BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team returns home to Bemidji, Minn. to play their final home series of the season at the Sanford Center. BSU will host Ohio State University February 12-13 and will honor its eight seniors Saturday, Feb. 13 as part of senior day. The Beavers swept the Buckeyes on Nov. 6-7 in Columbus, Ohio. Bemidji State began the series with a 2-1 win, Nov. 6 and then followed with a 3-1 win, Nov. 7.
Beavers Go Undefeated in St. Cloud
The No. 7 Bemidji State University women’s hockey team clinched home ice for the first round of the 2016 WCHA Playoffs for the first time in program history after going 1-0-1 on the road at St. Cloud State University.
The Beavers and Huskies started the weekend’s action by playing to a 3-3 tie on Friday, Feb. 5 in which BSU gave up two, two-goal leads in the game. Bemidji State started the game by scoring two goals in the first period for their first two-goal lead. After SCSU responded with a goal in the second, Bemidji State senior Ivana Bilic gave the Beavers their second two-goal lead just 40 seconds into the third period. However, the Huskies never gave up and responded with a goal three minutes later to make it 3-2 and scored the tying goal with 6:37 remaining to send the game to overtime. Both teams couldn’t beat the opposing goaltender in the extra period and after 65 minutes, a shootout would be necessary to decide who got the extra point. Sophomore Reilly Fawcett was the only skater able to beat a goaltender and guided the Beavers to a 1-0 win in the shootout.
Kristin Huber, Emily Bergland, and Bilic were the three goal scorers for BSU while Bilic led the team after also picking up an assist on Huber’s goal. Brittni Mowat made 18 saves in the game while Fitzgerald saw a lot of action in net and ended with 35.
The Beavers then used members of its senior class the following night to secure home ice. Bemidji State’s seniors Kaitlyn Tougas, Stephanie Anderson and Ivana Bilic all combined for six points as the Beavers downed the Huskies 4-1, Saturday, Feb. 6. Tougas led the way by tying a career-high with three points (2g-1a) in the game while Bilic followed with two assists and Anderson scored the game’s last goal.
The Huskies were competitive with the Beavers for the first half of the game, holding BSU to just one goal after the first period. After scoring a late goal in the first, BSU and SCSU were tied 1-1 at the first intermission. But the Beavers would rally from then on and scored three unanswered goals in the second and third periods to take the final game of the series, 4-1. Behind Tougas and Anderson, sophomore Bailey Wright also scored for the Beavers. Sophomore Alexis Joyce added two assists in the game for her second two-point game of the season.
Beavers Clinch Home Ice
For the first time in program history the Bemidji State women’s hockey team will play the first round of the WCHA Playoffs on home ice. After earning five out of six points last weekend at St. Cloud State University, the Beavers now have 42 points in the WCHA standings and hold a 14 point lead over fifth place with only 12 points remaining. The Beavers are currently third in the standings and hold a one-point lead over North Dakota. With the ranking BSU will earn its highest-ever seeding in the tournament.
The Beavers swept the Buckeyes earlier this season, Nov. 6-7, in Columbus, Ohio. Bemidji State began the series with a 2-1 win, Nov. 6 and followed with a 3-1 win, Nov. 7. Kaitlyn Tougas and Ivana Bilic led the way for the Beavers in the series after both scored three points.
A Look At The Buckeyes
The Buckeyes enter the weekend’s action with a 9-20-1 record and are 5-18-1 in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play while currently holding seventh in the WCHA standings with 17 points. Despite their low ranking, the Buckeyes have the fourth ranked scoring offense in the league and average 2.33 goals per game. However, they allow the most goals in the league at 3.70 per game.
Ohio State will utilize its top two leading goal scorers in Kendall Curtis and Claudia Kepler, who each have 22 points this season. Curtis leads the Buckeyes with 13 goals this season and Kepler is not far behind with 12. Sophomore defenseman Dani Sadek leads OSU with 16 assists and has 19 points. Leading the way in net for Ohio State this season is sophomore Alex LaMere. In 24 games, she has compiled a 7-14-1 record with a 3.23 GAA and .891 save percentage.
Ohio State owns the all-time series record at 34-20-10 in a series that dates back to 1999. Senior Kaitlyn Tougas has the most points against Ohio State among active players, and in nine games, has three points (2g-4a). Junior Brittni Mowat has been in net for nine games against OSU and has compiled a 4-4-1 record.
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).