Sunday Sports Notebook: Bemidji State hockey games coming to PBS Minnesota Channel, new Lakeland Sports Director, postgame thoughts on BSU-Augustana football game

Bemidji State hockey games will also be televised live on PBS Minnesota Channel

Minnesota Channel Viewing Areas in Minnesota: Click to Enlarge

Last month, Bemidji State and Lakeland Public Television announced a partnership to broadcast all home men’s hockey games live on the Lakeland Plus channel and tape-delayed in high definition on the main Lakeland channel (KAWE-Bemidji, KAWB-Brainerd) at midnight.

The deal to put BSU hockey on public television was good news for BSU fans.

A new development on this front makes this news even sweeter for BSU fans across Minnesota and, well, all WCHA hockey fans.

Lakeland News Director Dennis Weimann confirmed Saturday afternoon the telecasts will also broadcast live on the PBS Minnesota Channel, which is available over the air as a digital signal wherever a Minnesota PBS station signal can be received. The Minnesota Channel is also available on most cable networks in the state. The Minnesota Channel is viewable through translator stations in parts of North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, northwestern Iowa, northeastern Iowa and western Wisconsin.

I have no data to support this, but I believe BSU hockey telecasts will now have the potential to be seen by a larger audience than Minnesota Gophers hockey telecasts. Current Gopher hockey games are on Fox Sports North, a cable television channel.

Here’s a short list of Minnesota Channel station numbers I’ve been able to compile. If your city isn’t on this list and you can watch the Minnesota Channel, please list your city and channel number in the comments section.

PBS Station (City):Minnesota Channel
KTCA (Minneapolis-St. Paul): 2.2, TPT Minnesota Channel
WDSE (Duluth/Superior, Wis.): 8.4
KFGE (Grand Forks, N.D.): 15.3
WRPT (Hibbing/Iron Range Cities): 31.4
KFME(Fargo, N.D./ Moorhead): 13.3
KCGE (Crookston): 16.3
KWCM (Appleton, Fergus Falls): 10.3
KSMN (Worthington): 20.3
KSMQ (Austin, Rochester, Winona, Mankato, Albert Lea, northern Iowa):15.4
KBME (Bismarck, N.D.): 22.3
KSRE (Minot, N.D.): 40.3
KDSE (Dickinson, N.D.): 9.3
KWSE (Williston, N.D.): 5.3
KJRE (Ellendale, N.D.): 20.3
KMDE (Devils Lake, N.D.): 25.3

Cable Company: Channel
Paul Bunyan Television: 175
Comcast Minneapolis: 202
Comcast St. Paul: 243
Mediacom Twin Cities: 102
Charter Communications Twin Cities: 396
Charter Communications Duluth-Superior: 396

Minneapolis-St. Paul area: 17-2

Josh Christensen named Lakeland Sports Director

The Lakeland News Sports Director vacancy left by Aaron McElherne was filled last week when Josh Christensen was promoted to the position.

Christensen is a Ramsey native and a Bemidji State graduate. He’s recently been working out of Lakeland’s Brainerd office covering sports in the Lakeland viewing area. He will be in the anchor’s chair for Monday’s telecast.

You can read more about Christensen’s background here.




BSU football postgame thoughts

I was out covering the Bemidji State football team’s home opener against Augustana Saturday afternoon. The Beavers lost the game and it wasn’t pretty. I covered most of the problems in my story (which you can read below), but here are some postgame thoughts I have.

BSU's Jake Zimmerman makes a tackle in the backfield. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

-The Good: It’s hard to argue with how well the stout BSU defense played. Allowing 10 points against an Augie team that racked up 32 on a decent St. Cloud State team was impressive. Granted, BSU allowed Augie to escape too many third and long situations. But the deep ball was really never there for Augie outside of the touchdown so the Vikings were forced to attack with patience with a quick-strike passing game. Two games and the BSU defense has allowed 17 points. Good start there.

-The Bad: The offense looked out of sync for the second game in a row. The coaches blamed themselves for some of it by developing too many variations in the playbook for this game and I’d agree with there. BSU’s offense clicked with simple, straightforward football plays last year. That was mostly by necessity as there were several injuries to deal with and new players had a short turnaround to get acquainted with the playbook. With a mostly healthy roster this year, I understand why the coaches wanted to try adding new plays. It just didn’t work against Augie. Look for BSU to run more straightforward football plays next week.

-The Ugly: Penalties. Penalties. Penalties. BSU has never been a team plagued by penalties, but it was called on 13 infractions against Augie. That’s not what one would expect out of an experienced team that was 8-3 last season. The worst was a pair of offsides calls on back-to-back 4th down punting situations. Instead of getting the ball back, Augie chewed more time off the clock.

