Beavers return home to Sanford Center for pivotal matchup versus No. 12 Huskies
The (RV) Bemidji State University Men’s Hockey team returns home to Sanford Center this weekend for a pivotal Central Collegiate Hockey Association series.
The Beavers (11-10-5, 9-6-3 CCHA) play host to No. 12 Michigan Technological University for a two-game, CCHA series beginning Friday, Feb. 3 at 7:07 p.m. The Beavers and Huskies (18-7-4, 11-5-4 CCHA) will then meet again Saturday at 6:07 p.m. for the series finale.
Bemidji State took five-of-six league points from Michigan Tech in their first series of the season back on Oct. 21-22, the first CCHA series of the season. The Beavers earned a 5-2 victory in game one in Houghton, Mich., then skated to a 2-2 tie with a shootout victory in game two.
Each game of the series will be streamed online at FloHockey.tv with play-by-play and color commentary provided by the Beaver Radio Network. A Beaver Radio Network broadcast will also be available for each game and can be found on the radio dial at 92.1FM or online at www.beaverradionetwork.com.
The Bemidji State and Michigan Tech series dates back to the 2006-07 season when the two teams met outside of conference play. Ever since the Beavers joined the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in 2010-11 the two teams have played for league points.
The rivalry between the Beavers and Huskies has been a back-and-forth battle with neither team carrying a winning streak larger than four games against the opponent.
Bemidji State holds a slight advantage over Michigan Tech in the all-time series record at 21-19-7 including a 6-3-1 record over the last 10 games.
When playing in Bemidji, the Beavers are 14-9-1 against MTU compared to 7-10-6 in Houghton, Mich.
The Beavers are currently on a three-game unbeaten streak against the Huskies (2-0-1). Over their three-game unbeaten streak, the Beavers have out-scored the Huskies 12-6 with two games scoring five goals.
The last six meetings against the Huskies have all been in Houghton where the BSU went 2-2-1.
The Beavers and Huskies have met three times in the playoffs including two WCHA/CCHA series and one CCHA semifinal. Michigan Tech earned a 2-0 series victory in their first WCHA Playoffs meeting 2018 but the Beavers have won the last three playoff games with a 2-0 CCHA Playoffs series victory in 2021 and downed the Huskies 5-2 in the CCHA Semifinal game last season.
Fifth-year senior Ross Armour paces the Beavers with 10 career points (3g-7a) in 17 career games versus Michigan Tech. He is followed by senior Elias Rosén with nine points (2g-7a) win 15 career games.
Freshman Lleyton Roed dominated in his first games against the Huskies and recorded three goals and an assist in their first series of the season. He was later named the CCHA Rookie of the Week for his remarkable league debut.
Senior Will Zmolek has been a dominant force on the ice for the Beavers and when facing Michigan Tech he boasts a remarkable +13 rating on the ice in 14 games while also contributing four points offensively (1g-3a).
Sophomore Mattias Sholl has seen the most time in between the pipes versus MTU and in six starts, he is 3-2-1 with a 2.81 goals against average and .898 save percentage. Junior Gavin Enright has made one appearance and is 0-1-1 after stopping 31-of-35 shots.
The Beavers continue to receive votes in both the USAToday/USAHockeyMagazine and USCHO.com top-20 national polls while the Huskies keep rolling and moved up to No. 12 in both polls, the highest ranking for the Huskies since March 14, 2016.
Bemidji State moved down one spot to 28th in this week’s PairWise rankings after a series split at Lake Superior State University last weekend. Michigan Tech holds the 11th spot in the rankings.
Bemidji State sits fourth in the CCHA standings with 31 league points and are 9-6-3 in conference play. However, the Beavers have two games in hand against all three schools Minnesota State, Michigan Tech and Bowling Green in front of them. The Beavers trail the second-place Huskies by seven points in the league standings.
Michigan Tech is second in the league standings with 38 points with 20 league games played (11-5-4) and are 18-7-4 overall.
The Huskies are coming off a weekend where they swept Northern Michigan University by scores of 3-0 and 4-1 in a home-and-home series.
The Huskies are led by Ryland Mosley who has totaled 29 points (11g-18a) in 29 games to rank third in the CCHA. He is followed by Kyle Kukkonen (10g-8a) and Logan Pietila (9g-9a) who each have 18 points.
