MADISON, Wis. — The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team was picked to finish eighth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association preseason coaches’ poll that was released by the league on Thursday. Bemidji State received seven points, while defending national champions Wisconsin were selected as this year’s favorite.
The Bemidji State women’s hockey team is looking to keep improving on its successes coming off a rebuilding season that saw the Beavers go 6-25-5 and 2-22-3 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) in the 2008-09 season. After losing 14 returning players after the 2007-08 season, the young team was launched into a high level of competition most freshmen don’t get to see.
The 2009-10 squad will see all but four players return to the ice, including the top four scorers from the 08-09 season: forwards, Erin Cody (12G, 16A), Erin Johnson (10G, 11A), Annie Bauerfield (8G, 13A), and defensemen Montana Vichorek (3G, 10A). The four combined for 59-percent of the Beaver’s offensive output a year ago.
The team will also be returning sophomore goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova who garnered All-WCHA Second Team and All-WCHA Rookie Team honors last year after posting a .915 save percentage, while making a league-best 882 saves in conference play.
Bemidji State will host a green versus white intrasquad match on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Beavers then begin their season on Oct. 2 when they travel to Erie, Pa. to take on last year’s national championship runner-up Mercyhurst.
WCHA Coaches’ Poll
1. Wisconsin (6 first place votes) 48 points
2. Minnesota (2) 43
3. Minnesota Duluth 38
4. St. Cloud State 29
5 Ohio State 23
6 North Dakota 20
7. Minnesota State, Mankato 16
8. Bemidji State 7
(Coaches could not vote for their own teams in poll and points were awarded on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system)