Bemidji States Stifling Defense Faces Tough Test In No. 2 St. Cloud State

null

Bemidji State might have a short highlight reel this season, but the Beavers’ conservative style has made for tight, low-scoring contests en route to a 5-2-1 start. 

This time last season, the Beavers sat 4-4-2, simultaneously scoring and allowing 2.9 goals per game, which seems thrilling compared to 2018-19. In their eight games this year, there has been an unbelievable 29 total tallies. That’s total — between two teams.

That means in games featuring Bemidji State this season, there’s an average of just 3.6 total goals scored. Beavers coach Tom Serratore’s defensive approach doesn’t make for an action-packed 60 minutes, but he says his team “obviously get[s] evaluated on scoring goals and winning games.”

In the end, it’s results that count. Defense has carried the Beavers to a 5-2-1 record, including a 3-1 mark in conference play. The system is working in the bigger picture, but competition ramps up in the next two weeks. That competition includes No. 2 St. Cloud State (9-1) this weekend and WCHA foe No. 3 Minnesota State (7-1) the next. Those are two heavy offensive teams that have scored 42 and 33 goals, respectively.

Serratore’s defensive structure will need to be pristine against such dangerous talent, as the 11 goals allowed through eight games could realistically double over the next two series. Serratore will likely focus on finding more consistent offense over the next two weeks as the team’s two losses were 1-0 shutouts when you remove Northern Michigan’s two empty-net tallies on Oct. 26.

“We need to pick it up offensively. We know that,” Serratore told Austin Monteith of The Duluth News Tribune ahead of last week’s matchup with Merrimack. “Offense is very difficult. It comes in spurts. But right now I think early in the year with a young forward group, our defensive corps has really played the way they’re supposed to play.”

With eight of the Beavers’ 18 total goals coming the next day during an 8-3 thrashing of Merrimack, Serratore likely wore out the game tape prior during this week. It showed the deep offense the Beavers can have, as 14 different players recording at least a point.

Moreover, Serratore will need to rekindle the power play success from last season, which capitalized on 21.7 percent of chances. Early on this year, the Beavers have scored just four goals with the man advantage in 28 attempts (14.2 percent).

“Special teams is always a work in progress,” Serratore added.

Don’t miss the Beavers take on No. 2 St. Cloud State this weekend after a two-year hiatus between the in-state rivals. BSU holds a 46-45-5 overall record on St. Cloud but has gone just 4-24-3 during the teams’ last 31 matchups. Catch Friday’s game LIVE right here on FloHockey.


Have a question or a comment for Jacob Messing? You can find him on Twitter @Jacob_Messing.

IIHF World Championship Watch Guide

Tune in live for 30 games of the IIHF World Championships. Below is the list of games that will be live on FloHockey throughout the Championships.

Steve Yzerman And Ken Holland Face Different Roads In New Roles

A short Tampa Bay Lightning postseason sparked a fast start to the Detroit Red Wings offseason and trickled down to the Edmonton Oilers, as very different paths lay ahead for the three franchises.

Hughes With Big Test Ahead Against Kakko

The undeniable appeal of international sporting tournaments is the allure of Best vs Best. 

Czech Republic, Sweden Start IIHF With A Bang

Although it was only opening day of the 2019 IIHF World Championship, the Czech Republic and Team Sweden staged a battle worthy of the medal round. 

Everything You Need To Know About IIHF World Championships

The ultimate goal for European hockey players is the “Triple Crown”: the Stanley Cup; an Olympic Gold Medal, and an IIHF World Championship. 

Cale Makar Finally Closes Out Long Extended Season

null

It was the one element of Cale Makar’s game that he had returned to UMass to work on; the one-time shot. 

NHL Postseason Free Of Expectations, Full Of Storylines

In an ever-growing search for parity in the NHL, the excitement of the 2019 Playoffs has supported the authenticity of the “just get in” mentality, which has shredded postseason expectations.

Bratislava: The Host City Of IIHF World Championships

Bratislava, the host city of the 2019 World Championships, is international hockey’s answer to the American Rust Belt. 

FloSports To Air Select IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship Games

AUSTIN, Texas — May 9, 2019 — Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, announced its plans to provide live and on-demand coverage of thirty IIHF Men’s Ice Hockey World Championship Games airing exclusively on FloHockey.tv.

Rangers Wasting No Time Reloading

The term “accelerated rebuild” has become a popular one in sports lately.