Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.
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BEMIDJI -- Friday will not be Jay Dickman’s first rodeo. Or his first Hockey Day Minnesota. The senior forward for the Bemidji State men’s hockey team has not only already taken part in one Hockey Day, but rather two editions of the annual event. Dickman’s third go-around with the outdoor hockey showcase will come Friday night when the Beavers host Michigan Tech in the first-ever outdoor men’s collegiate game to take place as part of Hockey Day festivities.
Bemidji wasn’t always a hockey town. Believe it or not, basketball used to be the winter sport of choice, due in large part to the success of coach Bun Fortier’s high school hoops squads. That began to change when Jim Smalley came along. Smalley, a school counselor, started the boys hockey program in the 1963-64 season and coached the Lumberjacks for the next decade.
BEMIDJI -- His name is nearly as legendary in Bemidji as Paul Bunyan, and his stature nearly as great. George Pelawa is synonymous with Lumberjack hockey. The towering 6-foot-3, 240-pound right winger possessed the physicality of an ox, but with the scoring touch of a gentle giant.
BEMIDJI -- Who will Tom Serratore root for during Saturday’s Hockey Day Minnesota game between Bemidji and Greenway? “Everybody asks me that,” the Bemidji State men’s hockey head coach said. Serratore happens to be a Coleraine native and a 1982 graduate of Greenway High School.
BEMIDJI -- Justin Baudry brought the Sanford Center crowd to its feet with his game-tying goal in the waning moments of the third period, sending Saturday night’s game into overtime. Alaska’s 19th skater Justin Young had other plans, stunning the Bemidji State men’s hockey team and the home fans with his goal 52 seconds into overtime, handing the Nanooks a 2-1 win.
BEMIDJI -- A trio of third-period goals doomed the Bemidji State women’s hockey team in a 5-2 loss Saturday afternoon to split the Western Collegiate Hockey Association series with Minnesota Duluth at the Sanford Center. The win moved the Bulldogs (8-10-2, 5-7-2-2 WCHA) back ahead of the Beavers (8-14-1, 5-8-1-0 WCHA) for fourth place in the league, regaining a three-point edge on BSU for the final home playoff spot.
BEMIDJI -- Zach Driscoll bailed out the Bemidji State men’s hockey team in the first period Friday night as the Beavers recovered to win 3-0 in the first game of a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series at the Sanford Center. “We were out to lunch in the first period,” said head coach Tom Serratore, “and that’s why you have a goalie. Driscoll played well and made some key saves.”
BEMIDJI -- Lydia Passolt netted a pair of first-period goals en route to a 4-1 win for the Bemidji State women’s hockey team over Minnesota Duluth Friday afternoon at the Sanford Center. The victory moves the teams into a tie for fourth place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings, which is the final home ice playoff spot. The Beavers (8-13-1, 5-7-1-0 WCHA) never trailed following the sophomore’s two goals.
BEMIDJI -- This weekend’s series could go along towards attaining playoff home ice for the Bemidji State women’s hockey team. The Beavers (7-13-1, 4-7-1-0 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) will host Minnesota Duluth at the Sanford Center this weekend with a chance to catch the fourth-place Bulldogs (7-9-2, 4-6-2-2 WCHA) in the standings. BSU trails UMD by three points for the final WCHA home-ice playoff spot.
BEMIDJI -- Back at home for the first time in a month, the Bemidji State men’s hockey team is glad to be sleeping in their own beds this week. The Beavers began the second half of the season two weeks ago at Air Force before capping the 10-day road trip with last week’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association series at Bowling Green.