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Bemidji State men's hockey: Beavers ranked No. 15

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Bemidji State is the only Minnesota team ranked in this week's top 15 USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Division I college men's hockey poll.

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The Beavers are ranked 15th with a record of 3-0-1 after gaining a win and a tie on the road at Northern Michigan last weekend.

Miami of Ohio is No. 1, followed closely by North Dakota and Denver.

Other Minnesota schools receiving votes but not making the top 15 were Minnesota, St. Cloud State and Minnesota-Duluth.

Bemidji State, which made an unexpected trip to the NCAA Frozen Four last season, opens College Hockey America conference play with games at Alabama-Huntsville Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

The Beavers are off to their fastetst start of the Division I era. They have outscored their opponents 18-7 in four games this year.

The 14th annual USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll is conducted each week in conjunction with the American Hockey Coaches Association. The poll includes input from coaches and journalists representing each of the six NCAA Division I ice hockey conferences, as well as composite votes from officers of the AHCA and USA Hockey Magazine.

Bemidji State swept the College Hockey America Player of the Week awards. Chris McKelvie, a senior from New Brighton, Minn., was selected offensive player of the week. Brad Hunt, a sophomore from Ridge Meadows, British Columbia, earned defensive player of the week laurels. Mathieu Dugas, a freshman goaltender from L'Assomption, Quebec, was named rookie of the week.

McKelvie picked up two goals and an assist at Northern Michigan. He posted his first assist of the season in the Beavers' 3-3 tie Friday. In Saturday's series finale, McKelvie netted a short-handed game-winning goal before adding an unassisted even-strength marker midway through the third period to mark the second multi-goal game of his career. He finished the weekend with a plus 3 rating and added a pair of blocked shots.

Hunt netted three assists against the Wildcats. Hunt recorded a helper on a Jordan George power-play goal in the opening moments of Friday's third period to ignite a BSU comeback. He helped complete the rally adding an assist on Ben Kinne's game-tying goal with just 10.6 seconds on the clock to salvage a tie. The multi-point night was the second of the season for Hunt. Saturday, the defender again proved to be an asset on the man advantage, registering an assist on the Beavers' only power-play goal of the evening.

Dugas rounds out the BSU trio after earning a 13-save shutout in his first collegiate game. He is only the third Beaver in team history to earn a shutout in their first career game, joining Jim Scanlan (1979-1982) and Matt Climie (2004-08).

The award marks the first conference honor for McKelvie and Dugas, while it stands as the seventh player of the week award for Hunt. In 2008-09, Hunt was pegged as the league's defensive player of the week on three occasions and garnered three rookie of the week laurels.

The awards stand as the third, fourth and fifth conference honors of the 2009-10 for the Bemidji State men.

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