Beaver Fever Friday – Darby Gula – @BSUBeaversMHKY

Bemidji State returns home for lone series 2019-20 with Michigan Tech

The Bemidji State University men’s hockey team is back at Sanford Center this weekend, where it is 7-1-2 this season and has averaged over 4.5 goals per game, to host Michigan Technological University for a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series. The Beavers open play owning second place in the WCHA standings with an 12-3-1-0 mark. Meanwhile, the Huskies hold down sixth at 8-7-1-0 record versus the league.

Aaron Miller leads the Beavers’ attack with a career-high 21 points (10g-11a) and shares the assist-scoring lead (11) with Elias Rosén. Adam Brady is second on the team with 20 points (9g-11a) and has been a vital cog in the BSU power play, netting seven goals and a team-best 10 points (7g-3a) on a unit that ranks third in the WCHA (.310). Recently, no BSU player has contributed more than Owen Sillinger. The sophomore has posted at least a point in four straight games and leads all BSU players during that span with seven points (1g-6a).

Zach Driscoll is 11-5-2 in net for the Beavers and won three straight. His 1.77 goals against average ranks fifth in the nation, while his .928 save percentage places him 13th in the NCAA Division I goaltender ranks.

The BSU penalty-kill unit has been stingy all season. It has allowed just six power play goals in 71 opponent opportunities (.915) to rank third in the nation. Despite allowing three power-play tallies Jan. 10, BSU has surrendered only four opponent power-play goals since Nov. 2.

Michigan Tech arrives in Bemidji, Minn. at 13-10-2 overall. The Huskies have not picked up a win in league play since Dec. 7, but are 3-2-1 in non-conference play, including victories over University of Michigan and Michigan State University to claim the Great Lakes Invitational title, Dec. 30-31.

The Huskies’ offense has been propelled by underclassmen. Sophomore Alec Broetzman (10g-7a) leads the team in goals (10), and is tied with fellow sophomore Trenton Bliss (9g-8a) for the team’s point scoring lead with 17. Bliss has also accounted for 30-percent of MTU’s power-play scoring with six goals.

Senior Matt Jurusik has been in the crease for most of the Huskies’ 2019-20 season. He is 12-7-2 in 21 appearances and is sixth the league with a 2.24 goals against average, while his .913 save percentage ranks eighth.

The Rivalry
It is ironic for teams logging in excess of 4,600 games between them, to have met just 32 times prior to this weekend, but the first head-to-head match up between the Beavers and Huskies didn’t take place until Jan. 12, 2007. MTU opens the weekend with a 15-12-5 edge in the rivalry, but BSU is 9-7-0 when hosting the series in Bemidji. The Beavers come into the weekend having won the last two meetings between the teams, which included a 4-3 overtime thriller outdoors during Hockey Day Minnesota Weekend, Jan. 18, 2019.

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