MADISON, Wis. – The 2013-14 Bemidji State University women’s hockey team was chosen to finish tied for seventh in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Head Coaches’ Pre-Season Poll on Thursday. The Beavers, under the direction of eighth year head coach Steve Sertich, finished 6-22-2 with a 5-22-1-0 record in the WCHA a season ago.
Leading the poll was the defending NCAA champion University of Minnesota, who received seven of the eight first-place votes after an undefeated 41-0-0 campaign. Following the Gophers, comes two NCAA tournament participants from a year ago. In second place, was University of Wisconsin, who received the other first place vote and in third place was the University of North Dakota. Also in front of BSU was the Ohio State University in fourth, University of Minnesota Duluth in fifth, Minnesota State University, Mankato in sixth. Bemidji State and St. Cloud State University round out the poll tying for seventh place.
Minnesota forward Hannah Brandt was tabbed as the conference’s preseason player of the year with Wisconsin’s goaltender Alex Rigsbsy also receiving votes. Gopher freshman Dani Cameranesi was selected as the league’s top rookie heading into the season. Also receiving a vote was Bemidji State’s Brittni Mowat (Glenboro, Manitoba).
This year’s BSU women’s hockey team will return 18 players from 2012-13. The Beavers will have a lot of offense to replace with four of their top five goal scorers not with the team anymore. The returners are led by Kaitlyn Tougas (So., Thunder Bay, Ontario), who was second on the team last season with seven goals and 14 points. The two captains for BSU this season are Alex Ehlert (Sr., Portage, Wis.) and Allie Duellman (Sr., Maplewood, Minn.).
In goal, returning redshirt senior Jessica Havel (Grand Rapids, Minn.) will look to build upon last season when she logged two shutouts against Minnesota State and Wisconsin. Also, freshman Mowat looks to compete for playing time in net for the Beavers.
BSU travels to Missouri for its first official series of the year against Lindenwood University Sept 27-28. Bemidji State will have three straight home series’ starting with Robert Morris University Oct. 11-12. Lindenwood will then come to Sanford Center Oct. 18-19. The Beavers will see its first WCHA competition a week later when defending National Champion Minnesota comes to town.
For more information on the Bemidji State athletic programs, tickets or schedules, visit BSUBeavers.com, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" 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).
* For the online version of WCHA release: http://www.wcha.com/women/pres1314/201309/sep19wcw.php
* For further information on Bemidji State University: http://www.bemidjistate.edu/
* For more information about Bemidji State Athletics: http://www.BSUBeavers.com