Beaver Fever Friday – Tyler Kirkup – Mens Hockey

Men’s Hockey travels to Houghton for CCHA Semifinal against No. 13 Huskies

After defeating Bowling Green State University in a best-of-three series last weekend, the Bemidji State University men’s hockey team advanced to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Semifinal round and will travel to No. 13 Michigan Technological University for a one-game, do-or-die, matchup Saturday, March. 12. The Beavers and Huskies will face-off from MacInnes Ice Arena in Houghton, Mich., with puck drop slated for 5:07 p.m., CST.

Third-seeded Bemidji State earned a trip to the CCHA Semifinal round after defeating sixth-seeded Bowling Green in a best-of-three series, 2-1, at Sanford Center this past weekend.

After falling in game one to the Falcons, 2-1, the Beavers responded with a 4-2 victory in game two and earned the series victory with a 3-1 victory in game three.

Bemidji State is 18-19-0 on the season including a 9-8-0 record when playing on the road.

The Beavers enter the second week of postseason play after receiving eight votes in the latest DCU/ Top-20 national poll but failed to receive votes in the latest USAToday/USAHockeyMagazine Top-15 national poll.

Bemidji State has been ranked or received votes in the DCU/ national poll every week this season including a season-high 15th

Senior forward Owen Sillinger became the program’s single season (DI) point and assist record holder this past weekend after collecting his 42nd point and 28th assist against the Falcons this past weekend. Owen finished the weekend with four points (2g-2a) to pace the Beavers and leads the team with 45 points (16g-29a).

Sillinger has now totaled 113 points (50g-63a) in his career for fourth all-time in program history (DI). Owen is one of five skaters to score 50 goals in a career and his 63 career assists are tied for fifth most at BSU (Tyler Scofield, ’05-09).

Junior defenseman Will Zmolek tied for the team lead among defensemen with two assists last weekend and was a team-high +6 on the ice. For his efforts, Will earned his first career CCHA Defenseman of the Week award.

Zmolek earned both of his assists in Saturday’s 4-2 victory including assisting on the game-winning goal for his first career two-assist game.

Freshman goaltender Mattias Sholl was dominant in net against the Falcons and posted a 2-1-0 record with a .936 save percentage and 1.70 goals against average. Sholl turned aside 73-of-78 shots by BGSU.

Sophomore Lukas Sillinger followed Owen by posting three points (2g-1a) while senior Alex Ierullo also added three points (3a). The Line of Ierullo, O. Sillinger and L. Sillinger scored four of the Beavers’ eight goals over the weekend with one member of their line either scoring or earning an assist on the play on seven of the team’s eight goals.

Bemidji State is 4-1-0 in its last five games after going 1-8-0 in its previous nine games.

Bemidji State meets No. 13 Michigan Tech for the fifth time this season and the fifth time in postseason play.

The Beavers went 1-3-0 against the Huskies during the regular season this year with their lone victory on Nov. 20, 201 by a score of 4-3 at Sanford Center.

The all-time series record between the Beavers and Huskies is tied 19-19-6 as well as postseason series record at 2-2-0.

Michigan Tech owns the all-time series record in Houghton, Mich., with a record of 10-5-5 and BSU’s last win at MacInnes Ice Arena was Feb. 20, 2021 (2-1).

BSU and MTU last met in postseason play last season where the Beavers earned a best-of-three series sweep over the Huskies in the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs held at Sanford Center.

Bemidji State lost by scores of 5-2 in both games at MacInnes Ice Arena earlier this season.

Owen Sillinger and Lukas Sillinger are tied for the team lead with 12 career points against the Huskies. Owen has totaled his 12 points off four goals and eight assists while Lukas has posted six goals and six assists.

They are followed by senior Alex Ierullo with 11 points (4g-7a) while senior Ethan Somoza follows with 10 points off a team-high seven goals against the Huskies.

Somoza and senior Brad Johnson lead BSU active skaters with 18 career games played against Michigan Tech while Tyler Kirkup follows with 16 and Alex Adams and Ierullo each follow with 15.

Sholl paces BSU netminders with three games played and 178:13 minutes played against MTU and has posted a 1-2-0 record with a 3.71 goals against average and .883 save percentage.

Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore is 19-19-6 in his 21-year career coaching against Michigan Tech.

The Beavers are fourth in the CCHA by averaging 3.03 goals per game while its defense also ranks fourth at 3.16 goals per game.

Bemidji State owns the eighth ranked power-play percentage in the nation, third in the CCHA, with a power-play percentage of .252 (27-107). Its penalty kill is third in the conference with a penalty kill percentage of .814 (105-129).

The Beavers have not scored a power-play goal since Feb. 5 (0-11), a game that saw the Beavers score a season-high four power-play goals against Northern Michigan University.

Bemidji State’s penalty kill has successfully killed off its last eight opponent’s power-play chances and last allowed a power-play goal on Feb. 26 against University of St. Thomas.

Bemidji State is led on offense by Hobey Baker Award nominee Owen Sillinger who has totaled 45 points (16g-29a) in 37 games which places him tied for second in the conference and tied for third in Division I. His 1.22 point per game average is 10th in the nation.

Sillinger is followed by senior Alex Ierullo who has totaled 39 points (14g-25a) in 37 games and is tied for eighth in the CCHA. Ierullo looks to become just the fourth skater in BSU’s DI history to record 40 points in a season.