A look at Bemidji State, Western Collegiate Hockey Association
Beavers (1-1) at Colorado College (0-0)
7:37 p.m. Friday, 7:07 p.m. Saturday, World Arena
Last week: Unranked Bemidji State split at then-No. 1 Miami, 5-3 (W) and 3-2 (L).
Top returners (last season’s stats): Jr. Jordan George (36 points, 19 assists); Jr. Ben Kinne (injury, missed entire season); Sr. Jamie MacQueen (11, seven goals); Sr. Shea Walters (14, 13 assists); Sr. Emil Bilberg (13, eight assists); So. Radoslav Illo (Ducks draft pick, six, four goals).
Quotable: “I wouldn’t characterize us as a defensive team,” BSU coach Tom Serratore said. “We’d definitely like to score more but at the same time you have to play good defense to be successful.”
Notes: Junior Aaron McLeod looks to have picked up where he left off after a strong second half of the 2010-11 season with two goals and an assist in the upset of then-No. 1 Miami. He had nine points (five goals) all last season. … Kinne, George and MacQueen make up BSU’s top line while Illo, Walters and junior David Boehm are the second, judging from last weekend’s games.
Top returners: Sr. Brad Hunt (21, 18 assists); So. Sam Rendle (11, eight assists); Jr. Jake Areshenko (eight, seven assists); Sr. Matt Carlson (four, two goals).
Quotable: “The defense has very good balance and even the bottom of our defensive corps are guys that we feel can contribute to this hockey team,” Serratore said. “Brad Hunt is one of the top defensemen in the WCHA. He has lots of experience in key situations and has an NHL slap shot. He gives us stability along the blue line.”
Notes: Hunt gets a lot of his points on the power play where he runs the left point, using either that powerful slap shot or a diagonal pass across ice for a back-door scoring opportunity.
Top returner: Sr. Dan Bakala (14-13-4, 2.47, .919).
Quotable: “I’ve always thought (Bakala) was underrated,” Serratore said. “He’s playing with a lot of confidence that should allow him to have another good year. He’s been the backbone of our team.”
Notes: Bakala was in danger of losing his starting job early last season before coming on with three shutouts, two in WCHA play.
JOE PAISLEY, THE GAZETTE
Contact Joe Paisley: 636-0260