Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Weekend series preview: No. 10 CC at Bemidji State

BRIAN GOMEZ Updated: February 9, 2012 at 12:00 am

When: 6:37 p.m. Friday, 6:07 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sanford Center, Bemidji, Minn. (NHL-size ice sheet, 4,373 capacity)

Radio: 103.9 FM RXP, play-by-play by Ken Landau

The series: CC holds a 5-2-1 advantage in the series that dates to 2000, outscoring Bemidji State 9-5 in a home sweep to open the season. In its only previous trip to Bemidji State, CC tied 5-5 and lost 2-1 last season. CC won’t travel to Bemidji State next season, then it will depart the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference in the 2013-14 season, while Bemidji State will stay in the WCHA.

CC update: The No. 10 Tigers (15-9-2, 12-7-1 WCHA) are coming off a 2-0 victory and a 2-2 tie against No. 14 Denver that kept them in third place in the WCHA, five points behind No. 2 Minnesota and two points in back of No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth with eight games remaining. They’re 5-2-1 in their past four WCHA series. … C Rylan Schwartz leads CC with 30 points, including 18 goals, eight of which have come on the power play, and he has had a hand in 23 game-winners during a 105-game career. LW Jaden Schwartz has 28 points, including a team-high 18 assists, and he has recorded a point in 18 of his 20 games. D Mike Boivin and D Gabe Guentzel have 16 assists apiece, and RW Scott Winkler has 15 assists. In goal, Joe Howe (5-5-1 with a 3.33 goals-against average and a .886 save percentage) will play in place of Josh Thorimbert, who suffered an upper-body injury Saturday against Denver. C Nick Dineen also is sidelined with an upper-body injury, and CC is missing RW Dakota Eveland (upper body), D Eamonn McDermott (left knee) and LW Michael Morin (right ankle). … The Tigers are averaging 3.38 goals, the 10th-most in the country, and they’re allowing 2.69 goals. They’re ninth-best nationally on the power play at 22.7 percent, but they’re 3 for 27 with the man advantage in their past three series. Their penalty kill converts at 80 percent. … CC is 13-0 when leading after two periods, however, the Tigers are 1-7 when they trail heading into the third.

Bemidji State update: The Beavers (13-12-3, 7-10-3) climbed to ninth in the WCHA last weekend with a 6-4 win and a 1-1 tie at Nebraska-Omaha. They’re 9-4-1 at Sanford Center, where they’ve won six of their past seven games. … RW Jordan George leads Bemidji State with 23 points, including 14 goals, after a three-point game Saturday. D Brad Hunt has a team-high 15 assists, including a pair against Nebraska-Omaha. LW Ben Kinne and C Shea Walters have nine goals apiece, and Bemidji State is 6-2-1 when Kinne scores. In goal, Dan Bakala (7-7-1 with a 2.60 GAA and a .917 save percentage) likely will start over Andrew Walsh (6-4-1 with a 2.37 GAA and a .915 save percentage) after Bakala made 73 saves last weekend. D Sam Rendle underwent season-ending surgery on his left shoulder in December. … The Beavers average 2.75 goals, the second-fewest in the WCHA, and they’re giving up 2.79 goals. They’re at 19.8 percent on the power play, having tallied on two of their prior 17 chances with the man advantage, and they have the 10th-best penalty kill in the country at 85 percent, with a 13-for-14 effort against Nebraska-Omaha. … Tom Serratore is 191-158-41 in his 11th season at his alma mater.

CC coach Scott Owens on Bemidji State: “You have to play patient against them. They kind of play a different style. They just bang the puck around a little bit. Their power play is pretty good. Their first line is good. And they get good goaltending.”

Contact Brian Gomez: 719-636-0256 or brian.gomez@gazette.com. Facebook: Brian Gomez. Twitter: @gazettehockey. Google+: Brian Gomez. YouTube: Colorado College Hockey, Covered by The Gazette. For the CC homepage, visit www.gazette.com/sections/sports/cchockey. For the CC blog, visit http://cchockey.freedomblogging.com.

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