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Beaver Fever Friday – Hank Johnson – @BSUBeaversMHKY

Beavers and Mavericks set for a holiday weekend WCHA clash

The Bemidji State University men’s ice hockey team (5-4-1; 3-1-0-0 WCHA) is back at Sanford Center this weekend when it hosts Minnesota State University, Mankato (9-1-0; 4-0-0-0 WCHA) in a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series. The Beavers, who look to shake a three-game losing skid, have their work cut out for them as the Mavericks tote a No. 3 ranking in the most recent national polls and have yet to drop a league contest.

The Beavers return to WCHA play for the first time since a sweep of the Seawolves in Anchorage Nov. 2-3. Despite surrendering seven goals at St. Cloud State Saturday, defense and goaltending continue to be a strength of this year’s BSU team. The Beavers have allowed three-or-more goals on just three occasions and rank eighth in the nation allowing 2.00 goals per game. The backbone of that number has been the goaltending duo of Henry Johnson and Zach Driscoll. Both sit among the top 14 goalies in the country in goals against average and save percentage, with Johnson holding down the No. 2 spot at 1.20 GAA and a .949 save percentage.

Offensively, the Beavers have exhibited a balanced scoring attack. Seventeen different BSU players have logged a point, while Brendan Harris paces the roster with seven points (1g-6a). Aaron Miller has already surpassed his rookie season goal total with a team-high four, which includes a pair of game-winners, while Harris’ six assists lead the team. All three of Adam Brady’s goals have come on the man advantage, accounting for three of the Beavers’ five power-play goals.

Minnesota State arrives in Bemidji, Minn., owning a six-game winning streak. The Mavericks’ high-powered offense ranks second in the country averaging 4.5 goals per game, while its power-play unit is clicking at over 26-percent to rank among the nation’s top six most efficient units.

Junior Parker Tuomie leads the MSU attack with 16 points (6g-10a) and 10 assists, which includes seven helpers in four WCHA contests, while Marc Michaelis has scored a team-best seven goals this season.

The Maverick goaltending duties have been split between senior Mathias Israelsson and newcomer Dryden McKay. Israelsson paces the team with a 6-0-0 record to go with a shutout, a 1.00 GAA and a .942 save percentage.

The Rivalry
This weekend’s series marks an extension to one of BSU’s most often revisited rivalries. The BSU-MSU series got its start Nov. 25, 1974 and has included 119 meetings, which is second to only Wisconsin-Superior (129 games) as BSU’s most familiar opponent of all time. The Beavers and Mavericks enter the series locked at 52-52-15, while BSU is 33-21-5 when hosting the Mavericks. BSU is without a win in the last five meetings between the teams (0-4-1) despite a 2-2 tie in overtime and an extra point for a shootout win in the last meeting, Feb. 24.

One Comment

  1. Bob

    November 23, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Hi guys

    Sitting in Columbus tonight going to the big game tomorrow between OSU and Michigan.

    Hope you guys had a good Thanksgiving.

    Let’s go men and take it to Mankato.

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