MICHAEL BITZER Hobey Baker Memorial Award, Mike Richter Award and All-American Candidate

Bemidji State University goaltender Michael Bitzer has put together one of the finest seasons in Beaver Hockey history. He has established single-season program records and climbed the career lists, led the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in most statistical categories and ranks among the nation's best, making him a prime candidate for college hockey's premier awards.

Historical Perspective

  • His league-low 1.40 goals against in WCHA play is the lowest since the league's inception in 1951.
  • His five (5) shutouts in 2016-17 league play tied him for second all time.
  • Bitzer's .940 save percentage in 27 league games ranks second all time.
  • His 20 victories in WCHA play led the league, while no other goaltender had more than 14 wins. His season tied him for seventh on the WCHA's all-time, single-season wins list.
  • His 1.71 save percentage over 39 games ranks atop BSU's single-season list.
  • Bitzer's .932 save percentage in 2016-17 ranks fifth in BSU's single-season record book.
22 - Victories

Victories

Bitzer's 22 (22-14-3) victories place him in a tie for seventh in the nation, while he became the first BSU goaltender to record 20 victories in a single season since 1994-95.

1.71 - Goals Against Average

Goals Against Average

Bitzer finished the regular season allowing one (1) or fewer goals in 20 of his 39 starts. He completed the regular season with a 1.71 goals against average in 2016-17, leading the nation from nearly wire to wire. No other NCAA Division I goalie was under 1.78.

6 - Shutouts

Shutouts

With six (6) shutouts in 2016-17, which included a shutout streak of 191:01 of scoreless play, Bitzer leads the nation. During his first three seasons of his collegiate career he has a BSU all-time record 16 shutouts.

.932 - Save percentage

Save Percentage

Making 912 stops this season, Bitzer ranks third among all NCAA Division I goaltenders with a .932 save percentage. His .925 career save percentage is tops in Beaver hockey history.

1.93 - Goals allowed per game

Scoring Defense

Bitzer has backstopped a Bemidji State team that was second the nation allowing just 1.93 goals per game in 2016-17. The Beavers have surrendered more than two (2) goals in a game just ten (10) times this season.

.880 - Penalty Kill

Penalty Kill

Backstopped by Bitzer, the Beavers snuffed out 139-of-158 (.880) opponent power-play opportunities overall to rank second in the country and 98-of-107 (.916) in league play to lead the WCHA.

2016-17 WCHA Goaltending Champ

2016-17 WCHA Goaltending Champion

Bitzer led the WCHA in minutes played (1,625:40), goals allowed average (1.40), save percentage (.940), wins (20), winning percentage (.778) and shutouts (5).

Career Awards

Awards

  • 2016-17 WCHA Player of the Year
  • 2016-17 All-WCHA First Team
  • 2016-17 WCHA Goaltending Champion
  • Two-Time WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award (2015-16, 2016-17)
  • Two-Time WCHA All-Academic Team (2015-16, 2016-17)
  • Nine-Time WCHA Defensive Player of the Week (2016-17 - Oct. 17, Oct. 31, Nov. 14, Dec. 21; 2015-16 - Oct. 12, Jan. 4; 2014-15 - Jan. 12, Jan. 26, March 1)
  • Two-Time NCAA Three Stars of the Week (Jan. 18, 2016, Oct. 17, 2016)
  • Two-Time WCHA Rookie of the Week (Dec. 15, 2014, Feb. 2, 2015)
  • 2014-15 WCHA Rookie of the Year
  • 2014-15 WCHA All-Rookie Team
  • Two-Time Mike Richter Award Nominee (2014-15, 2016-17)
Michael Bitzer

Biographical Information

2016-17 / Junior: Started 39 of the Beavers' 41 games as a junior... At 22-14-3, he helped guide BSU to the WCHA Regular Season Title... The first BSU goalie with a 20 win season since 1994-95... Led the nation in Goals Against Average (1.71) and tied for the lead with six (6) shutouts... Led the nation in minutes played (2,355:22), games played (39) and fourth in save percentage (.932)... Is already atop the BSU career shutouts list with 16... His 2,346 saves puts him in fifth place on BSU's all-time list... Opened the season with four straight wins, which included back-to-back shutouts at Northern Michigan (Oct. 14-15)... Was selected as one of the NCAA's Three Stars for his performance at NMU... Posted a season-high 35 saves in a 1-1 tie with then-No. 1 Minnesota Duluth before backstopping the Beavers to a win in a shootout (Dec. 16)... 2016-17 Mike Richter Award Nominee... Honored four times as WCHA Defensive Player of the Week... Named a 2016-17 WCHA Scholar-Athlete... 2016-17 WCHA Goaltending Champion... Selected All-WCHA First Team... Was named WCHA Player of the Year.

2015-16 / Sophomore: Appeared and started in 34 games during his sophomore campaign... Finished with a record of 13-16-5 with a 2.16 goals against average and a .915 save percentage... Had six shutouts inclduing back-to-back shutouts versus Arizona State (Jan. 15-16), earning NCAA Third Star of the Week honors... Honored twice as WCHA Defensive Player of the Week... Posted his first career assist at Alaska Anchorage (1/9/16)... WCHA Scholar Athlete... WCHA All-Academic Team.

2014-15 / Freshman: Posted a 14-11-3 record in 28 games played for the Beavers... Had a 1.80 goals against average and a .929 save percentage... Recorded four shutouts... Season-high 41 saves 2x, Last vs. Ferris State (3/14/15)... Won his first collegiate start at North Dakota (10/10/14)... Was named WCHA Rookie of the Week twice (Dec. 12-13), (Jan. 30-31), and WCHA Defensive Player of the Week three times (Jan. 9-10), (Jan. 23-24), (Feb. 27-28)... 2014-15 Mike Richter Award Nominee... WCHA Rookie of the Year... WCHA All-Rookie Team.

Prior to BSU: Bitzer played two seasons for the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League (USHL). After going 22-11-1 with a shutout and a 2.70 goals against average in 2012-13, Bitzer opted to defer enrollment to Bemidji State and return to the Stars again in 2013-14. As the team’s top goaltender, Bitzer recorded a 3.17 goals against average and .903 save percentage.

In 30 games for Moorhead High School in 2011-12, Bitzer collected a record of 22-8-0 and a 2.30 goals against average, en route to leading the Spuds to an appearance in the state tournament and winning all-state honors and the Frank Brimsek Award for Minnesota’s best senior goaltender. Following the season, the Lincoln Stars selected him in the second round of the USHL entry draft.

Personal: Chance Michael Bitzer was born to Shane and Stacy Bitzer on Oct. 23, 1993... Michael is majoring in physical education with an emphasis in medical fitness.

Career Highs: Minutes: 106:40, vs. Ferris State (March 14, 2015); Goals Allowed: 5, 3x, Last vs. St. Cloud State (Nov. 28, 2014); Shutouts: 16, Last vs Northern Michigan (3/3/17); Saves: 41, 2x, Last vs. Ferris State (March 14, 2015); Shots Faced: 44, vs. Ferris State (March 14, 2015); Assists: 1, at Alaska Anchorage (Jan. 9, 2016).

Highlights
Created By
Brad Folkestad
Appreciate

Credits:

BSU Photo Services, Lakeland Public Television, Michigan Tech

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.