No. 7 Beavers set to clash with No. 3 Gophers

No. 7 Beavers set to clash with No. 3 Gophers
Thursday, January 28, 2016
No. 7 Beavers set to clash with No. 3 Gophers

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The No. 7 Bemidji State women’s hockey team returns home this weekend to host No. 3 University of Minnesota, Jan. 29-30. The Beavers (17-7-2, 12-7-1 WCHA) and Gophers (22-3-0, 17-3-0 WCHA) begin the two-game series at 7:07 pm Friday, Jan. 29 and will then wrap-up their final regular season meeting at 4:07 pm, Saturday.

Bemidji State Earns Season Sweep of Bulldogs

The No. 7 Bemidji State women’s hockey team defeated the University of Minnesota Duluth on the road to earn the series sweep against the Bulldogs. The Beavers won all four meetings against the Bulldogs during the season, which marks the first time in program history that Bemidji State swept a season series against Minnesota Duluth.

Bemidji State began the series with a 3-2 win over the Bulldogs, Jan. 22. The Beavers were forced to play from behind early after the Bulldogs scored 19 seconds into the opening period. The Beavers scored the game-tying goal 1:12 into the second period when Kristin Huber found the back of the net on the power play. Bemidji State gained the lead just two minutes later after freshman Melissa Hunt scored her first goal as a Beaver. BSU made it 3-1 29 seconds into the final period when Huber tallied her second goal on the power play. Minnesota Duluth pulled within one of the Beavers with 9:41 remaining but Brittni Mowat remained strong in net and backstopped the Beavers to a 3-2 victory.

Bemidji State and Minnesota Duluth concluded the series the following day as Mowat led the Beavers to a 2-0 victory after stopping all 27 shots by the Bulldogs. Mowat earned her 15th career shutout and the fifth of 2015-16. Kaitlyn Tougas scored the game-winning goal at the 9:38 mark of the second period while Madison Hutchinson added another tally to give the Beavers the 2-0 lead, 1:46 into the third.

Five Beavers totaled two points in the series and were led by Huber with two goals, while Ivana Bilic and Stephanie Anderson each posted two assists. Kaitlyn Tougas and Madison Hutchinson each tallied a goal and an assist for the Beavers.

Beavers Hold Home Playoff Position

With only eight games remaining in the 2015-16 season, the Bemidji State women’s hockey team is in position to host its first WCHA Playoff series in program history. The No. 7 Beavers currently hold third place in the WCHA standings with 37 points and trail second place Minnesota by 14 points. The top four teams host the first round of the WCHA Playoffs as all eight teams make the first round. No. 8 North Dakota follows the Beavers in fourth with 34 points while St. Cloud State stands in fifth with 27 points.

Last Meeting

Bemidji State and Minnesota will meet for the final time of the regular season this weekend after previously meeting at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis, Minn., Nov. 13-14. The Gophers defeated BSU in both games as the Beavers were outscored 12-3 in the series. Minnesota began the series with a 4-0 shutout where goaltender Amanda Leveille earned her 25th career shutout after stopping all 18 shots by the Beavers. The Gophers then followed the shutout by scoring their fourth highest goal total of the season in an 8-3 victory. Emma Terres, Ivana Bilic and Bailey Wright all scored for the Beavers in the loss.

A Look At The Gophers

The Beavers will see the highest scoring offense in the nation this weekend as the Gophers average 5.40 goals per game. In 25 games, Minnesota has compiled a 22-3-0 (17-3-0 WCHA) record and holds the second spot in the WCHA standings with 51 points. The Gophers also have one of the top defenses in the nation and rank fifth by only allowing opponents 1.32 goals per game.

The Bemidji State defense will go up against the top three leading scorers in the WCHA in Dani Cameranesi, Hannah Brandt and Sarah Potomak. Cameranesi leads the league with 51 points (24g-27a) followed by Brandt (21-25=46pts) and Potomak (11-34=45pts) in second and third, respectively. Cameranesi is also the conference’s leading goal scorer (24) and Potomak is the leading assist-getter (34).

The Gophers also have the second leading defense in the WCHA and hold opponents to 1.32 goals per game. Goaltender Amanda Leveille leads Minnesota this season with a record of 16-3-0 and is second in the conference with a 1.48 GAA and fourth in save percentage at .923.

Minnesota dominates the all-time series record with a 62-6-7 mark in 75 total meetings while the Beavers are 2-28-3 at home against the Gophers. Senior Kristin Huber has tallied the most points against the Gophers with four goals and two assists while Ivana Bilic follows with five points (2g-3a).

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).

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