BEMIDJI, Minn. - A week after facing No. 2 University of Wisconsin, the Bemidji State women’s ice hockey team travels to play No. 1 University of Minnesota this weekend in Western Collegiate Hockey Association action. The series will commence at 7:07 p.m. Friday with the series finale scheduled for 4:07 p.m. Saturday at Ridder Arena.
About the Beavers
Juniors Kristin Huber and Megan Lushanko, who both have five points, have paced the Beavers’ offense this season. In addition, fellow juniors Kaitlyn Tougas, Stephanie Anderson, Hanna Moher and Ivana Bilic each have contributed four points.
Sophomore Brittni Mowat and freshman Erin Deters have split the goaltending duties for BSU so far this season. Mowat is 2-2-0 with a 2.25 goals against average (GAA) and .917 save percentage, while Deters is also 2-2-0 with a 1.51 GAA and .948 save percentage.
About the Golden Gophers
Under the direction of eighth-year head coach Brad Frost, the Golden Gophers have a record of 86-2-2 in the last three seasons, including a 7-0-1 mark so far in 2014-15. Frost has also guided Minnesota to a pair of national championships and five frozen four appearances during his tenure.
Minnesota has three players ranked in the top 12 nationally in scoring. Heading this group is junior Hannah Brandt, who leads the country in scoring with 18 points (9g, 9a) this season.
Minnesota also has one of the stingiest defenses in the nation as it ranks second nationally allowing 1.12 goals per game. Goaltender Amanda Leveille is the backbone of that defense . Leveille is 6-0-1 this season with a 1.26 goals against average and .951 save percentage.
Bemidji State dropped its games against No. 2 Wisconsin last weekend by scores of 2-1 and 4-3. It was the first time the Beavers have been swept at home since Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2014 versus Minnesota Duluth. BSU’s all-time record against Wisconsin drops to 4-55-3 with the pair of losses.
Special teams stats
BSU’s power-play and penalty-killing units both rank fourth in the WCHA with marks of 17.9 percent and 88.2 percent, respectively. The three teams in front of the Beavers are all ranked in the national polls (Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota).
Backstopped by the play of goaltenders Erin Deters and Brittni Mowat, BSU’s defense currently ranks eighth nationally in scoring defense (1.88 goals per game).
The Beavers have scored the fifth-most goals in the country this season (21). 13 different players have netted at least one goal for Bemidji State.
BSU has two defensemen currently ranked in the top 10 nationally in blocked shots. Ivana Bilic is third with 21, while freshman Alexis Joyce is tied for sixth with 17.
Freshmen fitting in
Bemdiji State has eight freshmen on this season’s roster. Seven of the eight have seen their first action in the green and white and six have notched their first career point.
A couple BSU players have ties to the University of Minnesota. Stephanie Anderson played for Minnesota during the 2011-12 season and won a national championship with the Gophers. Also Jenessa Philipcyzk’s sister Jenelle, played for Minnesota from 2004-08.
Players to watch against Minnesota
Alex Citrowske had the most success against Minnesota last season, as she notched three points in the four meetings (1g, 2a). Kristin Huber has also seen significant success against Minnesota in her career with three goals and one assist in five career games.
Series history vs. Minnesota
BSU will look to break a 12-game winless drought against the Golden Gophers (0-11-1). Bemidji State last defeated Minnesota Oct. 29, 2011 (2-1). Bemidji State is 4-58-6 all-time against Minnesota. BSU’s last win in Minneapolis came Feb. 9, 2007 (2-0).
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).