BEMIDJI, Minn. -- This weekend the Bemidji State University women's hockey team (11-19-4, 7-17-3-2, 29 points) will travel to No. 9 University of North Dakota (17-11-4, 14-10-4 WCHA) for a best-of-three WCHA playoff series. The winner will earn a berth into the 2014 WCHA Final Faceoff.
Last Time Out
The Beavers took five of six points from WCHA rival St. Cloud State University Feb. 21-22. The five points were the most that BSU has posted in a series since Nov. 15-16 when it swept Minnesota State.
Two from Tougas
Kaitlyn Tougas (F, So., Thunder Bay, Onatrio) tallied a goal and an assist in Saturday’s win over SCSU. It was her fourth multi-point game of the season and the eighth of her career. The sophomore forward leads Bemidji State in points and assists and is tied for the team lead in goals (8-13=21 pts.)
Despite having her four-game point streak snapped at SCSU, Tess Dusik (F, Sr., Oak Bluff, Manitoba) has scored five points in BSU’s last five games and is second on the squad with 14 points (7g, 7a).
Grenier the Great
Junior Kristine Grenier (F, St. Leon, Manitoba) has continued to provide BSU with offensive punch in her first season in the green and white. Grenier netted her eighth goal of the season against SCSU, which ties her for the team lead in that category.
Shutout on Saturday
Goaltender Jessica Havel (R-Sr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) made the most out of her first start since Dec. 8 as she shut out the Huskies Saturday, 3-0. Havel made 38 saves to record her third career shutout and fifth career victory.
Redshirt-sophomore Stephanie Anderson (F, North St. Paul, Minn.) tallied a short-handed goal in Saturday’s victory at SCSU. With seven short-handed goals, the 2013-14 total ranks second only to a BSU women’s hockey record of 10 set in 1999-2000.
Shot blocking has been a critical part of Bemidji State’s success this season. BSU is first in the country in blocks with 674 with defensemen Alex Ehlert (D, Sr., Portage, Wis.) (104, 1st), Allie Duellman (D, Sr., Maplewood, Minn.) (95, 3rd), Ivana Bilic (D, So., Coquitlam, British Columbia) (83, 6th) all ranked among the top 10.
The Bemidji State power-play unit has failed to score in its last 17 chances. BSU’s last power-play goal came Jan. 31 against University of Minnesota Duluth.
Scouting North Dakota
No other team is happier that the Olympics are over more so than North Dakota (17-11-4, 14-10-4 WCHA). UND had three of its top players leave to compete in this year’s games in Sochi. During the period that its Olympians were away, UND had a 1-6-1 mark compared to a 16-5-3 mark with them.
One of those Olympians is Michelle Karvinen. Karvinen represented Finland in Sochi, led all players participating in the games in points and was named the top forward of the tournament. Depsite missing a month of the season, Karvinen still is tied for the team lead in goals with 13. In her abscence, Josefine Jakobsen has picked up the offensive slack and shares the team lead in goals and paces the team in assists (18) and points (31).
North Dakota has two underclassmen goaltenders that it has relied on this season. Sophomore Shelby Amsley-Benzie has seen the most time in net and has 11 victories this season. Freshman Lexie Shaw has also chipped in six victories this season and has posted a 1.92 goals against average.
Bemidji State will tangle with North Dakota for the third time in the postseason. The Beavers are 0-3-1 versus UND this season. BSU’s playoff record against North Dakota is 1-4.
Stat to keep in mind
The home of the Beavers, the Sanford Center, will be the site for this year’s WCHA Final Faceoff. Bemidji State will look to earn its second trip ever to the Final Faceoff. The only other time BSU made it was 2009-10.
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).