Beaver Fever Friday – Brad Johnson – Mens Hockey

Beavers open CCHA Playoffs with first round series against Bowling Green

The Bemidji State University men’s hockey team kicks-off postseason play this weekend and will host Bowling Green State University at Sanford Center for a best-of-three series in the first round of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs. The Beavers (16-18-0, 14-12-0 CCHA) and Falcons (14-17-3, 11-14-1 CCHA) open their playoff series Friday, March 4 at 7:07 p.m., followed by game two Saturday at 6:07 p.m. If necessary, the teams will play a game three Sunday at 5:07 p.m.

Bemidji State finished the regular season with a 16-18-0 (14-12-0 CCHA) record and earned the third seed in the CCHA Playoffs. The Beavers will host sixth-seeded Bowling Green who finished 14-17-3 (11-14-1 CCHA).

Bemidji State finished the regular season below .500 for the first time since the 2013-14 season that saw the Beavers go 10-19-7 (.375) during the regular season.

Bemidji State enters postseason play after receiving nine votes in the latest DCU/ national poll. The Beavers have either received votes or been ranked in the poll every week this season marking 21 consecutive weeks.

BSU failed to receive votes in the latest USAToday/USA Hockey Magazine national poll and were last mentioned in the poll back on Jan. 17, 2022.

Bemidji State senior forward and Hobey Baker nominee Owen Sillinger tied a 12-year program record this past weekend after recording his 41st point off the season. Sillinger tied Bemidji State great Matt Read for the program’s highest single season point total during its Division I era.

Sillinger also tied a program record for the most assists in a single season during the DI era. His 27 assists this season are tied with Luke Erickson (04-05) for the most in a single season.

The Beavers are coming off a weekend where they ended the regular season with a series sweep over University of St. Thomas at home.

Bemidji State earned a 5-3 victory in game one against the Tommies and then earned a 4-3 overtime victory in game two when junior Elias Rosén scored the game-winning goal just 26 seconds into the extra period.

Bemidji State dominated the offensive zone and out-shot the Tommies 89-45 in the series.

The Beavers were led by seniors Alex Ierullo (2g-2a) and Owen Sillinger (1g-3a) who each posted four points in the series while Ross Armour (3g) and Eric Martin (3a) followed with three assists.

Armour scored the Beavers’ first hat trick since Owen Sillinger scored four goals at Ferris State University on Feb. 6, 2021. Armour recorded his first career hat trick and first career multi-goal game in game one versus the Tommies.

Sophomore Eric Martin tied a career-high with three assists in Friday’s win over the Tommies. Martin assisted on all three goals in Armour’s hat trick.

Freshman Will Magnuson recorded his first multi-point game of his collegiate career last weekend (Feb. 26).

Senior Alex Ierullo tied a career high with three points (2g-1a) against St. Thomas last weekend (Feb. 26) after factoring in on three of the Beavers’ four goals. He leads the team with an active three-game point streak (2g-3a).

Bemidji State begins its first-ever CCHA postseason this weekend. During its time in the WCHA, the Beavers posted a 10-20-0 record against Western Collegiate Hockey Association opponents including a 1-4-0 record against Bowling Green.

Bemidji State trails Bowling Green in the all-time series with a 15-17-3 record but are 10-6-2 when playing the Falcons at home.

Bemidji State and Bowling Green last met in the postseason in 2017 in the semifinal round of the WCHA Playoffs. The Falcons earned a series sweep over the Beavers in the best-of-three series played at Sanford Center. BGSU earned a 4-3 overtime victory in game one and followed with a 2-1 victory in game two to advance to the WCHA Championship game where it lost 3-2 to Michigan Tech in two overtimes.

Bemidji State has never beaten Bowling Green in a home playoff contest, but this weekend’s series will be the first time anyone on the BSU roster has faced the Falcons in the playoffs.

