BEMIDJI, Minn. – The No. 5/6 Bemidji State women’s hockey team begins the second half of its 2015-16 season when they host a non-conference series with Lindenwood University. The Beavers open the series by hosting the Lions at 7:07 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6 at Sanford Center and again at 7:07 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7.
First Half Success
After setting a program record with 21 wins last season, the Beavers continued their success into the start of the 2015-16 season. Bemidji State had its most successful first half of a season by earning 13 wins and hold a 13-5-2 record at the start of 2016. The Beavers also hold the third spot in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings with 31 points and trail No. 3 University of Minnesota by two points and No. 1 University of Wisconsin by seven.
Senior Kaitlyn Tougas leads the Beavers offense with 13 points and has tallied the most assists this season with 10. Not far behind is fellow senior and captain Hanna Moher who has 12 points and is tied for the team lead in goals with five. BSU has five student-athletes with double-digit scoring marks including blueliners Alexis Joyce (4g-7a) and Ivana Bilic (2g-9a) with 11 points each. Kristin Huber rounds out Bemidji State’s top five scores with five goals and five assists.
The Beavers defense is backstopped by goaltender Brittni Mowat who is one of the top netminders in the nation. Mowat ranks nationally in goals against average (5th, 1.38), save percentage (4th, .949), and wins (13). Before the break, the Glenboro, Manitoba native became the most successful goaltender in BSU women’s hockey history with her 42nd career win in a 1-0 shutout at No. 9 University of North Dakota. Helping Mowat stop shots is a pair of defensemen who are one and two in the nation in blocked shots. Ivana Bilic and Madison Hutchinson rank first and second in shots blocked. Bilic leads the nation with 54 blocked shots while Hutchinson follows with 46.
Beavers in International Competition
Two members of the Bemidji State women’s hockey team will join their respective national and development teams to compete in training camps and tournaments this week. Senior Stephanie Anderson earned an invite to the USA Hockey Women’s Winter Camp that took place between Dec. 27 and Jan. 1. Anderson was one of 37 players invited to the camp after she helped USA win a gold medal at the 2015 Four Nations Cup.
Senior Ivana Bilic will also wear her nations colors after she was selected to compete for Canada’s National Development team in the 2016 Nations Cup held in Germany. The tournament will take place from Jan. 4-7 in Füssen, Germany and Bilic will be unavailable for the Beavers series against Lindenwood. Bilic is one of 22 players selected to a roster that features seven blueliners and four players from the WCHA.
A Look At The Lions
Lindenwood continues non-conference play on the road after splitting its series at Minnesota State, Mankato Feb. 3-4. The Lions hold a 3-9-0 record in non-conference and are currently in fourth in the College Hockey Association standings at 2-4-4.
The Lions leadings scorer is Shara Jasper who has scored 15 goals in 22 games and also leads the team with 23 points. She is followed by Shannon Morris-Reade with 16 points and then Sarah Bobrowski with 15 points. Nicole Hensley has spent the most time in net for LU and in 17 starts she has a record of 4-10-4 with a goals against average of 2.45 and save percentage of .927.
Bemidji State and Lindenwood have played seven games against each other in a series that began on Nov. 10, 2011. The Beavers hold the all-time series with a 5-1-1 record and defeated the Lions 6-0 the last time they met. BSU senior Whitney Wivoda has played in all seven games against Lindenwood and is the active scoring leader against the Lions with six points (3g-3a). Kaitlyn Tougas follows with 5 five points (2g-3a) and Lauren Miller (4g-0a), Ivana Bilic (2g-2a), and Hanna Moher (3g-1a) each have four. Junior Brittni Mowat has started the most games against the Lions and is undefeated with a record of 4-0-1. She has a 0.79 goals against average and .951 save percentage against LU.
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).