Bemidji State Beavers men's ice hockey
|Bemidji State Beavers men's ice hockey|
|University||Bemidji State University|
|Head coach||Tom Serratore|
|12th year, 195–164–41|
Surface: 200' x 85'
|Colors||Green and White
|NCAA Tournament Frozen Four|
|NCAA Tournament Appearances|
|2005, 2006, 2009, 2010|
The Bemidji State Beavers men's ice hockey team is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college ice hockey program that represents Bemidji State University. The Beavers are a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and play at Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minnesota, as of the 2010 season, after previously playing at the John S. Glas Field House.
The Bemidji State men's ice hockey program began in 1946. From the inaugural 1946-47 season through the 1966-67 season BSU played as an independent member of Division I. In 1968 the team became a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The program continued to operate as an independent member, now in the NAIA from 1968-69 through the 1979-80 season. For the 1980-81 season the program joined the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA), in which Bemidji State is a charter member. BSU won the 1981-82 and 1982-83 NCHA regular season championships.  Following the 1982-83 season BSU moved to NCAA Division II remaining in the NCHA. During the program's 16-season tenure in the NAIA the team won NAIA national ice hockey championships 9 times, including the first NAIA Championship in 1968.
The Beavers won their third straight NCHA regular season championship in 1983-84 and qualified for the NCAA tournament. In the 1984 tournament BSU won its first NCAA title at the Division II level with BSU sweeping Merrimack in a best-of-three series winning 6-3 and 8-1. Beginning in the following season, the Division II tournament was combined with the NCAA Division III level. The Beavers won the NCHA regular season championship for the third straight season and qualified for the school's first NCAA Division III ice hockey championship. BSU came in second after a 1-5 loss in the finals to RIT. Bemidji State won the first ever NCHA playoff tournament at the conclusion of the 1985-86 season and continued momentum into the NCAA DIII tournament winning the Division III Championship in an 8-5 win over Plattsburgh State. BSU made the NCAA Division III tournament three more times in the 1980s, 1987-1989 but finished fourth once and third twice. The Division II Ice Hockey Tournament was reinstated beginning in 1992-93 season and BSU won The Division II championship three straight years 1993-1995. In the 1996 championship the Beavers came up short to Alabama-Huntsville. The following season Alabama-Huntsville would get revenge, beating Bemidji State in the 1998 championship game. That would be the last year BSU participated in the DII tournament, the Beavers failed to qualify for the last NCAA DII Tournament in 1999 and the following season the Beavers moved to NCAA Division I level.
Bemidji State joined two other former Division II ice hockey members Alabama–Huntsville and Findlay along with former DI independent teams Air Force, Army, and Niagara and expansion program Wayne State to form College Hockey America at the Division I level after the NCAA ended sponsorship of a Division II ice hockey tournament due to lack of membership. Ted Belisle joined the coaching team as an assistant, and BSU won their first CHA regular season championship in the 2003-04 season but lost 2004 CHA Championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in overtime 3-4 to (#2) Niagara.
The 2004-05 marked a historic season for the BSU hockey program. The team swept through the CHA winning the CHA regular season championship and winning the 2005 CHA Championship over Alabama-Huntsville. The 3-0 shutout win gave the Beavers their first berth in the NCAA Division I Ice Hockey Tournament in program history. the team came close to a major upset, losing 3-4 in overtime to the #1 ranked Denver in the opening round. Bemidji beat Niagara 4-2 to win the 2006 CHA Championship and advance to the 2006 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament for the second year in a row. BSU again lost in the opening round, this time to Wisconsin 0-4.
The 2008-09 season was the most successful season the team has had at the Division I level. The Beavers finished the regular season 1st in the CHA with a record of 12-5-1 and won the 2009 CHA Championship in 3-2 in overtime over Robert Morris. The team picked up the first NCAA Division I tournament win in the 2009 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament with a 5-1 upset over Notre Dame Fighting Irish men's ice hockey, a #1 seed and ranked 2nd in the national rankings. The Beavers advanced for the first time in the Division I tournament and beat Cornell 4-1 to advance to the school's first ever Frozen Four held at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C.. Bemidji faced Miami (Ohio) in the National Semifinal game with a 1-4 loss to the RedHawks.
