Beavers hit the road for first league road trip at Lake Superior State
BSU Men’s Hockey takes on Lake Superior State at Taffy Abel Arena
The Bemidji State University Men’s Hockey team makes its first Central Collegiate Hockey Association road trip of the season this weekend and will travel to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to face historic rival Lake Superior State at Taffy Abel Arena.
The Beavers (3-3-0) hit the road to face the Lakers (3-3-0) for a two-game league series beginning Friday, Nov. 3 at 6:07 p.m. CT. The two teams then conclude the series Saturday at 5:07 p.m.
Each game will be streamed online at FloHockey.tv with play-by-play provided by Lakers Athletics. A Beaver Radio Network radio broadcast for each game can be found on the dial at 92.1 FM or online at www.beaverradionetwork.com.
The Bemidji State-Lake Superior State rivalry dates back to 1966 with the two teams battle for NAIA National Championships in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
The all-time series is split pretty much evenly throughout the series with Bemidji State holding a slight 39-38-6 edge.
The Beavers are 6-2-0 against the Lakers over the last eight meetings but split last year’s season series two games apiece.
The series is even more split down the middle when playing in Sault Ste. Marie and the two teams are 19-19-3 when at the Soo.
Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore is 24-19-5 when coaching against the Lakers in his 23 seasons at the helm of the BSU Men’s Hockey program.
Bemidji State returned to the USCHO.com top-20 national poll this week and is receiving three votes in the poll for the first time since preseason. The Beavers remain unranked in the USA Hockey/The Rink Live top-20 poll however.
The Beavers are one of three teams to open CCHA play last weekend and were the lone team to earn to league victories to sit atop the league standings with six points.
BSU swept University of St. Thomas at Sanford Center last weekend earning a 3-2 victory in game one and following suit with a 2-0 shutout in game two.
Senior Gavin Enright shined between the pipes in game two to earn his first career shutout and turned aside 29-of-29 shots.
After making a relief appearance in the third period of game one, Enright stopped 39-of-40 shots in 80 minutes of work in the series.
Freshman Eric Pohlkamp assisted on both game-winning goals in the series and was named the league’s Rookie of the Week after leading all league rookies in points. It is the first CCHA weekly accolade of his career.
Fifth-year senior Kyle Looft has had a hot start in the first month of the season. The captain posted five points off two goals and three assists and blocked a team-high 15 shots during the month to be named the league’s Defenseman of the Week.
Sophomore Lleyton Roed has also had a hot start to the season and leads the Beavers in points and goals through the first six games. The White Bear Lake, Minn., native has registered seven points including scoring six goals averaging a goal per game. He is one of two players in the CCHA to average at least a goal per game and tied for sixth in Division I.
Looft follows Roed with five points while senior Jackson Jutting follows with four points off two goals and two assists.
15 of the Beavers have recorded a point so far this season with 10 tallying at least two points.
11 of the Beavers’ 15 goals this season have been scored by underclassmen with sophomore Lleyton Roed leading the team with six goals.
Freshman defenseman Eric Pohlkamp paces the team with 24 shots on goal which is fourth in the CCHA. He’s averaging 4.00 shots per game to rank second.
The Beavers are fifth in the conference in goals for per game but lead the league in goals against per game. Bemidji State averages 2.50 goals per game while allowing just 2.83 per game.
BSU ranks fourth in the league with a .172 power-play percentage (5-29). The Beavers have score a power-play goal in three of their six games including two games with two power-play goals.
BSU is 4-for-11 (.364) while on the power play over the last three games.
The Beavers penalty kill is fourth in the league at .739 percent (17-23).
BSU has not allowed a power-play goal over its last seven penalty kills spanning two games.
2023-24 is the 68th season of Bemidji State Men’s Hockey and 25th in Division I. The Beavers are 1,174-687-150 (.624) in 67 seasons and 388-393-102 (.501) in Division I.
