BEMIDJI, Minn. – After beginning official practice last week, the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team will hit the ice at the Sanford Center on Friday for the Green/White game. The contest will be a formalized scrimmage and will have two teams consisting players on the Beavers’ roster. There is no charge for admission to the game, which is slated to begin at 7 p.m.
In lieu of an exhibition, Friday’s game will be the team’s only tune-up before it heads to Providence College to open the season with a pair of games next Friday and Saturday. BSU will then jump right into WCHA action with its home-opening series against St. Cloud State University and will open the University of Wisconsin’s brand new LaBahn Arena the following week.
The program, which is coming off a 17-17-3 season and a sixth-place WCHA finish in 2011-12, will be led by seventh-year head coach Steve Sertich. The team was tabbed sixth in the WCHA Preseason Media Poll on Tuesday.
This year’s BSU women’s hockey team will return 20 players from 2011-12—13 forwards, six defensemen, and one goaltender. Included in the returning mix are the team’s top two scorers from a year ago, Sadie Lundquist (Sr., F, Cloquet, Minn.) and Emily Erickson (Sr., F, Coleraine, Minn.). The Beavers will also return top-four defenseman Erika Wheelhouse (Sr., Crookston, Minn.). Lundquist and Wheelhouse are team captains, while fellow senior MacKenzie Thurston (F, Ottawa, Ont.) will serve as BSU’s assistant captain.
In goal, returning senior Jessica Havel (Sr. Grand Rapids, Minn.) will look to help fill the hole left by the depatures of Zuzana Tomcikova and Alana McElhinney, who graduated after 2011-12. Last year, Tomcikova was a CCM Division I Women’s Hockey Second Team All-American selection, was First-Team All-WCHA, and was a Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award nominee. Competing with Havel, the team’s only returning goalie, for playing time in net will be Niagara University transferAbby Ryplanski (So., Winnipeg, Man.) and freshman Alexane Rodrigue (Monkland, Ont.).
For more information on the Bemidji State women's hockey 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.