Hey there. So it’s been a month or so since the last update but with vacations and the dog days of summer, there really hasn’t been much to update on the BSU sports front.
However, now that school is officially in session (classes started Monday) we have some legitimate news: It turns out this season’s North Star College Cup will move from the traditional Friday-Saturday schedule it has used for the past two years and instead change to a Saturday-Sunday schedule at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
So when the Beavers play to defend their title this year, they will be doing it at a more opportune date and time for those in Northern Minnesota who may not be able to travel to the Twin Cities for a Friday afternoon game. They’ll play the Gophers at 4 p.m. Saturday — the second of two semifinal games that afternoon.
Last season the Beavers played Minensota Duluth in a Friday afternoon semifinal game; the stands appeared to be maybe half full for that contest. In Saturday night’s final against Minnesota State there appeared to be a few more fans who showed up to watch BSU beat the Mavs.
This season, the Beavers were to play Minnesota in Friday night’s game. That’s a little more ideal for folks traveling from the Bemidji area, but it’s still a “I have to leave early and take the afternoon off to avoid rush hour traffic to make it to the game on time” situation for most.
The move to a Saturday-Sunday schedule gives everybody a little more time and should guarantee a bigger crowd for both games. Minnesota State and St. Cloud play in the first game, and even though both schools are less than two hours from St. Paul, they will certainly benefit from playing Saturday afternoon as opposed to Friday afternoon.
It doesn’t look like there’s a scheduling conflict that prompted this, either — the Wild are off because that’s All-Star week, and I don’t see any concerts on the schedule for the week previous (unless the X has something big that they haven’t announced yet).
If that’s the case, than this is a good thing: It means tournament organizers actually listened to the fans (and the school administrators and coaches who want their fans to watch games in person). I know plenty of Beaver fans who wanted to go to both games last season but couldn’t take the time off work. This gives them the chance.
-One more scheduling note for the BSU men’s team: The Beavers have added an exhibition game to their schedule for the first time since 2012.
And much like 2012, they will again be playing the University of Manitoba.
The teams will face off on Sunday, Oct. 4, at the Sanford Center. It will be a 1:35 p.m. game.
For what it’s worth, the teams skated to a 3-3 tie last time they played. Brad Robbins and Danny Mattson scored two of the Beavers’ three goals; neither are with the program anymore. Cory Ward scored BSU’s other goal. BSU’s two netminders were Mathieu Dugas and Fabian Sivnert.
Anyway, as you can see, it’s basically a whole new Beavers team (that version of the Beavs had just 6 wins all season) so it should be interesting to see where they stand this time around. They haven’t had any exhibitions the past two seasons so this could be a good warmup for the season opener against Duluth.
-Finally, the Bemidji State women start the season exactly a month from now (Sept. 25 at home against Robert Morris).
Senior defender Ivana Bilic has already started her season. She was a member of the Team Canada National Development team this summer, and played in a three-game series against Team USA last week at Lake Placid, N.Y. Bilic saw time in all three games but didn’t have a point (and had an even plus/minus ranking).
Nothing fancy, but if anything this is going to prepare her for this upcoming season very well.