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MEN’S HOCKEY: Owen Sillinger reflects on BSU career after reaching 100 points

The Bemidji State men’s hockey senior center and captain was also named a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award last Thursday.

011221.S.BP.BSUMHKY Owen Sillinger goal celebration.jpg
The Beavers celebrate Owen Sillinger’s (12) first-period goal against Lake Superior State on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI – It’s been a busy week for Owen Sillinger.

The Bemidji State men’s hockey senior center and captain was first named a nominee for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award last Thursday. Then, he proceeded to score his 100th career point against Bowling Green last Saturday.

Quite the collection of accolades in the span of a few days. But those accomplishments are the culmination of all four of his seasons spent in a BSU uniform.

“It's very special,” Sillinger said. “Looking back on it, I definitely have a lot of things to be thankful for. I think that it says a lot about how I learned from the coaching staff and my teammates. It's been such a privilege to play here for four years and learn so many things on and off the ice, and allow myself to make mistakes and just grow for four years.”

Head coach Tom Serratore recalls wanting Sillinger to come join the Beavers back in his junior hockey days. He’s pretty pleased that recruitment turned out successfully.


“We wanted Owen because everything that he's done here at Bemidji State, we felt he could do,” Serratore said. “And a lot of it is just because of the way he plays the game. He plays the game the right way. It's interesting, if you take a look at a lot of our 100-point scorers, those guys have played the game the right way.”

Sillinger’s dedication to playing team-focused hockey puts him in a class with some of the program’s best all-time players in Serratore’s eyes.

“I put him in the same mold as Matt Read and Andrew Murray, Brendan Cook, those guys,” Serratore said. “He gets a lot of honest points. Those three guys, sacrifice statistics came first and offense came second. Those three guys, that's good company.”

What are these sacrifice statistics Serratore speaks of?

“Blocked shots. Faceoffs. Work ethic. Low turnover ratio,” Serratore said. “Statistics like that, they play more into winning than anything else. But the common person doesn't look at those things, they don't know those things. But we know behind the scenes how important it is to have statistics like those. And that's one thing Owen has.”

He concluded by noting how Sillinger accumulated his notable career point total despite staying in position and not cheating out of defensive formations for offensive opportunities.

“He doesn't cheat the game,” Serratore said. “He doesn't cheat for offense. He plays on the defensive side of the puck first. If he wanted to cheat for offense, he'd have more points. But the team can't win that way. And he values the team game, and he values what he does to help the team win. And I respect that so much.”

Sillinger’s commitment to winning helped the Beavers earn a split with Bowling Green while he recorded his 100th point. But he’d prefer to get a sweep this weekend against Ferris State.


Bemidji State faces Ferris at 7:07 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21, and 6:07 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Sanford Center.

Christian Babcock is a sports reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer. He trekked to Bemidji from his hometown of Campbell, Calif., after graduating from the Cronkite School at Arizona State University in 2021. Follow him on Twitter at @CB_Journalist for updates on the Lumberjacks and Beavers or to suggest your favorite local restaurant.
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