Bemidji State inks four during early signing period
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Bemidji State University women’s hockey coach Steve Sertich announced today the signing of four players during the early signing period to National Letters of Intent. They will all begin their careers with BSU in fall 2009.

Sadie Lundquist, Mackenzie Thurston, Keirstin Visser and Erika Wheelhouse have all signed letters to play for BSU.

Lundquist, a 5-5 forward from Cloquet, Minn., has been a starter on the Cloquet High School varsity team since eighth grade. She is the second player in as many years to come to Bemidji State by way of CHS, following in Montana Vichorek’s (Fr., Moose Lake, Minn.) footsteps. Vichorek signed her NLI during last year’s early signing period. Lundquist has earned All-State Honorable Mention honors, and has also earned All-Area and All-Conference awards. She has earned letters in hockey, cross country and softball during her four years in high school. She has attended national camps in New York, and her CHS team has participated in two state tournaments, placing second and third. She has also played in the fall Elite League and in the K1 area All-Star Game. She is a part of the National Honor Society, is on the Scholastic Honor Roll, and is ranked in the top 10 percent of her class. High school coach is Richard Bartholdi.

“Sadie Lundquist is a clever forward that plays both ends of the ice well,” Sertich said. “She has great forechecking and puck possession skills. Sadie will bring some much needed offense to the 2009-10 Beaver team with her playmaking and scoring.“

Sadie is the daughter of Daniel and Kelly Lundquist.

Thurston, a 5-7 forward from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, plays at All Saints Catholic High School. She was part of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) Silver Medalist team in the 2007-08 season. She was named the ASCHS Athlete of the Year in 2004 and ‘06. Her other high school sports were soccer, touch football, golf and volleyball. She played on the Ottawa Fury Elite Soccer Club team from 2005-08, and was named MVP in ‘07. She was also team MVP in both touch football and golf in 2006. She has been on the honor roll in her career, and her high school coach is Trevor Kirtz.

“We are excited to announce the signing of Mackenzie Thurston,” Sertich said. “She will provide our lineup with a skilled, two-way, tough-to-play-against player at the center-ice position. She is a winner both in the classroom - as evidenced by her outstanding marks and achievements - and on the ice. Her teams success the last two years in the ultra-competitive Provincial Women’s Hockey League should allow her to make a smooth transition to playing in the WCHA.

“Mackenzie will bring great passion, pride and purpose both on and off the ice. She has the ability to play on our specialty units, win ever-important face-offs, and will be a player who takes great pride in her work in the defensive zone. We expect Mackenzie to make an immediate impact both on the ice and in the locker room. She is the type of person and player who will make our hockey fans, our university, and the community of Bemidji very proud.“

Mackenzie is the daughter of Guy Thurston and Carol Thurston-Sabourin.

Visser, a 5-8 defender from Crapaud, Prince Edward Island, Canada, plays for the Mid Isle Matrix in the Midgett AAA Boys league. She has also spent a year playing for the Summerside Hemphill Midget AAA Boys team. She was a member of Team Atlantic in 2007 and ‘08, which is a Canadian U-18 National Team. She was the assistant captain, and scored two goals at the 2008 national tournament against Team Ontario. She was part of the PEI Canada Games in 2008 for hockey and will play in the 2009 games for soccer. Her Bluefield PEISHA AAA Rugby team won the championship in 2007-08.

“Keirstin is a big defender with a heavy shot,” Sertich said. “She is a strong, heads-up player with good lateral movement. She will see time on the power-play and penalty-killing units. We are very excited to get a quality, hard-working player of Keirstin’s character and ability.“

Keirstin is the daughter of John and Linda Visser.

Wheelhouse, a 5-3 defender from Crookston, Minn., is the younger sister of current Beaver Marlee Wheelhouse (Fr., Crookston, Minn.). Erika plays for Crookston High School, and was a member of the All-Conference squad her freshman and sophomore years. Her team took third place in state her sophomore year. She was named to the All-Tournament Team and earned the Most Valuable Defenseman award that year as well. She was named to the Coaches Association All-State Team her sophomore and junior years, and was named a captain her junior and senior years and hardest worker junior year. She is a three-year participant in the National Camp in New York, and has earned letters in hockey, soccer, softball and track during her high school career. She was on the All-Conference team while playing soccer, and was a captain and MVP her senior year. She was also a part of the soccer team that recently broke the school record for wins in a single season. She is currently on the honor roll and earned an academic letter. High school coach is Tim Persson.

“Erika Wheelhouse will bring skill and tenacity to our 2009-10 hockey team,” Sertich said. “She has quick feet and great anticipation as a defender. Erika is very competitive and tough to beat one on one. She will add speed to our defensive corps and penalty-killing units.”

Erika is the daughter of Scott and Gerri Wheelhouse.

This is coach Sertich‘s third early signing class since taking over in 2006. This is also his largest early signing class, and he has now inked eight players in his three years at BSU during the early signing period.

Bemidji State will head back to the road for the next two weeks, starting with a Nov. 21-22 series at St. Cloud State. The games will be played at National Hockey Center and will both begin at 2:07 p.m.

About Bemidji State University
Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a beautiful campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling approximately 5,000 students annually, the university offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and 13 graduate programs encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. The university is a member of the Minnesota State College and Universities System and has a faculty and staff of nearly 600. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global/multicultural understanding.

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