BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey program has earned a spot in the East Regional of the 2021 NCAA Ice Hockey Championships and will play Wisconsin in the regional semifinal. The announcement came this evening in a live NCAA Tournament selection show aired on ESPNU. The East Regional will be held at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. March 26-27.
Bemidji State (15-9-3; 8-5-3 WCHA), garnered a No. 4 seed and will tackle top-seeded University of Wisconsin (20-9-1; 7-6-1 B1G) in Friday’s first regional semifinal contest. Opening face-off for the game is slated for 12:00 p.m. Central time and will be broadcast locally on The River 92.1 FM as well as ESPN 2 or WatchESPN for selected Internet subscribers.
No. 12 Bemidji State is making its fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2005 on its second at-large bid in program history. Beavers have been ranked among the nation’s top 20 teams for 10 weeks and enter the tournament after earning wins in six of their last seven games and making a run to the WCHA postseason championship game before bowing out to No. 3 Minnesota State University.
Joining Bemidji State and Wisconsin in the East Regional are No. 2 seed University of Massachusetts (16-5-4; 3-5-4 Hockey East) and the No. 3 seed and WCHA Postseason Champion Lake Superior State University (19-6-3; 9-5-0 WCHA).
The winner of the BSU/Wisconsin match up will meet the Lake Superior State/UMass semifinal winner in the East Regional Final at 3 p.m. Central March 27. The regional champion advances to the 2021 Frozen Four at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa. April 8 and 10.
The 2021 NCAA Tournament appearance is BSU’s fifth as a Division I program, but is the first since the 2010 season. The bid also marks BSU’s 18th NCAA Tournament appearance all-time. The Beavers made 13 NCAA Tournament appearances at the Division II and Division III levels in a 16-year period from 1983-98 which included six national championships.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.