BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University women’s ice hockey team will begin official practice at the Sanford Center on Friday afternoon. The team, entering its 15th season, is now beginning its final stages of preparation for the 2012-13 season after it began less formal skates and off-ice conditioning sessions earlier in the month.
The practice will be one of several chances in the coming week for this year’s squad to get some of the kinks out and get ready for the new season. The team will conduct two two-hour practices on Saturday and Sunday and will be begin weekday practices from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. during the next week. There will also be more off-ice conditioning next week leading into Friday’s Green/White game, which will be played Friday at Sanford Center at 7 p.m.
The Beavers will get their official schedule underway on Oct. 5-6 with a trip to Providence College of Hockey East, who received votes in the USCHO.com Division I Women’s Preseason Poll. BSU lost in a shootout in game that officially went down as a scoreless tie and defeated the Friars a year ago when they made the trek to Bemidji at the beginning of the season. Bemidji State will take on WCHA foe St. Cloud State University the following weekend its first home series and first conference series of 2012-13.
This year’s Beaver hockey team will return 20 players from the 2011-12 squad, including its top two scorers from the previous season in leading scorer Sadie Lundquist (Sr., F, Cloquet, Minn.) and leading goal-scorer Emily Erickson (Sr., F, Coleraine, Minn.). The Beavers will also return USA Hockey National Festival participant Erika Wheelhouse (Sr., D, Crookston, Minn.) and her 24 points back on the blueline.
The biggest void Bemidji State will look to fill is between the pipes as First-Team All-WCHA and Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award nominee goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova and backup netminder Alana McElhinney were both lost to graduation. In addition to returning goaltender Jessica Havel (Sr. Grand Rapids, Minn.), two of the team’s eight newcomers will compete for playing time in net in Niagara University transfer Abby Ryplanski (So., Winnipeg, Man.) and freshman Alexane Rodrigue (Monkland, Ont.).
For more information on the Bemidji State soccer program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BeaverWoHockey or @BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Mulitmedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).