Small School, Big Impact: The Hockey Legacy of Bemidji State Beavers

Bemidji State Beavers

Bemidji State University (BSU) may not be as well-known or renowned as some of the larger universities when it comes to collegiate hockey, but the Bemidji State Beavers have surely made their mark in the hockey world. With a long and rich history that dates back to the early 1920s, the Beavers have seen their fair share of ups and downs, defeats and victories, and have solidified their place as a formidable force in the college hockey arena.

From unexpected upsets to record-breaking wins, the Bemidji State Beavers have had numerous memorable moments throughout their history. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and relive some of the most iconic and unforgettable moments in Bemidji State Beave history.

The Upset of the Top-Ranked Gophers (1976)

In 1976, BSU made headlines when they faced off against the top-ranked and heavily favored University of Minnesota Gophers. The Beavers, who were in just their fourth season as a varsity team, were considered the underdogs with little chance of defeating the powerhouse Gophers. However, to everyone’s surprise, the Beavers played with determination and grit, and shocked the Gophers with a 6-3 victory.

This upset win not only put the Bemidji State Beavers on the map, but it also showed the world that they were a force to be reckoned with. It was a defining moment for the team and a true testament to their dedication and hard work.

First NCAA Division II National Championship (1984)

In 1984, the Bemidji State Beavers made history by winning their first NCAA Division II National Championship. Led by coach Bob Peters, the Beavers dominated the competition and went on to defeat Merrimack College 6-3 in the championship game. This victory cemented the Beavers as a top-tier team in Division II hockey and set the stage for their dominance in the years to come.

Beating #1 North Dakota (2009)

Fast-forwarding to more recent times, the Bemidji State Beavers once again made headlines in 2009 when they defeated the top-ranked team in the nation, the University of North Dakota, in a thrilling overtime victory. This win not only avenged the Beavers’ defeat to the Fighting Hawks earlier in the season, but it also marked the first time in school history that the Beavers had defeated a number one ranked team.

The 2009 win against North Dakota was a significant moment in the Beavers’ history, not only because it was a major upset, but also because it showed the team’s resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

First Frozen Four Appearance (2009)

In the same year as their victory against North Dakota, the Bemidji State Beavers reached another milestone in their history by making their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Frozen Four. The Beavers, who were the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, defied all odds and advanced to the Frozen Four after defeating top teams like Notre Dame and Cornell University.

Although the Beavers lost in the semifinals to the eventual champions, the University of Miami (Ohio), their journey to the Frozen Four was one of the most unforgettable and exciting moments in the team’s history.

Back-to-Back Conference Titles (2010 and 2011)

The Bemidji State Beavers have had their fair share of conference titles, but what makes their back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011 so special is the fact that they were the first team to do so since North Dakota in 1999 and 2000. These consecutive victories not only solidified the Beavers as a powerhouse team in their conference, but they also proved their consistency and dominance on the ice.

Final considerations

The Bemidji State Beavers may not have the same notoriety or recognition as some of the larger and more well-known college hockey teams, but their historic upsets and wins have made them a respected and feared opponent in the hockey world. From their first upset against the Gophers in 1976 to their recent back-to-back conference titles, the Bemidji State Beavers have carved their name in the annals of college hockey history.

Even though the team has gone through its fair share of ups and downs, one thing remains constant – the dedication, passion, and love for the game of hockey that the Bemidji State Beavers possess. And as they continue to strive for excellence in the upcoming seasons, we can only wait and see what historic moments they have in store for us next.


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