BEMIDJI, Minn. – Despite a change in the schedule, the Bemidji State University men's hockey team will return to action this week when it host No. 2 Minnesota State University Mankato for a single non-conference affair at Sanford Center. The game replaces a Nov. 23 game postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests within the MSU program. The game will get underway at 4:07 p.m.
Friday’s contest marks the fourth time the Beavers have gone head-to-head with the nationally-ranked Mavericks since opening the season versus the intrastate rival Nov. 22. BSU is 0-2-1 versus MSU this season but welcome the Mavericks riding a three-game winning streak, all of which came versus top-10 teams, and a 4-1-2 mark in its last seven games.
The BSU-MSU rivalry dates back to 1974. In the 131 previous meetings between the teams, Minnesota State holds a 60-55-16 edge in the series, while BSU is 35-24-5 when playing the Mavericks in Bemidji, Minn.
Bemidji State notables:
- Bemidji State evened its record to 4-4-2 Thursday with a 2-1 victory over No. 5 Bowling Green and followed that with a 3-1 win Friday to complete the non-conference series sweep. BSU is now 5-4-2 overall.
- The Beavers’ 3-1 victory marked its third consecutive victory over BGSU and BSU is now 4-1-2 in its last seven games.
- BSU assembled its first series sweep of the season and its first non-conference series sweep since Jan. 15-16, 2016 when BSU defeated Arizona State (5-0 and 2-0) at Sanford Center.
- Ethan Somoza logged the third game-winning goal of his career in Thursday’s 2-1 win--it was his second in as many games.
- BSU’s top scorer Brendan Harris logged an assist Thursday and an assist Friday to extend his point streak to eight games (5g-4a). His 10 points (6g-4a) has surpassed his four-point (4a), injury-shortened (11 games) junior season and his six goals is a career-high.
- Lukas Sillinger leads all BSU rookies in scoring (3g-3a) following a goal Thursday and an assist Friday. His six points is tied for third among WCHA newcomers.
- Ross Armour logged his second assist of the season Thursday. After going the first seven games of the season without a point, he has two assists in BSU’s last four games.
- Eric Martin posted his second assist of 2020-21 Thursday. He is second among BSU’s newcomers with three points in nine appearances.
- Blueliner Kyle Looft was credited with his first assist of 2020-21 Thursday and his second Friday. For his offensive output and his defensive excellence, he was selected as the WCHA Defender of the Week. He now has two points (1g-2a) this season.
- Senor Tyler Vold stands as BSU’s top-scoring defender this season (1g-4a). Through 11 games, he has five points (1g-4a) to account for 29-percent of his career scoring.
- Zach Driscoll was outstanding in net Jan. 21-22 and propelled BSU to a sweep over BGSU. He was 2-0-0 with a 1.00 goals against average and stopped 57-of-59 shots on goal for a .966 save percentage.
- Since Dec. 19, Driscoll is 4-1-2 with a 1.68 goals against average and a .947 save percentage to rank among the top 10 in the country in wins, save percentage and GAA during that run.
- This season BSU has already played seven games versus teams among the top 10 in the country and is 3-3-1 in those games.
- 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 nine games this season. In all, BSU is 27-for-29 (.931) to sit third in the nation behind Michigan Tech (.962) and Omaha (.940).
- BSU last surrendered a power-play goal in the second period of its Dec. 18 game versus Minnesota State. In the seven games since, BSU is a perfect 21-for-21 on the penalty kill.
- BSU failed to net a power-play goal on its only chance Thursday but made good on 1-of-3 opportunities Friday versus BGSU. The Beavers are now 4-for-36 (.111) on the season.
- 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 81-57-15 (.576) and is 4-1-1 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) for wins during that time, while BSU’s (.798) winning percentage stood as the fourth-best second half winning percentage in the NCAA a year ago.
- Friday’s 32-save night marked goaltender Zach Driscoll’s win 42nd in a BSU sweater. He is quickly approaching the top 10 and Matt Clime (2004-08) who sits in 10th place all-time with 45 wins.
- BSU is 3-2-0 at home this season and have averaged 2.20 goals per game while allowing 2.60 goals per game. While the Beavers are 1-of-10 on the power-play at Sanford Center, while the team’s penalty-kill unit is a perfect 9-for-9.
- BSU now looks towards a single non-conference game with No. 2 Minnesota State Friday. MSU leads the all-time series 60-55-16, while BSU has a 35-24-5 record when hosting the Mavericks.
- The Beavers are without a win in the last four meetings with MSU (0-3-1). BSU’s last victory versus the Mavericks came Feb. 28, 2020 by way of a 3-1 win at Sanford Center.
- Ethan Somoza leads all current Beavers in career scoring versus Minnesota State. He has seven points (3g-4a) in 11 appearances, while Aaron Miller and Nick Cardelli each have three goals and Tyler Kirkup is the only BSU player to own a game-winning goal versus MSU.
- Senior goaltender Zach Driscoll is 2-5-1 in his career versus Minnesota State. He owns a 3.30 goals against average and a .897 save percentage.