BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University women’s ice hockey team will host Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) rival St. Cloud State University in its first home series in 2015 this weekend. The Beavers (14-13-1, 9-12-1 WCHA) and Huskies (6-21-1, 3-17-1 WCHA) split a series earlier this season in St. Cloud, Minn. Bemidji State took game one by a 4-1 score, while SCSU won the series finale 3-0.
About the Beavers
The Beavers are fresh off their final bye week of the season and are looking to get back on track after being swept by University of North Dakota Jan. 24-25 by scores of 4-1 and 5-1.
The Beavers have seven different skaters that have reached double digits in points this season. This group is headed by Kaitlyn Tougas with 20 points (7g, 13a). Fellow junior Ivana Bilic (5g, 12a) paces BSU’s offense from the blue line, and Stephanie Anderson leads the Beavers with nine goals.
Sophomore Brittni Mowat has served as the Beavers’ main goaltender this season and has a record of 12-9-1 with an 1.67 goals against average and .946 save percentage. Mowat needs just one more victory to tie the record for the most victories by a BSU goaltender in single season, which was set by Zuzana Tomcikova in 2011-12.
About St. Cloud State
St. Cloud State comes to Bemidji, Minn. looking to get back on track as it has lost 17 of its last 18 games dating back to mid-November. Despite the 6-21-1 overall record, the Huskies are better away from home, as four of their six victories have come on the road.
The Huskies’ offense has been led this season by Providence College-transfer Molly Illikainen who has 15 points (9g, 6a). Seniors Audrey Hanmer (4g, 8a) and Abby Ness (3g, 7a) have also reached double figures in points with totals of 12 and 10, respectively. SCSU has split its goaltending duties among senior Julie Friend and junior Katie Fitzgerald. In 16 starts, Friend paces the Huskies with four victories (4-13-0), while Fitzgerald leads the way in goals against average (2.93) and save percentage (.906) in 13 starts.
The Beavers were idle last weekend. BSU has a mark of 3-3-0 in series following a bye this season.
Home Sweet Home
This weekend the Beavers will make their 2015 home debut with a series against WCHA rival St. Cloud State. BSU is 7-5-0 at Sanford Center this season and has allowed just 19 goals (1.58 goals per game) playing in its home building.
Black and Blue Beavers
Bemidji State ranks second nationally with 495 blocked shots. Robert Morris is the only team that has more blocked shots than BSU with 507. The Beavers have led the country in blocked shots in each of the past two seasons.
Bemidji State currently has 14 victories, which is the third-most by a BSU squad in program history. Only the 2011-12 (17 wins) and 1999-00 (15 wins) teams have more wins than this season’s squad.
Stephanie Stepping Up
Junior Stephanie Anderson leads the Beavers with nine goals this season. Anderson, who set a new career-high with the nine goals, has lit the lamp in four of the last six games.
Tougas Trying to Make History
Kaitlyn Tougas paces Bemidji State with 20 points (7g, 13a) this season. Tougas, who led the team in points in 2013-14 (14), can become just the fourth BSU player in program history to lead the team scoring in consecutive seasons joining former Beavers: Amber Fryklund, Kelly Hart and Erin Cody.
Bilic Bolsters the Blueline
Defenseman Ivana Bilic has 33 career points (10g, 23a), which is the fourth most by a defenseman in program history. Bilic is tied for sixth in the league this season in scoring by a defenseman with 17 points (5g, 12a).
Freshman Fitting In
Alexis Joyce has had one of the most productive seasons in program history by a freshman defenseman as she has the fourth-most points (13) of a new blueliner in program history trailing only Lisa Peters (27, 1999-00), Brooke Collins (16, 2005-06), Erika Wheelhouse (14, 2009-10). The Lakeville, Minn. native also ranks second in the country with 89 blocked shots.
One More for Mowat
Goaltender Brittni Mowat (12 victories) is one win shy of tying the program record for victories by a goaltender in a single season, which was set in 2011-12 by Zuzana Tomcikova (13). Mowat is 12-9-1 this season with an 1.67 goals against average and .946 save percentage.
Series History vs. St. Cloud State
BSU is 30-31-8 all-time against the Huskies but the Beavers hold the advantage in games played in Bemidji, Minn., 15-13-4.
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).