BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University women's hockey team starts its 2013-14 season with a nonconference series against Lindenwood University in St. Peters, Mo. The puck drops at 8:24 p.m. on Friday and at 6:34 p.m. on Saturday.
About the Beavers:
• The Beavers are trying to have to have bounce back campaign in Head Coach Steve Sertich’s eigth season. In 2012-13, Bemidji State finished with a 6-26-2 record overall and a 5-22-1 mark in WCHA action. A bright spot on the season was when the Beavers beat No. 9 Univerisity of Wisconsin at Wisconsin by a score of 1-0 (10/19/12).
• BSU competes in one of the toughest conferences in college hockey. There was one point last season when the Beavers competed against a ranked WCHA team eight straight times. Two WCHA teams made the NCAA tournament last season and one, the University of Minnesota, won the national chamionship.
• The WCHA hasn’t just been dominate last season, but they have been by far the most prestigous conference in all of women’s hockey. This storied conference has won all Division I women’s hockey championships to date. University of Minnesota Duluth has the most with five. Minnesota and Wisconsin both have four.
• Over half of Bemidji State’s games last season were against teams which were ranked or were receiving votes (18).
• The Beavers were picked to tie for seventh in the WCHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Leading the poll was the defending NCAA champion Minnesota, who received seven of the eight first-place votes after an undefeated 41-0-0 campaign. Following the Gophers, comes two squads that finished the season among the top 10. In second place, was University of Wisconsin, which 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.
• The WCHA also handed out some individual accolades. One of Bemidji State’s freshman received a vote as Freshman of the Year and that was goalie Brittni Mowat (G, Fr., Glenboro, Manitoba). 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.
• This year’s BSU women’s hockey team returns 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 (F, So., Thunder Bay, Ontario) who was second on the team last season with seven goals and 14 points. Bemidji State also has six new players on the roster to help improve the team overall.
• Bemidji State has to find some way to replace over half of its goal scoring from the year ago. Out of the 49 goals BSU scored last season, only 23 of them were by players returning this season.
• The two captains for BSU this season are Alex Ehlert (D, Sr., Portage, Wis.) (C) and Allie Duellman (D, Sr., Maplewood, Minn.) (A).
• 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.
• Head Steve Sertich is 3-3-1 in his career in opening games at Bemidji State. Including a 3-2 win over Providence College last season.
• During Sertich’s tenure as BSU’s head coach, he has complied a record of 16-15-6 in non-conference games. Including a 1-2-1 mark last season.
• This week the Beavers will open up the 2013-14 season against Lindenwood. The Lions are currently members of the College Hockey America conference. The other current members are: Rochester Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, Penn State University, Mercyhurst University, and Robert Morris University. Bemidji State has an all-time record of 8-11-2 against the current CHA members. Including a 1-0-0 mark against Lindenwood.
Previewing the Opponents:
• Lindenwood University: The Lions are coming off a season during which they went a 7-26-3. Even though Lindenwood really struggled, they did have two of the top players in the CHA. First, sophomore Alison Wickenheiser who earned All-CHA Second Team honors. Wickenheiser led the team in goals and points last season (17 goals, 24 points). The 17 goals she scored was good enough for 11th place in the CHA in that category. Secondly, the Lions’ goaltender, Nicole Hensley, also earned All-CHA Second Team honors. As a freshman, she led Lindenwood in time between the pipes and earned all seven of the Lions’ victories. Hensley also set a NCAA Division I record for most saves in a game with 90.
Fast forwarding to this season, both of those players mentioned above return. In the CHA Coaches’ Preseason Poll, the Lions were picked to finish fifth out of six teams finishing ahead of Penn State. Mercyhurst was picked to win the CHA.