Chris Bellinger and the BSU defense celebrate after the interception. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

-Standout: I’d be wrong to not mention redshirt freshman cornerback Chris Bellinger. Starting in his first game for Sid Johnson, who was injured in practice, Bellinger intercepted a pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter. For a short time, it looked like the momentum changer BSU needed. With Johnson out indefinitely with a knee injury, Bellinger will likely hold that role for the time being. Cornerback is a tough position in the college game and opposing offensive coordinators like to expose the rookies . Bellinger did a great job in holding his own in his first collegiate start.

Game Story: Augustana 10, Bemidji State 0

Here’s my story from Sunday’s Pioneer, you can see my full photo gallery from the game here.

BSU wide receiver Cameron Abram is tackled by a pair of Augie defenders during Saturday's game. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

Bemidji State head football coach Jeff Tesch did not mince words when talking about the offensive performance in Saturday’s 10-0 loss to Augustana College at Chet Anderson Stadium.

“On offense it could not have been more of a frustrating day,” Tesch said. “Never have I had a more frustrating game here. At times we looked like a junior high team out there.”

The two NSIC programs entered the game with conference title and national playoff aspirations. The Vikings left Bemidji with a 2-0 record while Beavers fell to 1-1 and now have little margin for error the rest of the season.

The Beavers will try to get back on track next Saturday at NSIC South Division program Southwest Minnesota State.

Bemidji State’s defense put in another stellar effort against Augustana and held the Vikings to only 10 first-half points: a 26-yard field goal by Drew Behrens in the first quarter and Josh Hanson’s 37-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Schulte in the second quarter.

But there was little else for Bemidji State to cheer about in the home opener and Shrine Game.

The BSU offense was out of sync and had just seven first downs in the game. The first of the first downs came with just under six minutes remaining in the second quarter.

The Beavers offense was limited to nine yards rushing and 106 total yards in the first shutout loss since a 41-0 defeat to Minnesota-Duluth on Nov. 8, 1997.

“It’s a bit of a shocker,” Bemidji State wide receiver Andrew Schultz said. “We consider ourselves a good offense and to be shut out at home, well, it’s a bitter feeling. We’ll have to forget about this. Our goal is to still win the North Division and we have to go to Southwest and play better.”

Bemidji State all-conference quarterback Derek Edholm struggled to find a rhythm with the offense. He completed 10-of-26 passes for 97 yards, was sacked four times and threw two interceptions in a game where dropped balls by receivers was a routine problem.

A few other areas of frustration in the loss for Bemidji State were penalties and special teams.

The Beavers were penalized 13 times in the game, including back-to-back offsides calls on a fourth-down punting situation in the fourth quarter. It gave Augustana a first down and allowed more time to run off the clock.

“Some of what happened out there was inexcusable and some of what happened out there was shocking to have happen at this stage in the season for as good a team I think we have,” Tesch said. “I thought this game could come down to the last drive.”

BSU's Andrew Eagan goes to tackle Augie's Joe Clark. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

Tesch directed some of the blame on to himself and the coaching staff.

“We’re going to have to go back to basics and just execute better,” Tesch said. “I thought we had a nice game plan but looking back on it we were probably trying to do too much. We were looking for the perfect formation and we should have kept it simple.”

Like Tesch, Augustana head coach Mike Aldrich expected a tough game and was slightly surprised with how the Vikings won.

“We were a little nervous coming into this game to be honest,” Aldrich said. “We knew Bemidji had two weeks to prepare for us and we thought we would see some different things from them. We wanted to take the run game away from them after what they did to Minot and we were able to do that. I also thought the key to the game was field position.”

Aldrich was right in the field position assessment. Augie’s only conversion in the red zone was the field goal and Bemidji State never moved the ball inside Augustana’s 20-yard line.

One of the bright spots for BSU came seconds in to the fourth quarter when cornerback Chris Bellinger intercepted a pass in the end zone to keep the game well within reach with a quarter remaining.

Bellinger, a redshirt freshman out of Georgia, started in his first collegiate game at cornerback for Sid Johnson, who is out indefinitely after suffering a knee injury in Thursday’s practice.

Bemidji State linebacker George Percak-Dennett complimented Bellinger’s play after the game, but it was hard to shake the negative feelings of defeat despite another strong defensive effort.

“For the most part I thought the defense played all right, but we gave up a lot of third downs that we shouldn’t have and just didn’t tighten up,” Bemidji State linebacker George Percak-Dennett said. “Special teams, offense, defense … I don’t think we won any battles out there today.”

2 thoughts on “Sunday Sports Notebook: Bemidji State hockey games coming to PBS Minnesota Channel, new Lakeland Sports Director, postgame thoughts on BSU-Augustana football game

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