Beavers clash with No. 6 Bowling Green to open WCHA slate

Beavers clash with No. 6 Bowling Green to open WCHA slate
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Beavers clash with No. 6 Bowling Green to open WCHA slate

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men's hockey team travels to Bowling Green, Ohio this week to clash with one of the hottest teams in the nation. The No. 6 Bowling Green Falcons are 11-1-0 this season and are unbeaten in WCHA play (2-0-0). The series gets underway at 6:07 p.m. Thursday with a 6:07 p.m. opening faceoff again set for Friday at Slater Family Ice Arena.

The Beavers travel to Bowling Green unbeaten in their last three games (1-0-2) and riding a three-game unbeaten streak with the Falcons (2-0-1) dating back to Feb. 23, 2019.

Since the BSU-BGSU rivalry began in 2011-12, the Falcons hold a 14-10-3 edge, which includes a 9-3-1 advantage on their home ice.

Both games this weekend will again be streamed on FloHockey through the platform on a pay-to-view subscription basis. As always, all BSU hockey 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 pushed its record to 2-3-2 following a 4-1 victory and a 2-2 (SO-L)  tie in non-conference play at Lake Superior State Jan. 2-3. The beavers are now unbeaten in their last three contests (1-0-1).

• Brendan Harris (3g) and Nick Cardelli (1g-2a) led BSU in scoring versus the Lakers both netting at least one point in each game.

• Sunday marked Cardelli’s first multi-point game of 2020-21.  It was the fifth of his BSU career. His last came by way of a two-goal night to lead BSU to a victory over Minnesota State, Jan. 25, 2020.

• Saturday’s two-goal night marked Harris’s first collegiate multi-goal game and matched a single-game point high for the senior (2g).  Four times during his career he has netted two points in a game with the last coming Feb. 9, 2019 (2a).

• Harris now leads the team in scoring with six points (4g-2a), after a three-goal weekend, and enters the Bowling Green series riding a four-game scoring streak (3g-2a). He has already surpassed his four-point (4a), injury-shortened (11 games) junior season.

• Sophomore blueliner Kyle Looft was credited with his first collegiate goal Saturday on a seeing-eye puck that was knocked in by a Laker defender. It was his 40th game in the green and white.

• Freshman Lukas Sillinger recorded his first collegiate assist Saturday. With four points (2g-2a) he leads all BSU rookies and is tied for third on the team.

• Aaron Miller’s third-period, empty-net goal Saturday was the first of his senior campaign and his first since Feb. 14, 2020. Last season he was third on the team with a career-high 12 goals scored.

• Through seven games, BSU’s scoring has been well distributed.  Ten different players have scored goals, 17 players have at least one assist and only Harris (4), Ethan Somoza (3), Nick Cardelli (2) and Lukas Sillinger (2) have netted more than one goal.

• No NCAA team allowed fewer than BSU’s 10 power-play goals last year (103-113). BSU’s .912 PK ranked second in the nation.
• The BSU penalty-kill unit surrendered two power-play goals in Dec. 18, but has been flawless in the other six games this season. In all, BSU is 16-for-18 (.889).

• BSU’s power-play woes continued Jan. 2-3 as the team went 0-for-13 on the man advantage. BSU is now 1-for-24 (.042) on the season with its last power-play goal coming Dec. 18 game at Minnesota State. Since then, BSU is 0-for-15.

• The Beavers have surrendered 20 goals through seven games (2.85). A year ago, BSU allowed 1.92 goals per game in 37 games to rank fourth in the nation.

• BSU has added 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 no shift their focus to No. 6 Bowling Green. The Falcons enter the weekend 11-0-1 on the season, which includes a 2-0-0-0 mark in WCHA play.

• The series stands as the WCHA opener for BSU. Since 2012-13, the Beavers are 10-4-2 in the opening WCHA series of the season, which includes a 2-0-0 marker versus Bowling Green, and 4-2-2 in the first league game of the season.

• BSU is 10-14-3 all-time versus Bowling Green and is 3-9-1 all-time at Slater Family Ice Arena, however,  BSU swept the Falcons in the last meeting between the teams (4-1 and 4-2) in Bemidji.

• Senior forward Aaron Miller leads all current Beavers versus the Falcons with six points (2g-4a) in eight career games versus the Falcons. Owen Sillinger has five pints (2g-3a) and is +4 versus BGSU, while Nick Cardelli is the only current Beaver with a game-winning goal versus BGSU.

• Zach Driscoll is the only BSU goaltender with any prior experience versus the Falcons. He is 3-2-1 in six career appearances with a .930 save percentage and a .182 goals against average.

• A year ago, BSU was 9-6-2 (.588) on the road and averaged 2.88 goals for and 1.94 goals against. The Beavers were 16-for-61 in the man advantage (.262) and 52-of-58 on the penalty kill (.897). Owen Sillinger let all returning players with 16 points (7g-9a) on the road.

• January has traditionally been BSU’s best month of the season. Since its moved to the NCAA Division I level in 1999-2000 the team is 78-56-15 (.574) and is already 1-0-1 this season.

• 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.

• This season BSU has already played three games versus teams among the top 10 in the country.  The Beavers are 0-2-1 in those games.