Having attended college at both BSU and UND, I have a fondness for the Bemidji State Beavershockey program.
Over the years, I have not found a lot of fans that dislike the Bemidji State Beavers. Sure you have a few.
I was there in the stands when the Beavers won the Division II National Title in 1993 against the Mercy Hurst Lakers, so I still have a few fond memories of the John S. Glas Fieldhouse on the BSU campus as well.
I also have a great respect for the Beavers head coach Tom Serratore, 12th year, 201–184–49, I think he brings a lot of energy to the room and if you run into him at Galen Nagel golf tourney at the Bemidji Town and Country, or see him at the postgame press conference, he’s the same person. Tom’s usually fired up.
Coach Serratore is what I classify as a high energy guy that brings a lot of enthusiasm to life and to the game of hockey. The Beavers play on the ice resembles the man behind the bench, tenacious, fiery, hardworking and up-tempo.
I also think that he’s a very good hockey coach, his teams are hard to play against and they play a high pressure fore-check that is incorrectly mistaken for the neutral zone trap.
This high pressure fore-check, if played to perfection, can lead to turn overs going the other way. This was the case on Friday night, as the Beaver’s and Gophers treated the fans to a great game of up and down the ice action.
Saturday night, not so much, the Gophers pretty much had their way with the Beavers and the Gophers never really gave the fans much doubt.
If you want to see what kind of coach Serratore is, go back and re-watch the 2009 NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Beavers had the Irish on their heels by scoring early and they forced the Irish to change their game plan. The Beavers would win the game 5-1, shocking the college hockey world.
The next night, the Beavers put the college hockey world into a coma by beating the Cornell Big Red 4-1 to send them to the Frozen Four in Washington D.C. at the Verizon Center, where their magical season would end two weeks later to the eventual runner up Miami.
This season, it’s been a rough year for the Beavers, but there will be better years ahead for the BSU hockey team. I don’t think any hockey program is going to be immune from it. The Minnesota Gophers just suffered through three rough seasons.
I love to go to the postgame press conferences and listen to Tom Serratore speak, last night he seemed very emotional in talking about his senior class. This was the last class to play in the John Glas Fieldhouse and then play at the new Sanford Center. This was also the senior class that made the move from the now defunct CHA to the WCHA.
“They’ve accomplished a lot here,” Bemidji State head coach Tom Serratore said when discussing his senior class. “We have five years seniors, four year seniors and three year seniors. Some of them helped us go to a Frozen Four in 09. They were part of a team in 2010 that was a number two seed in the NCAA tournament. We received an at-large-bid and went to Fort Wayne, Indiana for the Midwest Regionals. They were a big part of team that advanced to the WCHA Final Five as we transitioned into the WCHA that first year. Again, last year, we were basically a game from home ice in the WCHA, last year. You know what; they’ve done a lot of good things for this program. It’s tough to see those guys go. You can’t take away from their accomplishments.”
It’s no doubt that this class has had some big-time moments in BSU’s historic program and you can bet, it won’t be long before Bemidji is again standing in the lime light of another great run, thanks to its energetic head coach.
Cross-posted at the Hockey Writers Combine.