WMU Hockey vs Bemidji State Live Chat - 8:15 p.m.
#10/7 Western Michigan (11-5-2) vs. Bemidji State (5-10-3)
All-Time series — Bemidji State leads 3-2-1
Jan. 4-5, 2012 // Stanford Center (4,373)
Friday: 8:37 p.m., Saturday: 8:05 p.m. // Bemidji, Minn. // America One Stream
Live streams of both Friday and Saturday's games can be purchased here: https://www.americaonesports.com/partner_members.asp?id=18
Western Michigan defeated Michigan State in a shootout to advance to the finals of the Great Lakes Invitational but met a red-hot Michigan Tech team and fell to the Huskies, 4-0, on Sunday night.
Bemidji State leads the all-time series with a slight edge 3-2-1. The two teams met in Kalamazoo back during the 2009-10 season with the teams skating to a 0-0 draw and then the Beavers capitalizing on three power play goals to shutout the Broncos the next night, 3-0. Western Michigan is 1-1-0 all-time in Bemidji but has not played a game at the Beaver’s new arena, the Stanford Center.
No current Bronco has tallied a point against Bemidji State, but Dane Walters, Luke Witkowski and Trevor Elias each played in the two games in 2009. No
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
Bemidji State (5-10-3) recently saw a three-game unbeaten streak come to an end when they lost back-to-back games up in New Hampshire at the Ledyard Bank Classic. Bemidji dropped the opening game 4-3 to Massachusetts and then fell in overtime to hosts New Hampshire, 3-2. Overall the Beavers have experienced some ups and downs on the season, including a four-game losing streak and a three-game losing streak. BSU does boast a win and tie over nationally ranked Denver, as well as a win and tie at Nebraska-Omaha.
Bemidji’s offense averages 2.44 goals per game, ranking 38th nationally. The scoring comes primary from the upperclassmen for the Beavers with senior Brance Orban leading the team with 15 points on five goals and a team-leading 10 assists. Fellow senior Jordan George is tied for the team lead in goals scored with seven, also tallying six assists for 13 points. Senior Aaron McLeod is tied with George with seven goals and also has three assists. Sam Rendle is the lone BSU defenseman to net a goal this season, while Matt Prapavessis leads all blue-liners with six points on six assists.
Defensively the Beavers are giving up 2.89 goals per game, tied for 41st in the nation with Vermont. Sophomore Andrew Walsh has seen the bulk of the minutes in net, starting in 12 of the 18 games this season. Walsh has a 2.38 goals against average with a .923 save percentage and a 4-6-2 record. Senior Mathieu Dugas has started six games with a 1-4-1 record, a 3.26 goals against average and a .897 save percentage.
Bemidji’s power play is ranked 15th in the country, converting 20.4 percent of their chances with 11 power play goal so far. McLeod leads the team with four tallies on the power play. The Beavers’ penalty kill has struggled on the season, allowing 16 goals and killing only 79.5 percent of their opponents power plays.
POWER PLAY OUTAGE
After spending the majority of the first half of the season with a hot streak on the power play, the Broncos have experienced a bit of a down-slide. In their last three games the Broncos are 0-for-15 with the man advantage and were 0-for-13 last weekend at the Great Lakes Invitational.
Until the current slide, the Broncos had not gone more than one game without scoring a power play goal. WMU has tallied power play goals in 12 of their 18 games this season and has netted two power play goals in half of them.
On Friday nights the Broncos have averaged 3.1 goals per game and have posted a 6-2-0 record. For the last three Friday games the Broncos have scored four goals per game with a 4-2 win over Northern Michigan, a 4-2 win over Ferris State and a 4-1 win over Michigan. Only once in eight Friday games has WMU failed to score at least three goals in a game with a 6-1 loss at Alaska. Dane Walters has netted all seven of his goals during Friday games, while Chase Balisy has five goals and five assists.
After losing to Michigan Tech in the Great Lakes Championship game, Western Michigan is just 1-9-0 against WCHA teams since 2004. The lone win came last season at St. Cloud State in overtime. The Broncos have also dropped games to Minnesota Duluth, North Dakota, Denver, St. Cloud State and Denver. WMU has been outscored by the WCHA 39-18 in those games.