MEN’S HOCKEY: Driscoll, Sillinger earn WCHA awards; Beavers climb to No. 13

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Bemidji State Beavers

BLOOMINGTON -- Zach Driscoll and Owen Sillinger of the Bemidji State men’s hockey team have collected WCHA player of the week awards for their performances in the Beavers’ sweep of Northern Michigan last weekend. Driscoll earned goaltender of the week honors, while Sillinger took home forward of the week.

Driscoll made 48 saves and surrendered only one goal over two starts in net, posting a 21-save shutout in a 5-0 victory Friday followed by a 27-save night during Saturday’s 5-1 win. The shutout was the junior’s third of the season. The Apple Valley native finished the weekend with a 0.50 goals against average to rank second nationally and a .980 save percentage that tied for the nation’s lead.

For the season, Driscoll is 17-6-3 and ranks second in the country in GAA (1.65) and fourth in save percentage (.941). He has now earned six career WCHA Goaltender of the Week awards, including three this season.

Sillinger was involved in six of the Beavers’ 10 goals in the series with a goal and five assists as the sophomore led the team and the WCHA in scoring and tied for first nationally. The Regina, Saskatchewan, native notched three assists Friday before tallying a pair of helpers, including one on the game-winning goal, and an empty-net goal. He finished the weekend with three assists on the power-play as the unit finished 4-for-8 for the series.

The award is Sillinger’s second Forward of the Week honor and his fifth career WCHA weekly award.


Along with the BSU duo, Michigan Tech’s Colin Swoyer was selected as the league’s defensive player of the week and Bowling Green’s T.J. Lloyd was named rookie of the week.

Beavers climb to No. 13 in poll

Bemidji State (18-8-4, 18-4-2-1 WCHA) rose three spots to No. 13 in the latest poll released Monday. The Beavers garnered 374 points, trailing No. 12 Ohio State by 22.

This is the fourth straight week BSU has been ranked in the poll after entering the top 20 at No. 19 the week of Jan. 27.

WCHA leader Minnesota State maintained its No. 3 ranking after having the weekend off.

Ranked No. 19 last week, Northern Michigan dropped out of the poll after getting swept by Bemidji State last weekend. NMU and fellow WCHA member Bowling Green each received votes.

North Dakota collected 49 of 50 first-place votes to remain the top-ranked team in the poll with Cornell one spot behind at No. 2. Minnesota State received the other first-place vote.

BSU also debuted at No. 13 in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll Monday, marking the program’s first appearance in the 15-team rankings since December of 2016. North Dakota and Minnesota State are also ranked first and third, respectively, in the poll.

The Beavers enter the week tied for 12th with Ohio State in the Pairwise rankings, which determine the NCAA Tournament field.


With four games left in the regular season, BSU will make the long journey north to face Alaska Anchorage this weekend, Feb. 21-22. The series will begin at 10:07 p.m. Friday before an 8:07 p.m. puck drop in the series finale Saturday.

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