failing to record of point in BSU's last three contests, Adam Brady holds BSU's scoring lead with a career-high 31 points (17g-14a). He previously netted 27 points (8g-18a) as a sophomore in 2017-18.

• With Brady and Sillinger each over the 30-point plateau, BSU has its first 30-point duo since 2010-11 when Jordan George (17g-19a) and Matt Read (22g-13a) accomplished the feat.

• Aaron Miller netted an assist Friday to increase his career-high point total to 28 (12g-16a). After going without a point from  Jan. 4-31 (six games), he has a point in five of the last eight and has seven points (2g-5a) since.

• On the doorstep of Miller becoming the third BSU player to eclipse 30 in 2019-20, it would be just the third time BSU has had three 30-point men following BSU's 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, both of which were extended into the national tournament.

• Freshman Carter Jones scored the first collegiate goal Feb. 21 and his second Friday. He has  a point in three of four games and has six points (2g-5a) in 27 games as a rookie.

• Elias Rosén posted an assist Friday and now has six helpers in BSU's last eight games. With 18 assists this season he matches Owen Sillinger for the team assist lead. No BSU freshman has had more assists since Jordan George posted 21 in 2009-10.

• With 22 points (4g-18a), Rosén leads WCHA rookies, is second among all WCHA defenders and is tied for the lead among NCAA Division I freshmen defenders in scoring.

• Netting a power-play goal Feb. 21, Adam Brady has 11 of BSU’s 28 power-play goals this season. Brady surpassed Brendan Cook  for BSU Division I-era single-season power-play goal mark. Cook had 10 in both 2003-04 and 2004-05.

• Brady has a team-high 16 points in the man advantage in 2019-20 meaning he has been in on 16 of BSU's 28, or 58 percent, of the Beavers' power-play goals this season. Rosén is second with 13 points (2g-11a) and Muck third with 12 points (3g-9a).

• In the 15 games since Jan. 4, Tommy Muck has 14 points (3g-11a). That accounts for 42-percent of the senior's collegiate scoring (4g-29a) in just eight-percent of the games (146).

• Zach Driscoll is 19-7-4 in net in 2019-20. His .937 save percentage 1.62 goals against average rank third in the country. He is 19-5-3 versus the WCHA and is second in the league in save percentage (.944) and GAA (1.48).

• A win in net March 6 would make Driscoll the second BSU goaltender since 1999-2000 to post 20 wins. Michael Bitzer has the BSU D I-era record with 22 in 2016-17.  Driscoll is currently tied for second with Dan Bakala (09-10) and Matt Dalton (08-09).

• BSU’s sophomores have netted 99 points (42g-57a) to lead the scoring push. The team’s juniors are second with 37 goals and 50 assists for 87 points. It’s three seniors have 61 (24g-37a) and freshman 42 points (8g-34a).

• BSU didn't get a power-play chance in two chances versus MSU. But BSU has 17 power-play goals in its last 15 games (17-for-48). BSU is 28-for-112 (.250) on the season, to sit eighth in the nation, and 27-for-98 (.276) to lead the WCHA.

• Allowing just 10 power-play goals in 103 opportunities this season, no NCAA team has allowed fewer. BSU is third among NCAA Division I teams (.903). At .897 (78-of-87) in WCHA play, BSU is second on the WCHA penalty-kill list.

• The BSU penalty kill this season has been historically good. Prior to this year, the Beavers' best season on the kill was 2016-17 when it was 139-for-158 and finished (.880). BSU's record for fewest power-play goals allowed in a season was 18 in 2017-18.

• The 2019-20 Beavers have five short-handed goals to match 2000-02, 2001-02 and 2009-10 for third in BSU's Division I-era. The 2004-05 Beavers have the program record with seven. Hampus Sjodahl leads BSU this season netting two of his three goals on the penalty-kill.

• BSU has held its opponent to one goal or fewer in 16 of its 33 games this season. It is 15-0-1 in those games.

• The Beavers have allowed a BSU Division I-era low record of 65 goals in 2019-20. It's previous record was 79 set in 2016-17.

• In 2019-20 BSU has scored at a 1.7 to 1 pace. The Beavers +46 in goals scored this season (111-65) is a program record. BSU's previous best was a +41 (128-87) set in 2009-10.

• While 43 of its 111 goals this season have come in the third period, no period has been better for BSU than the second period. BSU has outscored opponents 38 to 14 in the second.

• When BSU has had the lead after two periods this season they have been almost unbeatable (16-1-2).

• BSU is 2-3-2 versus teams ranked in the top 15 by USAToday/USA Hockey this season. Both wins have come versus MSU.

• The second seeded Beavers welcome the No. 7 seed Lake Superior State to Sanford Center to open postseason play March 6-8 in the WCHA Playoffs' opening round.

• BSU trails LSSU in the all-time series 33-29-5, which includes a 15-13-3 all-time record when hosting the Lakers.

BSU is 3-0-1 versus the Lakers this season, which includes a 7-1 and 5-1 series sweep over LSSU at Sanford Center Nov. 18-19.

• Adam Brady leads all current Beavers with nine points versus LSSU (4g-5a), while Charlie Combs and Nick Cardelli each have six career goals versus the Lakers, with Cardelli accounting for a pair of game winning goals.

• Zach Driscoll is 4-3-1 versus LSSU with a 2.25 GAA and .917 save percentage in eight games versus the Lakers.

• This weekend marks the second time BSU and LSSU have met in WCHA postseason play, but the teams have a deep playoff history. BSU is 3-3 versus LSSU in the postseason, which includes victories over LSSU in 1968, 1969 and 1970 to win NAIA national championships. The teams also met in 1974. LSSU won the game and the national title.

• BSU is 11-2-3 at home this season and has lost just once on home ice since it fell to Alaska (5-3) Dec. 7. The Beavers have averaged  3.88 goals per game at Sanford Center, while they have surrendered 1.88.

• At Sanford Center in 2019-20 BSU has netted 12 of its 28 power-play goals and is 12-for-28 (.250). On the flip side, the Beavers are 38-for-42 on the penalty kill (.905).

• Aaron Miller leads all BSU players in point production at home this season. The junior has 17 points (7g-10a), which includes two power-play tallies and a game-winner in 16 home games.

• Senior Adam Brady has a team-high nine goals on home ice in 2019-20. He also has a team-best four power-play goals.

• Charlie Combs has accounted for three of BSU's 12 game-winning goals at home this season.

• Since joining the WCHA in 2010-11, BSU is 6-18 in postseason play including a 5-15 mark in first round action and are 2-7 on

at home in WCHA postseason play. BSU’s last postseason home series win was a three-game quarterfinal match up with Bowling Green in 2017.

The Beavers open the WCHA Playoffs hosting the No. 7  seed Lake Superior State this weekend in a rematch of last year's 4/5 matchup in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. The series marks BSU’s first as a No. 2 seed. Now in it’s 10th WCHA postseason, BSU has been the No. 1 seed (2016-17), the No. 4 twice (2014-15 and 2017-18), the No. 5 seed in 2018-19, the No. 6 in 2015-16, the No. 8 in 2013-14, the No. 9 in 2011-12 and was a 10 seed in its first season, 2010-11.

• At the NCAA Division I level BSU is 18-29-1 in the postseason, which includes a 6-18 record in the WCHA Playoffs.

• Bemidji State has made four trips to the NCAA Division I Tournament (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010) and is 2-4 in NCAA Tournament play, which includes a 2009 trip to the Frozen Four.