1. What’s in a name? Located on the shores of Lake Bemidji, the school is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
2. OK, so where is that? The BSU campus is 150 miles away from Duluth, Minn., and about 100 miles from the Canadian border. The town of Bemidji — affectionately known as “B-Town” — is home to the massive roadside statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox.
3. Coming out of nowhere: The Bemidji Beavers were unranked in national hockey rankings before winning the CHA championship to earn a bid to the tournament as the No. 16 seed overall in the Pairwise ranking and No. 4 seed in the Midwest.
4. The road less traveled: To reach the semifinal round of the Frozen Four, the Beavers had to defeat the second-best team in the nation — Notre Dame. They upset the Irish with a 5-1 victory before blowing through No. 9 Cornell, 4-1. The Yale hockey team beat Cornell 5-0 to win the ECAC Championship and earn a bid to the Tournament. The Elis were defeated in round 1 on March 27.
5. History in the making: Tonight’s game against Miami (Ohio) will be the Beaver’s first appearance in the Frozen Four.
6. State school hockey team seeking same: The men’s and women’s hockey teams, the sole Division I squads at BSU, saw their league — College Hockey America — dissolve at the end of January. After Niagra and Robert Morris announced their move to Atlantic Hockey, Bemidji and Alabama-Huntsville applied to join the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The team has not yet been approved by the WCHA and is currently without a conference.
7. What’s in store: The Beavers will face the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks tonight at 5 p.m. in a must-win game in order to advance to the championship on Saturday. The other semifinal will feature the winner of the Boston University and Vermont game.
8. Previous engagements: The hockey venue at BSU, the John S. Glas Fieldhouse, did not anticipate the Beavers’ postseason run, so the ice was removed from the rink and a trade show was booked to occupy the arena. The team has been practicing at the Bemidji Curling Club instead.
9. Ice, ice baby: The town of Bemidji is best known for its curling tradition — the 2006 U.S. Olympic curling squads called Bemidji home and bronze medalist Pete Fenson owns a pizzeria in town. BSU hockey has 13 national championships under its belt in Division II and III competition.
10. Grab bag: The BSU endowment is about $11 million and the school is home to 5,020 students. Bemidji State was founded in 1919. The Beaver’s mascot is named Bucky the Beaver. BSU offers 45 majors.