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MEN'S COLLEGE HOCKEY: Mimmack joins Division I Bemidji State University

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Reid Mimmack’s patience has been rewarded.

The 2010 Brainerd High School graduate was added to the Bemidji State University roster and practiced with the Beavers for the first time Thursday.

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He will be in uniform this weekend when BSU plays UMass on Sunday and Dartmouth or New Hampshire on Monday in the Ledyard National Bank Classic at Hanover, N.H.

Division I Bemidji State enters the tournament 5-8-3 overall, 4-7-3 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

“It’s a dream come true,” Mimmack said by phone Thursday. “I had to work for the last couple years to get an opportunity like this. I’m excited. I couldn’t ask for a better place than Bemidji State. It’s close to home. It’s a great opportunity. I’m excited to be here.”

Beavers head coach Tom Serratore was elated to land Mimmack.

“We needed a goalie in the second semester,” Serratore said by phone Thursday. “We looked all over Western Canada, the North American League. Bottom line — we knew Reid was available. He was having a heck of a first half at Jamestown (N.Y.)

“We talked to 3-4 goalies to see if they were interested in coming here. The first one we talked to was Reid. He fits the bill. He’s a good athlete, has good size, we’re excited to bring him in. And, he’s a local product.”

Serratore said another factor played in the decision to sign the Brainerd native.

“He happens to turn 21 in January,” Serratore said. “When you turn 21, you have to be in school full-time to keep your eligibility. You can’t play past your 21st birthday (without being a full-time student), so his clock was going to start.”

At Jamestown, Mimmack helped the Ironmen to an overall record of 21-8-3, which is tied for the lead in the North American Hockey Association North Division standings.

A three-year veteran of the NAHL, Mimmack posted a 17-5-1 record in 1,335 minutes this season for Jamestown. He made 574 saves with a .917 save percentage and 2.34 goals-against average. He left the Ironmen tied for second in the league with 17 victories, tied for third with three shutouts and is among the top 10 NAHL goaltenders in goals-against average and goals allowed (52).

“I’ve had a successful season so far, while I was in Jamestown,” Mimmack said. “It was a good place to play. They’re a good team. I really enjoyed my coach (Dan Daikawa). I thought he was a very good coach. He got the best out of me. I owe a lot to him to make it to Bemidji State.”

Mimmack appeared in 74 NAHL games since 2010-11. He wrapped up his NAHL career with a 33-31-4 overall record, a 2.45 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. He compiled five shutouts in stints for Jamestown, Springfield (Ill.), Chicago, Aberdeen (S.D.) and Texas.

“Playing in the NAHL shows how much passion he has for the game,” Serratore said. “He’s played for a few different Junior teams. He’s taken the hard route.

“We have a lot of those kind of kids playing in our program that have taken that route. I have the utmost respect for those kids. They never seem to let you down. They compete, work hard, they have a unique love for the game.”

Mimmack will compete for playing time with sophomore Andrew Walsh, currently the Beavers’ No. 1 goalie, and senior Mathieu Dugas.

“I’ve had to work for every opportunity in my life so far,” Mimmack said. “I plan to continue that at the college level. You have to compete every day, that’s the way it should be.”

With Dugas leaving BSU after this season, the Beavers have recruited former Moorhead High School star Michael Bitzer for 2013-14.

“There’s going to be a lot of competition here,” Serratore said. “Reid told me he’s ready to accept that challenge, and we talked about that. Reid said he’s never backed down from a challenge, and he’s not going to back down from this challenge.”

Mimmack filled the roster spot vacated by freshman goaltender Fabian Sivnert, who left BSU at the end of the first semester.

“Everyone we spoke to about Reid — and we made a lot of calls — said unbelievable things about him,” Serratore said. “From our standpoint, it was an easy choice. We’re happy he said yes.”

MIKE BIALKA, sports editor, may be reached at 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark.

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