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Sweep carries Beavers to No. 6 in national polls

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Fresh off a College Hockey America sweep of University of Alabama-Huntsville to improve to 10-1-1 and maintain its perch atop the conference standings at 6-0-0, the Bemidji State University men's ice hockey team continues to garner more of the national spotlight.

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Entering their series versus the Chargers ranked eighth, the Beavers have reached new heights with a pair of convincing victories and are slotted No. 6 in this week's edition of polls conducted by USCHO.com/CBS College Sports and USAToday/USA Hockey Magazine.

The No. 6 billing stands as a new high-water mark for the program, superseding its previous high of No. 7 achieved in the Nov. 9 version of both publications. In addition, BSU received two first place votes in the USCHO.com poll marking the first time the Beavers have been cast as the nation's top team.

The Beavers have now made an appearance in every poll of the 2009-10 season finding their way into the top 10 in both major polls for the third consecutive week.

The Beavers now break from CHA play to hit the road for a pair of nonconference contests as they participate in the University of North Dakota's Subway Holiday Classic.

BSU is slated to face No. 1 Miami University in a rematch of last year's Frozen Four national semifinal Friday at 4:07 p.m. Saturday the team will face the Ohio State University at 4:07 p.m. to wrap up the Classic. Both games will be played at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks.

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y.--For the third time this season and just the seventh time in the 11 years since the team made the jump to the NCAA Division I level, the Bemidji State University men's ice hockey team has swept the College Hockey America weekly Player of the Week awards.

CHA officials announced that Ryan Cramer has been selected offensive player of the week, Brad Hunt defensive player of the week and, for the third consecutive week, Jordan George the league's rookie of the week award.

Cramer played a key role in No. 8 Bemidji State's College Hockey America series sweep of long-time rival University of Ala.-Huntsville.

The junior finished the weekend with two goals and two assists for four points, netting the game-winner in each contest. With a goal and an assist in each game, he collected the third and fourth multi-point games of his career. In addition, he accumulated a +3 plus/minus rating for the weekend.

Hunt posted his first collegiate hat trick Saturday leading the Beavers to a 6-3 victory and to complete the sweep over Ala.-Huntsville. He scored in each period of the game, netting power-play markers in the first and the third periods, while adding an assist on the Beavers' fifth goal of the night to finish with a career-high four points.

His three-goal night stands as the first hat trick of the season for BSU and the first by a Beaver defenseman since John Haider's on Mar. 13, 2004.

The four-point night marks Hunt's six multi-point effort of the season, the 14th of his career and the second time in 2009-10 he has accounted for three-or-more points in a game. His 5-11--16 points leads all NCAA Division I blueliners, while his 11 assists tie him with George for the team lead and 10th in the country.

George paced the Beavers with five points in the sweep. The newcomer posted a career-high three points in Friday's 6-1 victory with a goal and two assists, while adding two more helpers in the win Saturday.

Posting back-to-back multi-point games, he now has five this season.

His 17 points (6-11--17) is tops among all NCAA Division I rookies, while his 11 assists matches teammate Hunt for the team lead and ranks 10th in the nation.

George finished the weekend with a +5 plus/minus rating and is in the midst of a team-best six-game scoring streak.

The award marks the fourth conference honor for George this season.

With three awards this week, Bemidji State student-athletes have now been selected for 13 CHA weekly awards in 2009-10.

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Pioneer staff reports
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