Bemidji State and Bowling Green split their season series this season with each team winning two games. Elias Rosén leads the team with six points (2g-4a) in four games against the Falcons this season while Ierullo (2g-3a) and Owen Sillinger (1g-4a) follow with five.

Owen Sillinger leads all skaters with 13 points (6g-7a) in 14 career games against the Falcons. He also paces the team with a +5 rating on the ice against BGSU.

Alex Ierullo (5g-6a) and Elias Rosén (2g-9a) follow Sillinger with 11 points each while Ierullo has played in 14 games and Rosén has played in 10.

Bemidji State all-time record holder for career games played, Ethan Somoza, leads the team with 17 career games played against the Falcons while Sillinger, Tyler Kirkup, Ross Armour and Ierullo have each played 14.

Freshman Mattias Sholl leads BSU goaltenders with three games played against the Falcons and has posted a .885 save percentage and 3.02 goals against average in 179:21 minutes of play.

Sophomore Gavin Enright stopped 40-of-41 shots on Oct. 30, 2021, a career best, in his lone start against the Falcons.

Bemidji State is fourth in the CCHA with a goals per game average of 3.06 gpg. They are fifth in the league by allowing 3.29 goals per game.

Bemidji State is sixth in the nation, second in the CCHA, with a power-play percentage of .260 (27-of-104). Its penalty kill is third in the conference, 33rd in the nation, at .808 percent (101-of-125).

The Beavers are on a power-play scoring drought and have not scored a goal with the man advantage in its last four games (0-for-8).

Bemidji State is 7-for-11 (.636) on the penalty kill in its last four games.

Bowling Green ranks sixth in the conference with a power-play percentage of .215 (29-of-135) and fourth with a penalty-kill percentage of .794 (104-of-131).

Sophomore Lukas Sillinger and junior Elias Rosén lead the Beavers with five power-play markers this season and the pair are tied for fourth in the CCHA.

Senior Alex Ierullo has scored two goals while down a skater and is second in the conference with two short-handed goals. Only Micah Miller (4) of St. Cloud State and Louis Boudon (3) of Lake Superior State have scored more.

Rosén has been the go to skater for the Beavers during important moments of games and leads the team with four game-winning goals this season. He is tied for second in the league with that tally.

Bemidji State is led on offense by Hobey Baker award nominee Owen Sillinger who has totaled 41 points (14g-27a) in 34 games to tie for fourth in the CCHA and is tied for sixth nationally.

Sillinger ninth in the nation with a 1.21 point per game average and recently became just the third player in Bemidji State’s Division I history to record 40 or more points in a single season (Matt Read 2x, Brendan Cook).

Sillinger is tied for fifth in the program’s DI history with 48 career goals and his 61 career assists are eighth. He is seventh on the DI scoring list with 109 career points.

Sillinger is followed Alex Ierullo who has posted 36 points (14g-22a) which is tied for ninth in the CCHA while Lukas Sillinger follows with 32 points (13g-19a) for 14th.

Ierullo and Sillinger each lead the team with 14 goals and are tied for ninth in the CCHA.

Sillinger leads the CCHA and is third nationally with 441 face-off wins. He sports a .542 face-off win percentage with is the third highest in the league among skaters with 300 face-off wins or more.

Junior Elias Rosén paces the Beavers’ defense with 23 points (7g-16a) in 31 games and is fifth in the CCHA in defenseman scoring.

Junior Will Zmolek leads the Beavers with 55 blocked shots. He ranks fifth in the CCHA in the category. He is followed by junior Kyle Looft with 45 blocks.

Freshman Mattias Sholl paces the Beavers in between the pipes and has posted an 10-11-0 record in 21 games. He as totaled a 3.00 goals against average and .896 save percentage to rank seventh and sixth in the conference, respectively.

Sholl is followed by sophomore Gavin Enright who is 5-6-0 this season and sports a 3.37 goals against average and .889 save percentage in 13 games.