Despite summer like weather the last couple of weeks, the BSU men’s hockey season opened up play with an exhibition against Regina on Sunday. A decent crowd of over 2,000 got their first glimpse of the 2011-12 Beavers in an 7-0 win. Several new players to the team made their debut and one made his return after a year hiatus. It was great to see Ben Kinne back on the ice in a game. He was such an impact player a couple of years ago but understandably hadn’t returned to the ice since his stroke. Several new players looked good too, including UMass transfer David Boehm who I think will make a real impact immediately. I also like the fact that there is more size added, with 4 new players 6’1″ or taller. The biggest question mark facing the team this season is scoring after the loss of Matt Read and Ian Lowe to graduation. Jordan George should lead the team in that category but Kinne, McQueen, Illo should also be team leaders. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a couple of the newcomers also be contributing more than what you’d expect. The good news is the defense and goaltending should be solid. As usual, the regular season starts with big challenges. First it’s Miami of Ohio this weekend in Oxford, then CC next weekend in Colorado Springs. Nothing like being thrown into the fire right out of the gate!
While Schultzie hits the road the next couple of weeks, I’ll be taking over the play by play duties for BSU Football which is now 4-1 on the season. It’s Homecoming this weekend so it’s only appropriate that I’ll be joined in the booth by the former voice of the Beavers and BSU alum Shaun Michaels. Shaun moved back to the area with his family a couple of years ago and is kind enough to help us out when we have broadcast conflicts between sports. The game is against Concordia St. Paul, who has struggled a bit this year but last year defeated BSU to essentially knock them out of playoff contention. I expect a different result on Sunday with a BSU team that has played very well. The loss to UMD was a missed opportunity, but this team has a great chance of making the D2 playoffs for the first time in their history. It sure has been fun to see the great crowds at the Chet and Saturday should be no different. My predication, BSU 31-10.
Lastly, don’t forget our Sports in the Round broadcasts every Wednesday night from 6-8 live from the Ground Round in Bemidji. It’s our 11th consecutive season and we’d love to see you there. Eugene and Sue have been great hosts to the show through our eleven years and you can’t go wrong with the food/drinks! Stop by and join us one of these Wednesdays!