BEMIDJI, Minn. – The No. 10 Bemidji State University women’s hockey team continues Western Collegiate Conference Hockey Association play this week with a home-and-home series with University of North Dakota. The Beavers (4-3-1, 2-3-1 WCHA) hope to improve in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings after falling to sixth going 0-1-1 at No. 4 University of Minnesota Duluth.
North Dakota holds the all-time series record at 38-22-5 since the teams started play in 2002. Bemidji State took the season series in 2015 with a 2-1-1 record and the Beavers are 4-3-1 in the last eight meetings. Bemidji State snapped the Fighting Hawks longest unbeaten streak (13-0-1) of the series Nov. 14, 2014. Head coach Jim Scanlan is 4-3-1 in his career against UND while Fighting Hawks head coach Brian Idalski is 28-11-5 against the Beavers.
A Look at the Fighting Hawks
North Dakota begins the weekend series fourth in the WCHA standings with nine points in six conference games. The Fighting Hawks hold a 4-3-1 (3-3-0 WCHA) record despite going 0-2-0 against No. 1 University of Wisconsin last weekend. The Fighting Hawks were outscored 7-2 in the series held in Grand Forks, N.D., with Wisconsin earning a 2-0 shutout in game one and followed with a 5-2 win in game two. Jordan Hampton and Rebekah Kolstad were the only goal scorers for UND over the weekend.
North Dakota has the fourth-highest scoring offense in the WCHA and average 2.38 goals per game, one spot above the Beavers. Its defense is also tied for fourth in the league and hold opponents to 1.88 goals per game compared to a 1.62 average for Bemidji State. The Fighting Hawks’ power play converts at a .143 percentage (4-of-28), third in the WCHA, while their penalty kill is second in the league with a .947 percentage (36-of-38).
Leading the Fighting Hawks in scoring is senior forward Amy Menke who has tallied seven points (1g-6a) in eight games. Freshman Emma Nuutinen leads the team with three goals (3g-1a) while Hampton, Gracen Hirschy, Charly Dahlquist and Kolstad have each tallied two goals this season. Senior Lexie Shaw leads North Dakota in net and in seven games has compiled a 4-2-1 record. She has two shutouts this season and is third in the WCHA in goals against average (1.40) and save percentage (.944).
Beavers go 0-1-1 in Duluth
The Beavers spent last weekend on the road in Duluth, Minn., with Bemidji State going 0-1-1 against the fourth ranked Bulldogs. Bemidji State fell 2-1 in game one with senior Brittni Mowat making 39-of-41 stops in the loss. The Beavers then rallied back from down two to tie the Bulldogs, 3-3, in the final game of the series. Junior Emma Terres led the Beavers with three points (2g-1a) over the weekend after tallying all three points on Saturday. The three points for Terres is a career high for the New Hope, Minn., native and her first career two-goal game. Senior Madison Hutchinson finished the weekend with a goal and assist for the Beavers while Alexis Joyce added a goal and assist as well. Sophomore Natalie Stanwood recorded two assists over the weekend to round out Beavers with multiple points over the weekend. Mowat finished with 77 saves over the weekend, second-most in the NCAA and posted a .939 save percentage, third in the WCHA.
Beavers’ Penalty Killing Unit remains hot
The Bemidji State penalty killing unit remained the best in the nation after killing all five chances for the Bulldogs during the weekend. The Beavers hold a .960 penalty killing percentage, best in the WCHA as well as the nation and have killed 21 straight power plays. The Beavers haven’t allowed a power-play goal since the first period of the first game of the 2016 season, Sept. 30 at Syracuse.
Bemidji State remains No. 10 in national polls
The Bemidji State women’s hockey team remained ranked at No. 10 in both USCHO.com and USAToday/USAHockeyMagazine national polls this week. The Beavers are ranked in the polls for the third straight week while their opponent, UND, received votes in both polls.
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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).