Goaltender Bitzer joins Rush

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The Rapid City Rush announced that rookie goaltender Michael Bitzer has signed with the team for the 2018-19 season.

Bitzer comes to the Rush after his first stint in professional hockey with the Idaho Steelheads last season following the conclusion of his NCAA career. He played in three games for Idaho and went 2-1-0 with a 2.30 goals-against average and and .887 save percentage. 

Before turning pro, Bitzer completed a four-year career at Bemidji State University, where he compiled a total record of 65-54-19 in 138 games, with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. He posted a WCHA record 21 career shutouts, which also stands as the second most all-time in NCAA history behind current Vancouver Canucks' goaltender Ryan Miller, who notched 26 shutouts at Michigan State from 1999-2002.

Bitzer’s best campaign with the Beavers came as a junior in the 2016-17 season when he posted a 22-14-3 record in 39 games with a 1.71 goals-against average, .932 save percentage and six shutouts.  For his efforts, he was named a WCHA First-Team All-Star, NCAA First-Team All-American, was awarded the WCHA Player of the Year honors, and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.