BEMIDJI, Minn. - The Bemidji State University women’s ice hockey team opens its 2014-15 home schedule this weekend with a rare split series against University of Vermont and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). The Beavers are coming off a weekend sweep of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pa. The 2-0-0 start is the best in program history.
Scouting the Beavers
Kaitlyn Tougas (F, Jr., Thunder Bay, Ontario) leads BSU in scoring with three points (1g-2a) this season. Forwards Stephanie Anderson (F, R-Jr., North St. Paul, Minn.) and Megan Lushanko (F, Jr., Chisago Lakes, Minn.) and defensemen Madison Hutchinson (D, So., Manitou, Manitoba), Alexis Joyce (D, Fr., Lakeville, Minn.) and Ivana Bilic (D, Jr., Coquitlam, British Columbia) each have two points as well. In net, both Brittni Mowat (G, So., Glenboro, Maniotba) and Erin Deters (G, Fr., Sartell, Minn.) have seen time. Mowat is 1-0-0 with a 2.00 goals against average and .900 save percentage, while Deters is also 1-0-0 with a 1.00 goals against average and .967 save percentage.
Jim Plumer enters his third season as the head coach of Vermont. Plumer came to Vermont after nine years as the head coach at Amherst College (Amherst, Mass.). During his tenure, Plumer molded Amherst into a national powerhouse in Division III, winning the 2009 and 2010 NCAA Championship titles.
On the ice, the Catamounts are led by Amanda Pelkey who scored 19 goals and 21 assists last season. In addition, Vermont has a wealth of offensive firepower returning with seven more players that scored at least 10 points last season. In net, Madison Litchfield is the lone goaltender on the roster that has collegiate experience. Litchfield was 4-4-1 with a 3.50 goals against average and .931 save percentage last season.
John Burke took over RPI’s women’s hockey program in 2003-04 and has led the Engineers to a 157-164-39 record since. Among the highlights of his career have been guiding the team into the Division I era and becoming the program’s all-time winningest coach.
RPI is led offensively by Alexa Gruschow, who had a team-high 20 points last season, and Lauren Wash who paced the Engineers with 12 goals. The Engineers have a pair of experienced goaltenders in Kelly O’Brien and Brianna Piper. Both net-minders have seen time in at least 30 games in their respective careers. O’Brien is 24-48-6 in her career as Engineer and Piper is 5-15-5.
Bemidji State swept Robert Morris over the weekend by scores of 5-2 and 3-1. It is the first 2-0-0 start in program history.
Starting off on the right foot
With the win in the season opener, the Beavers move to 7-8-2 all-time on opening day. BSU has won its opening tilt in four of the past five seasons (4-0-1).
Get out the brooms
The Beavers gained their first road sweep since Feb. 17-18, 2012 versus St. Cloud State University when they swept Robert Morris over the weekend.
Spreading the wealth
The Beavers had a varied offensive attack as 11 different players scored at least one point in the series.
Three for tougas
Junior Kaitlyn Tougas had the best individual game on the weekend as she scored a career-high three points in Friday’s 5-2 win. Tougas assisted BSU’s first two goals and lit the lamp with a goal of her own.
Five players got their first action for the green and white, all were freshmen: Ciscely Nelson, Erin Deters, Alexis Joyce, Alex Bond, Emma Terres.
Stephanie stepping up
Junior Stephanie Anderson led the Beavers with two goals on the weekend. The pair of lamp lighters were the sixth and seventh goals of Anderson’s BSU career.
Bravo for Bilic
Junior Ivana Bilic notched a team-high two assists over the weekend. Bilic, who currently has 18 career points, is one point shy of entering the top 10 all-time list for scoring by defensemen at BSU.
In addtion Bilic, was also named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week for her play against Robert Morris.
Starting well for Scanlan
First-year head coach Jim Scanlan won his first two games as BSU’s bench boss. Scanlan, a former BSU goaltender, replaced Steve Sertich who retired following last season.
Bemidji State opens its home schedule this weekend. BSU is 25-37-4 at the Sanford Center all-time.
Series History vs. Vermont/RPI
Vermont will make its first trip to Bemidji, Minn. since 2007. The Beavers swept that two-game series and hold 3-0-1 advantage over the Catamounts in the all-time series. RPI and the Beavers will meet for the first time ever Saturday. Bemidji State is playing just its second ever opponent from the ECAC, the first being Cornell University. BSU has gone 1-2-1 against the Big Red in its four meetings Jan. 1-2, 2005 and Dec. 30-31, 2005.
For more information on the Bemidji State women’s hockey program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers or @BSUWHockey), 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).