Bemidji State University
In the world of sports, there is nothing quite like a good rivalry. The intensity, the passion, and the history behind each matchup make for unforgettable moments. And in the world of college hockey, there is no shortage of rivalries. From big-name schools like Boston University and Boston College to smaller programs like Bemidji State University, college hockey has its fair share of intense rivalries.
But one rivalry that often gets overlooked is the matchup between the Bemidji State Beavers and their opponents. This rivalry may not have the same national spotlight as other rivalries, but for the fans of both teams, it is just as intense and meaningful. So let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit the most important matchups in the history of the Bemidji State Beavers.
The Early Days – Bemidji State vs. Northern Michigan University
In the early days of Bemidji State hockey, their biggest and most intense rival was Northern Michigan University. Both located in the Upper Midwest, these two schools had a natural rivalry that was fueled by their proximity to one another. From their first matchup in the 1958-59 season, this rivalry was intense and fierce.
For over three decades, these two teams would face off against each other multiple times a season, with each game becoming more and more important. The rivalry only intensified when both teams joined the same conference, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), in 1984. The games between Bemidji State and Northern Michigan were never short of drama, with each team fighting tooth and nail for the win. And even though Bemidji State has since left the WCHA and joined the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA), the rivalry between these two teams remains just as strong.
David vs. Goliath – Bemidji State vs. University of North Dakota
In the 1990s, the Bemidji State Beavers faced off against one of the biggest and most well-known names in college hockey – the University of North Dakota. For a small program like Bemidji State, facing off against a powerhouse like North Dakota was a daunting task. But that didn’t stop the Beavers from giving their all and making their presence known.
In the 1992-93 season, Bemidji State pulled off one of the biggest upsets in college hockey history by defeating North Dakota in the first round of the NCAA tournament. It was a true David vs. Goliath moment that forever cemented the Bemidji State Beavers as a team to be reckoned with. And even though North Dakota may have come out on top in many of their subsequent matchups, that one victory proved that anything is possible in the world of college hockey.
A New Era – Bemidji State vs. University of Minnesota Duluth
In 2010, Bemidji State joined the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and faced off against a new conference rival, the University of Minnesota Duluth. This new rivalry quickly became one of the most intense and highly anticipated matchups for both teams. Both coming from small, close-knit communities, it was clear that these two teams were a perfect match for each other.
The intensity of this rivalry was on full display in the 2014 playoffs, where the Bemidji State Beavers stunned everyone by sweeping the #1 seeded Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs in the first round. This victory not only solidified the rivalry between these two teams but also proved that Bemidji State was a force to be reckoned with in the WCHA.
The Future – Bemidji State vs. The Rest
As Bemidji State University continues to grow and establish itself as a powerhouse in college hockey, their rivalries with other teams will undoubtedly continue to evolve. With talks of expansion in the CCHA and the addition of new teams, it’s only a matter of time before the Beavers find themselves in new and exciting rivalries.
But no matter who their opponents may be, one thing is for sure – the Bemidji State Beavers will always bring their A-game. And as we have seen throughout their history, anything can happen when the Beavers take the ice.