Beaver Fever Friday – Eric Martin – Mens Hockey

Beavers host Lakers for single-elimination semifinal Saturday at Sanford Center

BSU Men’s Hockey hosts Lake Superior State Saturday at 7:07 pm for Mason Cup Semifinals

It’s win or go home this Saturday at the Sanford Center as the 2024 MacNaughton Cup Champion Bemidji State University Men’s Hockey team hosts Lake Superior State University for a single-game elimination Mason Cup Playoffs Semifinal matchup Saturday (March 16).

The Beavers (19-15-2) play host to the Lakers (17-19-1) for the single-elimination Semifinal matchup Saturday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:07 p.m., from Sanford Center.

The 2023-24 CCHA regular season champion Beavers reached the Semifinal round of the Mason Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2022 after defeating Ferris State University in two games during the CCHA Quarterfinals last weekend.

The Beavers continue their quest to win the program’s first Mason Cup as tournament champions.

The winner of the CCHA Mason Cup Playoffs earns the automatic bid into the 2024 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey National Tournament.

As regular season champions, the Beavers earned home-ice advantage in the quarterfinals and throughout the rest of the Mason Cup Playoffs if they advance.

The last time BSU won the regular season championship and playoff championship was during its historic NCAA Frozen Four season (2008-09) where it won the CHA regular season and tournament championship.

The Beavers are one of the hottest teams in Division I boasting an eight-game winning streak, the second longest active winning streak in DI (Boston College, W9).

The Beavers also boast a 10-game unbeaten streak (9-0-1) dating back to Feb. 9, the longest active streak in DI.

The Beavers have not lost a game since Feb. 3 against Augustana (41 days).

Bemidji State also owns a six-game home winning streak the fourth longest in Division I.

The Beavers’ .700 winning percentage (14-6-0) at Sanford Center this season is the best in the CCHA and 15th in the nation.

BSU’s 14 wins at home are tied for the fourth most in the nation.

If the Beavers’ advance to the CCHA Championship game, it will be their sixth consecutive game at home.

The Beavers will have to go through historic postseason opponent Lake Superior State to reach their second CCHA championship game in three years.

The two teams have met 10 times in postseason play and during the early stages of their programs, have battled for three NAIA National Championships (1969, 1970 and 1974) and one NCHA Conference Championship (1968).

The Beavers and Lakers postseason record is split down the middle with each team earning five wins but the Beavers are just 2-4 in Division I postseason play against LSSU.

The Beavers and Lakers last met in the postseason on March 19, 2021 in the WCHA Semifinals held at Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in Mankato, Minn. The Lakers upset the then ranked No. 12 Beavers winning 4-1.

The all-time series has also been split evenly and in 87 meetings, Lake Superior State holds a slight edge with a 41-40-6 record.

This season, the Lakers earned the season series victory over the Beavers going 3-1-0 including two regulation victories and one in overtime.

During the regular season, LSSU has out-scored BSU 16-12 averaging 4.00 goals per game.

However, CCHA Goaltender of the Year Mattias Sholl is set to make his debut versus the Lakers this season and is 3-1-0 with a .932 save percentage and 1.85 goals against average in his career versus LSSU.

When playing at Sanford Center, the Beavers are 20-18-3 against the Lakers.

Fifth-year senior Carter Jones and senior Austin Jouppi led the Beavers against the Lakers during the regular season and in four games each has compiled five points.

Jones paces the Beavers with three goals against LSSU while Jouppi’s five assists leads the team.

In his career, fifth-year senior Kyle Looft leads all active skaters with 10 career points (2g-8a) versus the Lakers and has recorded four assists this season. He is a team-best +10 skater versus LSSU in 22 career games.

Jones follows with nine career points (3g-6a) in 18 games while Eric Martin (2g-4a), Jouppi (6a), and Lleyton Roed (3g-3a) each follow with six points.

23-year head coach Tom Serratore is 25-22-5 when coaching against the Lakers and 2-4 in postseason play.

2023-24 CCHA Year-End Awards have begun to roll out for the league and Kyle Looft, Jackson Jutting and Mattias Sholl were recognized as stand out players.

Looft was voted by league coaches as Best Defensive Defenseman and Defenseman of the Year. Jutting was recognized as the Best Defensive Forward and Sholl was named the Goaltender of the Year.

A program record four Beavers were also named All-CCHA First Team selections in Looft, Sholl, sophomore Lleyton Roed and freshman Eric Pohlkamp all earning the distinction.

After a three-goal and five-point weekend in the CCHA Quarterfinals, Pohlkamp was tabbed the league’s Defenseman of the Week for the second time this season.

