BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University women’s ice hockey program announced the signing of six student-athletes to its 2016-17 class. Lauren Bench (G, Eagan, Minn.), Abby Halluska (F, Delano, Minn.), Briana Jorde (D, Thief River Falls, Minn.), Jacqueline Kaasa (F, Hudson, Wis.), Haley Mack (F, East Grand Forks, Minn.), and Kaitlin Radke (F, Hastings, Minn.) all signed National Letters of Intent to join the BSU women’s hockey program in 2016-17.
All signees are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.
“We are very excited about this group of incoming freshmen,” said BSU Head Coach Jim Scanlan. “They will add speed, skill and depth to all three positions in our program and are all outstanding young ladies, who are also very good hockey players. They all come from very successful programs where they are leaders on their respective teams and will be outstanding ambassadors for our program and Bemidji State University.”
Lauren Bench • Goaltender • 5-10
Shoots • Left • Catches • Left
Burnsville High School • Eagan, Minn.
Prior to BSU: Bench is a four-sport letter-winner at Burnsville High School… Bench backstopped a Blaze team to a section title in 2013-14…Guided her team to a Minnesota State Tournament appearance in 2013-14…Member of Burnsville’s National Honor Society and honor roll.
Scanlan on Bench: “At almost 6-feet in height, Lauren is a very long and athletic goalie. She is extremely competitive and a very hard worker. She squares up to the puck very well and has very good feet.”
Personal: Daughter of Mike and Carolyn Bench born Nov. 21, 1997… Currently undecided on a major while at BSU.
Abby Halluska • Forward • 5-8
Shoots • Right
Delano High School • Delano, Minn.
Prior to BSU: Halluska is a four-year letter-winner for Delano High School’s hockey program as well as a letter-winner for its softball and golf programs… Helped the Tigers to an appearance in the Minnesota State Tournament in 2014-15…Recieved her conference’s Forward of the Year award and selected to the all-section team… An All-State Team Honorable Mention pick in 2014-15…Member of Delano’s National Honor Society and honor roll.
Scanlan on Halluska: “Abby is a power forward who has tremendous hands. She is not afraid to go to the tough areas and battle for the puck and will add size and skill to our forward group.”
Personal: Daughter of Pete and Amy Halluska born June 26, 1998… Plans to major in chemistry while at BSU.
Briana Jorde • Defense • 5-4
Shoots • Left
Thief River Falls High School • Thief River Falls, Minn.
Prior to BSU: Jorde is a letter-winner for Thief River Falls girl’s hockey program…Selected as the team’s captain for two years… Helped guide her team to the schools first Class A State title in 2015 after the Prowlers went 26-1-3… Teammate of current BSU freshmen Emily Bergland and Sylvia Marolt during their championship run… Invited to the USA National Hockey Development Camp in 2015… Selected to all-conference and all-tournament teams in 2014-15… Member of the schools honor roll.
Scanlan on Jorde: “Briana is an excellent skating defenseman. She has great feet, is very strong on her skates and she has the ability to make people miss. She is very deceptive with the puck and has the ability to contribute offensively.”
Personal: Daughter of Murray and Sandra Jorde born Jan. 4, 1998… Plans to major in nursing while at BSU.
Jacqueline Kaasa • Forward • 5-3
Shoots • Left
Hill Murray High School • Hudson, Wis.
Prior to BSU: Kaasa lettered in hockey, softball, and soccer while at Hill Murray High School… Helped guide the Pioneers to back-to-back Class “2AA” State Titles in 2014 and 2015… Selected to the Metro East All-Conference team in 2013 and honorable mention in 2014… Invited to the USA National Hockey Team Development Camp in 2012 and 2013…Member of Hill Murray’s Dean’s List.
Scanlan on Kaasa: “Jacq is another very versatile forward who can play either center or wing. She is a tremendous skater who can finish. She is very good around the net, has great hands and a quick release.”
Personal: Daughter of Greg Kaasa and Beth Schneider born Jan. 6, 1998… Currently undecided on a major at BSU.
Haley Mack • Forward • 5-4
Shoots • Left
Minnesota Revolution • East Grand Forks, Minn.
Prior to BSU: Member of the Minnesota Revolution junior team from 2014-2016… Mack played at East Grand Forks High School before the Revolution where she was coached by current Beaver Head Coach Jim Scanlan… Member of a East Grand Forks team that finished runners-up at the Class “A” State Tournament in 2014… Member of the school’s honor roll.
Scanlan on Mack: “Haley is a dynamic forward who has always been a scorer. She is extremely quick, very strong for her size and a very tenacious player.”
Personal: Daughter of Jason and Kristie Mack born May 28, 1998… Father, Jason played hockey for Bemidji State from 1990 to 1994 and was a captain…Currently undecided on a major while at BSU.
Kaitlin Radke • Forward • 5-4
Shoots • Left
Hastings High School • Hastings, Minn.
Prior to BSU: Radke is a letter-winner for Hastings High School’s hockey, soccer, cross country, and track and field programs… Earned all-state honorable mention in 2014-15 and was selected to the Metro East All-Conference Team for three years…Captained the Raiders for two seasons and was invited to the USA National Hockey Development Camp for three years… all-section team member for soccer… Member of Hastings National Honor Society and Honor Roll.
Scanlan on Radke: “Kiki is a very powerful skater who will bring equal amounts of speed and skill to our line-up as either a center or wing. She is very strong on her skates and has the ability to not only be a play maker, but she’s a goal scorer as well.”
Personal: Daughter of Brian and Melany Radke born Aug. 19, 1998…Plans to major in biology while attending BSU.
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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).