The Bemidji State men’s team is showing it can no longer be overlooked, particularly with Michael Bitzer in goal.
The 5-11, 192-pound goalie from Moorhead, Minn., is looking like a leading candidate for the Mike Richter Award, given to the top goalie in college hockey each season.
Bitzer leads the country in games played (12), minutes played (725 minutes, 3 seconds), goals-against average (1.32), wins (9) and is tied for the lead in the shutouts (3).
He was at his best this past weekend when he made 23 saves in Friday’s 1-1 overtime tie against WCHA rival and 11th-ranked Minnesota State, and he made 32 more saves in Saturday’s 2-1 overtime win over the Mavericks. He has 13 shutouts in his career, a school record. His weekend play earned him ASN’s player of the week award.
The Beavers (9-2-1 overall) are tied for fifth with Boston College in the latest Pairwise rankings and sit atop the parity-filled WCHA with a 9-0-1 record. BSU’s losses were on the road at North Dakota, ranked No. 1 at the time.
The Beavers were ranked 15th in the USCHO poll and unranked in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll last week.
That will change.