BEMIDJI, Minn. – Fresh off of sweeping back-to-back Western Collegiate Hockey Association series, the No. 4/5 Bemidji State women’s hockey team travels to Minneapolis, Minn. to face-off with No. 3 University of Minnesota.
The Beavers (10-2-2, 7-2-1 WCHA) play their second-consecutive road series, while the Gophers (9-1-0, 7-1-0 WCHA) return to action for the first time since falling to then No. 7 University of North Dakota on Oct. 30.
Beavers Extend Winning Streak to Four
In a weekend that Bemidji State and Ohio State University where the only two teams to compete in the WCHA, the Beavers swept the Buckeyes to snap a five-game losing streak to OSU. Bemidji State extended its current wining streak to four, having previously swept St. Cloud State University, Oct. 30-31. BSU went 0-4 against the Buckeyes last season but out-scored them 5-2 in their first series of the season. The four-game winning streak ties the longest of the season for the Beavers.
Bemidji State started the weekend with a 2-1 win over Ohio State in a game that saw sophomore Bailey Wright score her first goal in a Beaver sweater and was also the game-winning goal. The Beavers responded with a 3-1 win on Saturday and moved into second place in the WCHA Standings, ahead of Minnesota. Junior Brittni Mowat was a key factor for the Beavers in the series and stopped 53-of-55 shots all weekend.
Anderson returns with gold medal
The Beavers return their leading goal scorer of the season after senior Stephanie Anderson missed the last three-games to compete for the women’s USA hockey national team in the Four Nations Cup held in Sweden. Team USA went 4-0 in the tournament, including a 3-2 overtime victory against Canada in the gold medal game. Anderson appeared in all four games and tallied one assist in the tournament. USA was dominant in the tournament, out-scoring its opponents 19-4 with two shutouts.
A Look At The Gophers
Minnesota returns to action after having last weekend off and suffering their first loss of the season to then No. 7 North Dakota on Oct. 30. The Gophers (9-1-0, 7-1-0 WCHA) face their highest ranked opponent of the season thus far in the Beavers and the match-up features the second and third ranked teams in the WCHA standings.
The Gophers are one of the toughest teams in the nation, proven by their statistical out-put this season. Minnesota has the most powerful offense in the nation and average 6.20 goals per game. The Gophers also have one of the stingiest defenses in the nation and rank second in the NCAA by only allowing opponents 1.20 goals per game. Minnesota’s power play is also top in the nation and score at a .452 rate (14-of-31). However, the Beavers can break through against the Gophers if they can get the man advantage. Minnesota has one of the lowest penalty kills in the nation and rank 20th by stopping .800 (20-of-25) chances.
Minnesota has four student-athletes within the top 10 in scoring in the nation. Sarah Potomak, Hannah Brandt, Dani Cameranesi, and Kelly Pannek all lead the Gophers by averaging over two points per game. Brandt leads the team with 21 (9g-12a) points this season followed by Cameranesi (10g-10a) and Pannek (10g-10a) with 20 points each. Potomak is the nation’s leading scoring rookie with 19 (4g-15a) points and leads the nation with 15 assists.
Amanda Leveille has spent the most time in net for the Gophers, and in eight games she has posted a 1.47 goals against average and .921 save percentage. Sidney Peters has also seen action in net and in four games played (two starts), Peters has a record of 2-0-0 and a goals against average of 0.41.
Bemidji State and Minnesota have met 73 times in a series that dates back to 1998, and the Gophers hold the series lead with a 60-6-7 record. Bemidji State defeated Minnesota in their last meeting, 1-0, when the Beavers and Gophers met in the WCHA Final Face-Off.
Senior Kristen Huber has the most points against the Gophers among active players, and in eight games, she has five points (4g-1a). Kaitlyn Tougas, Ivana Bilic, and Hanna Moher have each played the most games against Minnesota with 15 each. Junior Brittni Mowat has been in net for nine games against the Gophers and has compiled a 2-6-1 record. She has allowed 27 goals for a 2.01 goals against average and has a save percentage of .932.
Running the Gauntlet
For the fourth time in five weeks of a full WCHA schedule (not counting last weekend), the country’s premier conference will feature a top-ten matchup, as No. 5/4 Bemidji State visits No. 3 Minnesota. This weekend’s series is the second such set to feature the Gophers and third with the Beavers, following on the heels of: No. 1 Minnesota at No. 7/8 North Dakota (Oct. 29-30), No. 6 Bemidji State at No. 3/2 Wisconsin (Oct. 23-24) and No. 6 North Dakota vs. No. 8 Bemidji State (Oct. 16-17).
For more information on the Bemidji State hockey program, 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 wooden region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, BSU 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).