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MEN'S HOCKEY: Bitzer signs with ECHL's Rapid City Rush

RAPID CITY, S.D. -- Former Bemidji State goalie Michael Bitzer has found a home for the 2018-19 season. The netminder signed Wednesday with the ECHL’s Rapid City Rush.

After completing his college career, Bitzer made his professional debut at the end of 2017-18 ECHL season with the Idaho Steelheads. The Moorhead native played in three games and went 2-1-0 with a 2.30 goals against average and .887 save percentage. Bitzer’s first win as a professional came against the Kansas City Mavericks on March 9, allowing two goals on 19 shots in an overtime victory.

In his four seasons with the Beavers, Bitzer compiled a total record of 65-54-19 in 138 games, with a 1.98 GAA, and a .921 save percentage. His 21 shutouts are the most in WCHA history, and are the second most all-time in NCAA history behind U.S. Olympic silver medalist and NHL All-Star Ryan Miller, who posted 26 shutouts at Michigan State from 1999-2002.

Bitzer’s best campaign came as a junior in the 2016-17 season when he posted a 22-14-3 record in 39 games with a 1.71 GAA, .932 save percentage and six shutouts. For his efforts, he was named an All-American, WCHA Player of the Year and was a Hobey Baker Award finalist.