Beavers Begin Practice

It has been over six months since the Bemidji State University men’s hockey team skated off the ice at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Ind. to cap the 2009-10. Since falling to the University of Michigan, 5-1, in the NCAA Tournament’s Midwest Regional semifinal contest, head coach Tom Serratore and the Beavers have busy preparing to transition into to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and finalizing details for the opening of the Bemidji Regional Event Center.  Tomorrow at 10 a.m. that preparation will be bumped to a new level when the Beavers hit the ice at Neilson-Reise Arena for their first official practice of the 2010-11 campaign.

With just 13 days to prepare for its 55th season opener and 11th at the NCAA Division I level and first in the premier collegiate hockey conference, BSU will be hard at it again Sunday.  

“What we want to do as we get practice underway is to develop our habits and make sure we have good structure,” said Serratore.  “We start with that mentality from the get go.”

Next week, the team plans to move into is new hockey home and will showcase its new digs and 2010-11 roster in a Green/White scrimmage, Thursday at 7:07 p.m. The event is free and BREC doors open for the general public at 6 p.m.

“It’s been a tough year and a really tough summer from the standpoint that its been morning to night,” commented Serratore.  “There has been a lot on our plates.  Not only were we trying to prepare for a new league, but our new building has consumed a lot of us, so it’s really a breath of fresh air to skate onto that ice.  Ultimately that’s what we are.  We are hockey coaches–that is our passion and love.”

Entering his 11th season at Bemidji State, Serratore, a finalist for the 2010 Spencer Penrose Award for national coach of the year, returns 20 players from a 2009-10 CHA regular-season championship roster including 2010 RBK Second-Team All-America selection Matt Read (Sr., F, Ilderton, Ontario).

The Bemidji State men’s hockey team, which finished 23-10-4 overall and 14-3-1 in CHA play to garner its fifth regular-season conference crown in the last seven years and earned its first at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, lifts the lid on its 2010-11 campaign Oct. 15-16 when it hosts league-favorite North Dakota at the Bemidji Regional Event Center.  Game times are set for 7:37 and 7:07 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evening, respectively.

Tickets for the season-opening series versus UND are no longer available, but BSU hockey fans still have an opportunity to find their way into the BREC to see the Beavers’ inaugural WCHA contests versus Fighting Sioux. Potential season ticket holders can take a first-hand look at select great season-ticket package locations that remain Tuesday, Oct. 5 from 5-7 p.m. as BSU will host Select-A-Seat night at the BREC.

Single-game tickets for the upcoming hockey season will go on sale to the general public beginning at 10 a.m. Oct. 18 at the BREC box office and online at