Mosley paces the Huskies in goals (10) while Kukkonen (10) and L. Pietila (9) each follow.
The Beavers will face the conference leading goaltender in Blake Pietila this weekend. B. Pietila leads the CCHA and is third nationally with a .929 save percentage and is second in the league with a 1.94 goals against average. He owns a 17-7-3 record this season and leads DI with seven shutouts, a program record.
Michigan Tech is third in the league by scoring 53 goals in conference play. They have held conference opponents to the least amount of goals in league play (42).
However, the Beavers are right behind MTU and with two fewer games, BSU is fourth in the league in goals for in conference play (52) and second in goals against (43).
Michigan Tech leads the nation with a penalty kill percentage of .885 and Mosley leads DI with three short-handed goals this season.
The Beavers are led by senior blueliner Elias Rosén who has totaled 22 points (2g-20a) in 26 game. The 2023 Hobey Baker Nominee has points in his last six games (1g-7a), the longest point streak of a Beaver this season. He is tied for 10th nationally in points (22) among defensemen and third in the CCHA. He is tied for ninth among all skaters in the CCHA.
Rosén paces the team with 20 assists which is tied for second in the CCHA and t-16th in Division I.
Freshman Lleyton Roed is having one of the best rookie campaigns in the CCHA and at BSU. He is second on the team with 20 points (8g-12a) and leads all CCHA rookies.
He is the reigning back-to-back CCHA Rookie of the Week and was named the CCHA Rookie of the Month for January after earning weekly nods three times during the month.
He has compiled the best rookie season at BSU since Elias Rosén totaled 24 points in 35 games (5g-19a) during his first season with the Beavers (2019-20). Bemidji State’s Division I record for most points by a freshman is Jordan George who recorded 34 points (13g-21a) in 36 games during the 2009-10 season.
Roed has points in six of his last seven games (2g-6a) and has recorded a point in every series this season.
Fifth-year senior Ross Armour leads the team with nine goals to tie for 14th in the CCHA. After returning from injury on Jan. 20, he has scored in three of four games (4g) and has a three-game goal scoring streak.
Senior Will Zmolek has shutdown opposing forwards and leads the team and is fourth in the CCHA with 52 blocked shots. He has also contributed 14 points (2g-11a) offensively and has an assist in his last three outings.
Fellow senior Kyle Looft follows Zmolek with 49 blocked shots and is fifth in the CCHA.
Sophomore goaltender Mattias Sholl leads BSU netminders and is 8-6-5 with a 2.08 goals against average and .919 save percentage. He is third in the CCHA in both categories.
The Beavers are 2-5-1 in the month of January in 2023 but historically the Beavers have a winning record during the month at 87-68-16.
Bemidji State is third in the CCHA by averaging 29.96 shots per game and allow 26.3 shots per game. The Beavers are 8-5-3 this season when outshooting their opponents and 6-5-2 when recording 30 or more shots.
The Beavers are 7-5-3 when scoring the first goal this season and historically are 282-133-48 (.663) throughout their history.
Bemidji State is undefeated when scoring three or more goals this season with a record of 10-0-1. When the opponent scores three or more goals, the Beavers are just 3-9-1.
Bemidji State has scored 19 power-play goals in 79 attempts for a power-play percentage of .241, third in the CCHA and 14th nationally. BSU went 2-for-7 on the power play in last weekend’s series.
The Beavers’ penalty kill has allowed 17 goals in 82 opportunities for a penalty-kill percentage of .793, sixth in the CCHA. The Beavers allowed two goals on nine power play chances last weekend.
Bemidji State is one of the least penalized team sin Division I and are second the nation with just 183 penalty minutes. The Beavers have just 87 penalties called against them, 17 fewer than the next CCHA member Minnesota State.
Fifth-year senior Ross Armour co-captains the team with senior defenseman Kyle Looft while senior Elias Rosén and senior Will Zmolek serve as alternates.
Tom Serratore is in his 22nd season at the helm of the Bemidji State Men’s Hockey program and owns a 365-337-97 career record (.520).
Serratore will be coaching in his 800th collegiate hockey game Friday night against the Huskies. He is the 10th active coach in Division I Men’s Hockey to reach the 800-game milestone.
He is 21-19-7 all-time coaching against the Huskies.