Christian Babcock mug.jpg

Christian Babcock

Sports Reporter

Christian Babcock is a sports reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer. He trekked to Bemidji from his hometown of Campbell, Calif., after graduating from the Cronkite School at Arizona State University in 2021. Follow him on Twitter at @CB_Journalist for updates on the Lumberjacks and Beavers or to suggest your favorite local restaurant.

Contact Christian at or (218) 333-9787 for questions, comments or story tips.

Don Lucia hasn’t had many moments since leaving coaching where he felt like he was back behind the bench. But that was the case after the Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s Mason Cup Championship in March.
The Bemidji State men’s hockey team counted on Owen Sillinger leaving after this season, but probably not his younger brother Lukas. But it appears that time has come. Lukas Sillinger has entered the transfer portal, according to multiple reports.
Teams go through peaks and valleys, stretches of success and fallow periods of failure. But it’s not every year that a team goes through all of that in the span of a few months.
The Beavers (19-20, 14-12 CCHA) could have put themselves in a better position for an at-large NCAA Tournament bid with a more successful regular season, but the finish to the year served as a suitable – if still a bit disappointing – consolation prize.
“By the time we were leaving the ice, a couple of our (non-dressing players) came right up to me and said, ‘Coach, that was not a goal,’” BSU head coach Tom Serratore said. “And they proceeded to show me the video.”
Moments after No. 1 Minnesota State apparently vanquished the Beavers with a goal by Josh Groll in overtime to claim the CCHA Mason Cup Championship on Saturday in Mankato, BSU head coach Tom Serratore and his assistants contested the goal, arguing that one of the goalposts had lifted up and made the goal invalid.
The Beavers have a real opportunity on their hands this Saturday – a CCHA Mason Cup Championship matchup with No. 1 Minnesota State for the right to reach the NCAA Tournament field.
Owen Sillinger wasn’t content with simply matching Matt Read’s single-season points record. The Bemidji State senior rocketed past and then extended BSU’s new Division I-era program benchmark with stunning efficiency.
When Mattias Sholl sees an opponent coming at him on a breakaway, he doesn’t panic.
A slick first goal can really energize a team. It certainly did for the Bemidji State men’s hockey team on Saturday at the Sanford Center.