Head coach Tom Serratore enters his 23rd season at the helm of the Bemidji State Men’s Hockey program. He is 371-347-97 (.515) in his coaching career.
Serratore stands 12th in career victories among active head coaches in Division I and his career winning percentage of .515 is 17th.
Since taking over the Bemidji State Men’s Hockey program in 2001, Serratore’s teams have achieved six regular-season conference championships, three CHA tournament titles, five NCAA Tournament appearances, one NCAA Frozen Four appearance (2009) and is a seven-time conference Coach of the Year.
During the off-season, Serratore announced the addition of two assistants to his coaching staff. Andrew Magera (Penn State ’21) and Brock Kautz (Minnesota ’19) will each serve as assistant coaches for the 2023-24 season.
They join Associate Head Coach Travis Winter as the four leaders of the program this season.
Fifth-year senior Kyle Looft made his return to the Beaver Hockey program and was voted by his teammates to lead the 2023-24 Beavers on and off the ice as the team’s captain.
He is assisted by fellow fifth-year senior Carter Jones as well as seniors Eric Martin and Jackson Jutting who will wear the “A”.
Bemidji State was voted to finish fourth by league coaches in this year’s CCHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Beavers were voted to finish fifth by members of the league’s media.
Freshman Eric Pohlkamp (Brainerd, Minn.) was voted as the league’s Preseason Rookie of the Year in both the coaches and media polls while Looft was selected to the Preseason All-CCHA Team by the media.
BSU returns 21 athletes from 2022-23 (11 forwards, eight defensemen, two goaltenders) and lost 8 athletes (five forwards, two defensemen, one goaltender) to graduation.
Serratore has added seven newcomers to the squad with five forwards, one defenseman and one goaltender.
One of those newcomers is Eric Pohlkamp who was selected in the fifth round (132nd) of the NHL’s 2023 Entry Draft. He is the first Beaver NHL Draft pick since Radoslav Illo was selected in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (139th).
Pohlkamp is the sixth Beaver to be drafted into the NHL joining Illo, Chris Peluso (seventh round – Pittsburgh – 194th), Andrew Murray (eighth round – Columbus – 242nd), Gary Sargent (third round – Los Angeles – 48th) and Dale Smedsmo (seventh round – Toronto – 93rd).
The Beavers return their leading scorer from 2022-23 in sophomore Lleyton Roed. Roed was the first BSU freshman since Matt Read (2007-08) to lead the team in scoring.
He played in all 36 games and posted 31 points off 13 goals and 18 assists, the fifth highest point total by a Beaver freshman in its DI era.
Roed was tied for seventh in the CCHA among all skaters in scoring and 11th in goals and was the leagues leading freshman point getter and finished 19th nationally.
The Beavers graduated four of its top five scorers from last year and following Roed, junior Jere Vasanen is the next top returner after posting 17 points (7g-10a) in 36 games.
Roed and Looft are the Beavers’ top returning power-play goal scorers after the pair each netted three goals on a BSU power play unit that finished third in the CCHA last year.
Bemidji State returns starting goaltender Mattias Sholl who started 30 of the team’s 36 games last year.
Sholl posted a 11-13-5 record in net and was third in the CCHA with a 2.26 goals against average and sixth in save percentage (.908).
He is joined by senior Gavin Enright as well as newcomer Raythan Robbins (Anchorage, Alaska).
The 2023-24 Beaver roster consists of 28 student-athletes with two fifth-year seniors, five seniors, seven juniors, seven sophomores and seven freshmen.
The team consists of 11 Minnesotans, 22 from North America including five Canadians and six from Europe.
By average, the Beavers stand as one of the smallest in Division I. They are the eighth smallest by height averaging 5’11.8″ and second smallest by weight averaging 180.5 pounds.
Looft returns as one the most seasoned defensemen in college hockey and has played in the second most games in DI by a defenseman at 143. He trails T.J. Lloyd of Alaska-Fairbanks by one game and Ethan Somoza by 28 games for the program’s most games played record.