BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University men’s hockey team returns from the holiday break to lift the lid on the 2021 calendar year with a road trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. for a pair of non-conference games versus Lake Superior State University Jan. 2-3. The Saturday-Sunday series is a part of a four-game road swing that includes a Jan. 7-8 series at Bowling Green State University to open the Western Collegiate Hockey Association slate. The BSU-LSSU series is set for a 4:07 p.m. (CT) start Saturday and a 2:07 p.m. (CT) opening faceoff Sunday at LSSU's Taffy Abel Arena.
The Beavers travel to LSSU seeking their first victory since a 6-3 win over Michigan Tech Dec. 12. Since the win over the Huskies BSU is 0-2-1, which includes a 1-1 draw with then-No. 5 Minnesota State Dec. 19.
In one of the Beavers’ oldest rivalries, the Beavers and Lakers first met in 1966. Since that first meeting, a BSU 3-1 victory, the Beavers are 31-34-5 versus LSSU and are 15-17-2 when facing the Lakers in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
While BSU trails LSSU in the all-time series, since Nov. 8, 2019 the Beavers are 5-1-1 in seven meetings with the Lakers, which includes a 2-1 WCHA Playoff series victory to end the Lakers' 2019-20 season.
Not unlike BSU and Sanford Center, no fans will be in attendance at Taffy Abel Arena this weekend. While no fans will be allowed inside the venue, there are still options for fans to follow the Beavers live. All four games this weekend will again be streamed on FloHockey through the WCHA.tv platform on a pay-to-view subscription basis. As always, all games will also be carried by RP Broadcasting and the Beaver Radio Network both online and 92.1 on the FM radio dial.
Bemidji State notables:
• Bemidji State saw its record dip to 1-3-1, dropping a 5-4 contests at No. 5 Minnesota State Dec. 18 before earning a 1-1 tie versus the Mavericks Dec. 19 in the team’s final action of the 2020 calendar year.
• The Dec. 18 two-goal night marked Ethan Somoza’s first collegiate multi-goal game and established a new single-game point high for the senior (2g-1a). Six times during his career he has netted two points in a game with the last coming Jan. 31, 2020.
• Somoza leads the team in scoring with four points (3g-1a) through five games.
• A goal and an assist in the Dec. 18 game marked the first collegiate multi-point effort for senior defender Tyler Vold. He now has three points (1g-2a) though BSU’s first five games accounting for 20-percent of his career scoring (7g-8a).
• Junior blueliner Darby Gula netted his first point of 2020-21 Dec. 18. It was the third assist and fourth point of his 38-game career.
• Freshman Lukas Sillinger netted his second goal of 2020-21 Dec. 19 to account for BSU’s only tally in the 1-1 draw. After five games, he is tied for the lead in goal scoring among WCHA rookies and is tied for third in total points.
• Eight different players have scored goals in BSU’s first five games, 13 players have at least one assist and only Somoza and Lukas Sillinger have netted more than one goal.
• Junior blueliner Tyler Jubenvill got on the Dec. 19 scoresheet. His assist was the third of his career and the first point since March 8, 2020.
• Just five days removed from his first collegiate appearance, and in his second game, BSU freshman Eric Martin logged his first assist Dec. 18. It came on a second period goal by Somoza to tie the game at 3-3.
• The BSU penalty-kill unit surrendered two power-play goals in three MSU opportunities, which included two Dec. 18. On the season BSU is 6-for-8 (.750).
• BSU allowed multiple power-play goals just one time in 2019-20, a Jan. 10, 2020 game that Alabama-Huntsville netted three.
• BSU also surrendered power-play goals in back-to-back games just one time in 2019-20, Feb. 20-21 at Alaska Anchorage.
• BSU got its first power-play goal of the season Dec. 18 when Owen Sillinger found the back of the net in the second period. It marked BSU’s first since the second period of its March 8, WCHA Playoff win over Lake Superior State.
• The Bemidji State power-play unit is now at a 1-for-11 pace (.091).
• BSU has been slow out of the gates this season netting just two goals in the first period, while it has scored eight in the second.
• The Beavers have surrendered 17 goals through five games of the 20-21 season. BSU didn’t allow its 17th goal last year until the eighth game of the season. A year ago, BSU allowed 1.92 goals per game in 37 games to rank fourth in the nation.
• BSU has surrendered five goals twice through five games. It allowed five-or-more just one time in 2019-20.
• BSU has already been shut out twice through its first five games of the season. The Beavers have been blanked just three times in the last two seasons or 83 games.
• Thief River Falls, Minn. native Aaron Myers made his collegiate debut Dec. 19. The right-handed forward netted 83 points (29g-54a) in 89 games with the NAHL’s Minnesota Wilderness over the past two seasons. He was the fourth rookie to see action.
• BSU adds the services of right-handed defender Ethan Gauer for second half of 2020-21. The freshman transfer from Alaska-Anchorage played for the Bismarck Bobcats of the NAHL from 2018-20. He logged 26 points (3g-23a) and was +8 in 102 games.
• The Beavers return from break for a Jan. 2-3 road trip to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. for a two-game non-conference series versus Lake Superior State. BSU trails the Lakers 34-31-5 in a rivalry that dates back to 1966. BSU is 15-17-2 all-time when playing on LSSU’s home ice.
• The Beavers are 5-1-1 versus LSSU in the last seven meetings and have not lost to the Lakers since being swept, 4-2 and 3-1 March 8-9, 2019 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
• Owen Sillinger leads all current BSU players with nine (3g-6a) points in 11 career games versus LSSU, while Nick Cardelli has seven points (6g-1a) in 11 games versus the Lakers, which includes a pair of game-winning goals.
• Zach Driscoll is 6-4-1 all-time versus LSSU, which includes a shutout. He owns a 2.29 GAA and a .913 save percentage in 11 games versus the Lakers.
• BSU went 14-3-2 from Jan. 1 to the end of the 2019-20 season. BSU trailed only Minnesota State (15-2-1) across the nation for wins lead during that time, while BSU’s (.798) winning percentage stood as the fourth-best second half winning percentage in the NCAA a year ago.