« Hockey 2017-18

Michael Bitzer

School

Bemidji State

Position
Goaltender
Major
Exercise Science major with Medical Fitness emphas

Classroom

Michael Bitzer carries a 3.82 cumulative GPA as an exercise science major with an emphasis in medical fitness. He is a two-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete recipient and two time member of the WCHA’s All-Academic Team. In addition, he is a regular on the BSU Dean’s List and the Athletics Director’s 3.0 Club.

Character

Bitzer is a quiet leader on and off the ice. He is a true student of the game and leads by example. His attention to detail and work ethic are second to none, and he sets the bar high. He is an encouraging force to hold teammates accountable.

Community

Off the ice, Bitzer has been involved as a volunteer with the Bemidji Area Food Shelf as a gardener and Little Lady Lumberjacks, a youth program geared toward getting girls in the Bemidji area involved in hockey and developing girls hockey. He also served meals at the local elementary schools as a part of the “Hockey Opera” project and helped fellow Bemidji State classmates move into the dorms as a part of the BSU campus move-in. In addition, he has mentored youth hockey players at Branham Hockey Camps as an off-ice instructor and on-ice goalie coach.

Competition

Bitzer was a CCM All-America West First Team pick in 2016-17 and was an All-Western Collegiate Hockey Association First Team selection. He became the first player in BSU history to be named WCHA Player of the Year. He also won the league’s goaltending award after backstopping a league-best scoring defense (1.57 GPG) and leading the league in goals against average (1.40), save percentage (.940) and wining percentage (.778). He was named one of the top 10 for the 2016-17 Hobey Baker Memorial Award and one of five finalists for the 2016-17 Mike Richter Award, given annually to the nation’s top goaltender.

In just three seasons, Bitzer has already cemented his place among BSU’s greatest goaltenders. He became the first BSU goaltender to record at least 22 wins since Steve O’Shea in 1986-87, and owns the BSU career shutouts record (17), which is also a WCHA all-time mark. He matched his own BSU single-season record with six in 2016-17 and sits atop BSU’s career goaltending lists with a .925 save percentage and a 1.88 goals against average. In addition, Bitzer ranks first on BSU’s all-time goaltending minutes-played list with 6,156:19, is fourth on BSU’s all-time saves list (2,418) and is ninth on the Beaver Hockey victories list (50).