BEMIDJI, Minn. – The No. 7 Bemidji State women’s hockey team begins its postseason run this weekend when it hosts the University of Minnesota Duluth, Feb. 26-28 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoff Quarterfinals. The Beavers (22-9-3, 17-9-2 WCHA) host their first-ever playoff series after finishing third in the WCHA standings during the regular season. Puck drop for all three games (if needed) will be at 2:07 p.m.
Beavers end regular season with sweep of Mavericks
Bemidji State wrapped up its regular season schedule this past weekend by sweeping Minnesota State University, Mankato in Mankato, Minn.
The Beavers defeated the Mavericks Feb. 19, 3-1, where three different Beavers scored goals for BSU. Bemidji State started the game by scoring their first short-handed goal of the season in thanks to Stephanie Anderson who tallied the goal. BSU then went up 2-0 in the second period when Summer Thibodeau tallied her third goal of the season. Minnesota State responded 12 seconds later to make it 2-1 but the Beavers ended the game with an empty-net goal from Kaitlyn Tougas with 29 seconds remaining.
The Beavers then rallied back from a one-goal deficit the following night when the Mavericks scored the first goal of the game in the second period. Lauren Miller scored the game-tying goal at 6:57 of the second and Kristin Huber scored her seventh game-winning goal of her career with less than eight minutes remaining in the third period to seal the victory.
Brittni Mowat stopped 42-of-44 shots over the weekend, leading the conference with a goals against average of 1.00. Ivana Bilic, Kailtyn Tougas, Stephanie Anderson and Lauren Miller all recorded two points over the weekend.
The 2015-16 season will be remembered as one of the best in program history at Bemidji State. The Beavers set a new program record with 22 wins this season, surpassing the previous mark of 21 set in 2014-15. The win total also marks the first time in school history the Beavers achieved the 20-win mark during the regular season. BSU finished the regular season on their longest win streak in program history with five wins in a row and is 5-0-1 in its final six games.
Tougas Nears 100
Kaitlyn Tougas has put together a remarkable career during her four years at Bemidji State. The senior forward is seventh on BSU’s career points list with 91 and is nine shy of achieving the 100 point mark. Only three Beavers in school history have achieved that goal and the last to do so was Erin Cody in 2011. Tougas has tallied 28 points this season and has 20 assists, three shy of tying the school record for most assists in a season.
Anderson Makes U.S. Women’s National Team roster
Bemidji State University women’s hockey senior Stephanie Anderson has been named to the U.S. Women’s National Team roster for the 2016 IIHF Women’s World Championship. The tournament will be held in Kamloops, British Columbia from March 28 to April 4.
Anderson is one of eighteen players that return from a roster that helped the U.S. earn the gold medal at the 2015 IIHF Women’s World Championship. Twenty three players were selected to the roster including three active players currently competing in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in Anderson, Lee Stecklein from the University of Minnesota and Annie Pankowski from the University of Wisconsin.
Regular Season Meetings
The Bemidji State women’s hockey team achieved something that has never been done before in the history of the program. The Beavers defeated the Bulldogs in all four regular season meetings to sweep the season series against Minnesota Duluth. BSU hosted UMD Oct. 9-10, earning a pair of victories, and then traveled to Duluth, Minn., Jan. 22-23 where the Beavers outscored the Bulldogs 5-2 in the series.
A Look At The Bulldogs
The Bulldogs finish the regular season in sixth place in the WCHA standings and hold a 13-20-1 (10-17-1 WCHA) record. Minnesota Duluth split its last weekend of regular season play with St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn., this past weekend. UMD has the third highest scoring average in the league and produce 2.44 goals per game. They rank, however, in the bottom half of the conference in goals against and allow opponents 3.00 goals per game (fifth). UMD’s power play is also near the bottom of the WCHA and at 13.7 percent ranks seventh in the conference. BSU will need to take advantage of any power play they may get over the weekend as Minnesota Duluth is last in the WCHA on the penalty kill at 65.3 percent.
Minnesota Duluth is led on offense by junior forward Ashleigh Brykaliuk who is sixth in the league with 44 (16g-28a) points this season. She is joined on a line with Lara Stalder and Michela Cava who are eighth and tied for ninth, respectively. Cava leads the Bulldogs in goals (18) this season while Stalder has 36 points.
The Bulldogs have split time in net this season between Kayla Black and Maddie Rooney. Rooney has spent the most time in the crease and in 16 games has compiled a 4-10-0 record. However, Black leads UMD statistically with a 6-4-1 record and .914 save percentage and 2.51 goals against average. Rooney follows with a .900 save percentage to go along with a 3.21 goals against average.
Career vs. UMD
Among active players, the Beavers are led by Ivana Bilic (3g-8a) and Kaitlyn Tougas (4g-7a) who each have 11 career points in 19 games against the Bulldogs. Stephanie Anderson (6g-4a) follows with 10 points while leading the Beavers with six goals. Brittni Mowat is 8-7-0 all-time against Minnesota Duluth and posted a shutout in their last meeting. In her career she has three shutouts against the Bulldogs and has a 1.45 goals against average and .955 save percentage
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University 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).