In addition to the on-ice success, in 2008 Bemidji began exploring options to strengthen the program. The CHA had lost many of the original member to programs at Findlay and Wayne State folding and other teams transferring to other college hockey conferences. Travel expenses to remaining members in Huntsville, Alabama, and Western New York and Pennsylvania was also a concern. BSU began looking at the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) as a solution. In a first step the university signed a scheduling agreement against WCHA schools, many within a few hours drive to Bemidji, Minnesota. Other than the WCHA BSU's only option was to end the historic program. In 2009 it was announced the university and city of Bemidji would build a 4,000-5,000 seat state-of-the-art arena to meet WCHA requirements, that the 2,400-seat John S. Glas Field House did not meet. With the news of the Bemidji Regional Events Center BSU applied to join the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in early 2009. Bemidji State along with University of Nebraska-Omaha (transferring from the CCHA) was accepted into the WCHA as the 11th and 12th members. BSU officially became a member on July 1, 2010.
The Beavers opened WCHA play in the new Bemidji Regional Events Center on October 15, 2010 against North Dakota in a 2-5 loss. Bemidji picked up their first WCHA win at St. Cloud State 3-2 in overtime. Bemidji ended the regular season with a conference record of 8-15-5 as the 10th seed entering the 2011 WCHA Tournament. In the first round of the WCHA playoffs the Beaver beat 3rd-seeded Nebraska-Omaha two games to none with 4-3 and 4-2 wins. The series sweep sent Bemidji to its first ever WCHA Final Five and upset Minnesota–Duluth 3-2 in overtime, before losing to Denver 2-6 in the semifinal game.
Players and notable alumni
- "Bemidji State Men's Hockey Team History". U.S. College Hockey Online. 1996–2010. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "Northern Collegiate Hockey Association History". Northern Collegiate Hockey Association. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "Men's NCHA Regular Season, Playoff Team Champions". Northern Collegiate Hockey Association. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "Men's Division III Ice Hockey Championship History". NCAA. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "New Conferences Set To Debut in 1999-2000". American Hockey Coaches Association. 1999. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "College Hockey America - 1999-2000 Standings". College Hockey Stats.com. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- Staff (March 14, 2004). "Tallari Sends Niagara Into NCAAs". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Staff (March 13, 2005). "Breaking The Ice: Bemidji State Heads To NCAA Tourney". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Connelly, Jim (March 26, 2005). "Close Escape: Ulanski Goal Sends Denver Past Bemidji State". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Mackinder, Matt (March 12, 2006). "Bemidji State Downs Niagara To Retain CHA Championship". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Panger, Robert (March 25, 2006). "Hats Off: Pavelski Nets Three As Wisconsin Rolls". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "Bemidji State 3, Robert Morris 2". U.S. College Hockey Online. March 14, 2009. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Miller, Bob (March 28, 2009). "First Time For Everything: Bemidji State Topples Top-Seeded Notre Dame". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Weston, Paula C. (March 29, 2009). "Believe: Bemidji State Earns Historic Frozen Four Berth". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Weston, Paula C. (April 9, 2009). "RedHawks Advance To First-Ever Title Game". U.S. College Hockey Online. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Seal, Ben (April 9, 2009). "Bemidji State Hockey Awakens From Incongruous Dream". New York Times. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- Staff (January 18, 2008). "Bemidji State, WCHA Reach Scheduling Agreement". College Hockey News. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- Staff (April 7, 2009). "Cinderella Bemidji State's Future on Ice". AOL News. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- Albright, David (April 8, 2009). "Bemidji State finally takes big stage". ESPN. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "Bemidji State to pursue membership in Western Collegiate Hockey Association". Bemidji State University. January 15, 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "Bemidji State men’s hockey program begins WCHA membership July 1". Bemidji State University. July 1, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- "Bemidji State Men's Hockey 2010-2011 Schedule and Results". U.S. College Hockey Online. 2010–2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Stromgren, Eric (March 13, 2011). "BSU hockey team sweeps Nebraska-Omaha, advances to face Bulldogs in WCHA Final Five". Bemidji Pioneer.
- Staff (March 18, 2011). "Bemidji State upsets UMD at Final Five". Pierce County Herald. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Staff (March 18, 2011). "Denver beats Bemidji St. 6-2 in WCHA semis". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "Alumni Report". Internet Hockey Database. 2008. Retrieved September 10, 2010.