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After beating No. 2 UND, Bemidji State fired up for No. 1 Gophers

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If Bemidji Sate's season-opening series against North Dakota was any indication of what the Beavers could be capable of doing this season, they might be pretty good.

The Beavers spoiled North Dakota's home opener at Ralph Engelstad Arena, beating the then-No. 2 ranked team without a nickname by a score of 5-1. The blowout was followed up with a loss the next day in Bemidji – a much closer, 2-1 game.

The win in Grand Forks, North Dakota was the first for Bemidji State since 1970, according to the BSU's athletics department.

What's harder than opening the season against the No. 2 team in the country? Taking a week off before playing the well-rested No. 1 team in the country. That's what Bemidji State is tasked with as they will make the four-hour trip to Minneapolis for this weekend's series against the top ranked Golden Gophers at Mariucci Arena.

"We're really excited," Bemidji State junior center Cory Ward told the Bemidji Pioneer earlier this week. "Especially after how last weekend went, we get another chance at a top-5 team. We want to prove that we're going to be taken seriously."

Minnesota has lost to Bemidji State just once: A 6-2 defeat at Mariucci Arena in November of 2009. Minnesota owns the all-time series with a record of 16-1-1, including a pair of blowouts last season against their in-state and former WCHA rival, according to

Fans headed to Friday's game will be treated with a celebration as Minnesota raises the inaugural Big Ten Championship banner.

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