Bemidji State reentered the top-20 national poll for the first time since Jan. 2, 2023 and are tied for 20th in the national poll. The Beavers are still receiving votes in the USA Hockey/The Rink Live top-20 poll and are 22 points outside the top-20.

Bemidji State is the highest scoring team in the CCHA averaging 3.11 goals per game (112) and will face the second-highest scoring team in LSSU who have 113 goals for a 3.05 goals per game average

During its 10-game unbeaten streak, BSU is averaging 4.00 goals per game and limiting opponents to just 1.80 goals per game including three shutouts.

The Beavers are fifth in the CCHA allowing 3.00 goals per game (108) over the course of the season but their 2.67 goals allowed per game average in conference play is fourth in the league.

BSU is the most efficient scoring team in the conference scoring 112 goals on 1053 shots scoring on 10.6 percent of its shots.

The Lakers follow in second in efficiency scoring 113 goals on 1080 shots (10.5 percent).

The Beavers’ strength has been five-on-five this season and are second in the league with a 52.5 even strength goals for percentage and 26th in DI.

The Beavers have also sold out in the defensive zone blocking the most shots in the CCHA and fourth-most in Division I (542).

Bemidji State is led by Hobey Baker Award nominee Lleyton Roed who has posted 30 points (14g-16g) in 36 games.

He is the first Beaver to post back-to-back 30 or more point seasons since Jordan George recorded three consecutive 30-point seasons from 2009-2012. He is one point shy of tying his freshman season high of 31 points.

His 10 power-play points paces the team and his five power-play goals are tied with Pohlkamp for most on the team and sixth in the conference.

In just two seasons with the Beavers, Roed has compiled 61 career points (27g-34a) and his 0.85 point per game average is fifth among Beavers that played in the DI era (Matt Read-0.97, Luke Erickson-0.97, Andrew Murray-0.90, Owen Sillinger-0.86). He is 34th in scoring during the Beavers’ DI history.

He is followed by fifth-year senior and captain Kyle Looft who has 28 points (6g-22a) in 30 games despite missing six games due to injury.

Looft leads all league defensemen in points and is seventh among all league skaters with a 0.93 point per game average. He is ninth among all defenseman in Division I in point per game average. His 28 points this season are tied for the sixth most in a single season by a Beaver defenseman in the DI era.

Looft has posted back-to-back two assist games and has eight points (1g-7a) over the last six games.

Looft also leads the league with a +17 rating on the ice and is seventh with 51 blocked shots.

Senior Eric Martin is right behind with 25 points (8g-17a), a career-high.

The Beavers boast their scoring depth with six skaters posting 20 or more points this season and 13 with 10 or more.

Eric Pohlkamp (23 points), Carter Jones (23 points) and Jackson Jutting (21 points) round out the six Beavers with 20 or more points.

Pohlkamp is the fist Bemidji State defenseman to score 10 goals in a season since John Haider (11) in 2003-04. His 10 goals is tied for the 3rd most by a BSU d-man in its DI era (Stefan Bjork, 15 goals). The Brainerd, Minn., native and San Jose Shark draft pick has six points (3g-3a) in his last three games and nine points (4g-5a) over the last seven. Since returning from winning gold with Team USA at the World Junior Championship, he has 14 points (6g-8a) in 14 games. Before the World Juniors he had nine points (4g-5a) through his first 16 games.

Pohlkamp leads CCHA defenseman with 112 shots on goal and is fourth among DI defenseman.

Jutting is tied with Pohlkamp for second on the team with 10 goals. His .40 goals per game average leads the team and is ninth in the CCHA. Since returning from injury on Feb. 2, Jutting has 11 points (4g-7a) in 12 games.

Mattias Sholl has started 19 of the last 20 games in between the pipes and is 12-5-2 during that span. Over the Beavers’ 10-game unbeaten streak, Sholl is 8-0-1 with a 1.97 GAA and .922 save percentage.

Pohlkamp leads the Beavers during their unbeaten streak posting 12 points off six goals and six assists and a team-high +15 rating during that span.

Sholl is 13-7-2 on the season with a 2.60 GAA and .909 save percentage and in league games only, boasts a 2.03 GAA and .924 save percentage.

The Beavers have allowed two or less goals in four of the last five games and have shutout their opponent in three of the last four.

2023-24 is the 68th season of Bemidji State Men’s Hockey and 25th in Division I. The Beavers are 1,190-699-152 (.620) in 67 seasons and 404-405-104 (.496) in Division I.