BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State women’s hockey team will look to even its season series with University of North Dakota this weekend after being swept by the Fighting Hawks (12-9-5, 9-7-4 WCHA) earlier this season. The Beavers (9-13-2, 5-13-2 WCHA) will play a home-and-home series with the Fighting Hawks and host game one of the series at Sanford Center, Jan. 27. BSU and UND will then take Saturday off before playing again Sunday, Jan. 29.
The Beavers and Fighting Hawks will meet for the 65th and 66th meeting all-time this weekend. UND holds the all-time series record at 38-22-5 but the Beavers are 12-15-3 at home compared to 10-23-2 in Grand Forks, N.D. The Beavers and Fighting Hawks met earlier this season Oct. 28-29 with UND earning the sweep of BSU in the home-and-home series. The Beavers’ last win against North Dakota came Dec. 6, 2015 where Brittni Mowat became the Beavers’ all-time wins leader after posting a 1-0 shutout in Grand Forks. Head coach Jim Scanlan is 4-5-1 in his career against UND while Fighting Hawks head coach Brian Idalski is 30-11-5 against the Beavers.
A Look At The Fighting Hawks
North Dakota enters the weekend fourth in the WCHA standings with 33 points and is 12-9-5 overall (9-7-4-2 WCHA). UND travelled to No.1 University of Wisconsin last weekend where the Fighting Hawks lost two one-goal games to the top-ranked Badgers. Emma Nuutinen (1g-1a) and Ryleigh Houston (0g-2a) each led the team with two points in the series.
North Dakota ranks fourth in the WCHA in scoring offense (2.35) and second in scoring defense (1.69) and are tied for fifth in Division I in scoring defense. The Fighting Hawks have the fifth-ranked power-play unit in the league and have converted on 10-of-77 (.130) chances. UND’s penalty kill is also fifth in the league at .893 (92-of-103). North Dakota is the most penalized team in the WCHA and average 8.8 penalty minutes per game.
The Fighting Hawks are led by the top-scoring freshman in the WCHA in Ryleigh Houston. She paces the team with 20 points (6g-14a) this season. Senior Amy Menke follows with 18 points (7g-11a) while freshman Emma Nuutinen leads the team in goals this season with eight (8g-5a=13). Senior Lexie Shaw has started 23 of the team’s 26 games this season and has posted an 11-7-5 record. She is second in the WCHA with a 1.53 goals against average and fourth with a .930 save percentage.
Joyce Named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week
BSU women’s hockey defenseman Alexis Joyce was named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Defensive Player of the Week Tuesday for her efforts this past weekend. Joyce tied for the WCHA lead with three assists including the primary assist on Emily Bergland’s game-tying goal against No. 2 University of Minnesota Duluth.
The junior tied for the league-lead in points among defensemen (0g-3a) and blocked a total of eight shots, tied for second-most in the conference, to help the Beavers garner two points against the second-ranked Bulldogs.
Bemidji State Notes
- Bergland led the Beavers last weekend with two goals and tied for the team lead with three points (2g-1a).
- She continues to pace the Beavers in scoring and now has 16 points (9g-7a) this season, T-18th in the WCHA.
- Junior Alexis Joyce also tallied three points against the Bulldogs and tied for the WCHA lead in points among defensemen for the week (0g-3a).
- She assisted on Bergland’s game-tying goal Saturday and now leads the Beavers with 11 assists this season (2g-11a).
- Brittni Mowat saw a league-high 88 shots and made a league-best 81 saves to help the Beavers earn two points in the WCHA standings.
- Alexis Joyce now leads the Beavers with a three-game point streak. She has four points (0g-4a) in the last three games.
- After a three-point weekend, Joyce has surpassed Erika Wheelhouse in career points for a defenseman at BSU. She is now tied with Marlee Wheelhouse with 51 career points (14-37). Senior Madison Hutchinson is not far behind in seventh all-time with 49 career points (10g-39a).
- Mowat has 17 career shutouts, needing just one more to tie BSU great Zuzana Tomcikova.
- The Beavers’ power-play unit has been hot recently and has scored a power-play goal in six of the last seven games (7-of-26, .212).
- After scoring just seven power-play goals in the team’s first 18 games, BSU has now scored six in the last seven games. The Beavers are now fourth in the WCHA in PP percentage (.143) and are 5-3-2 when scoring a power-play goal.
- The Beavers’ penalty kill has not allowed a power-play goal in three games (0-for-7) and has allowed just one goal in the past eight games (1-for-25, .962). The Beavers’ penalty kill is third in the WCHA at .903 (65-of-72) and sixth in the NCAA.
- Since Dec. 2, Bemidji has boasted the best penalty-kill percentage in all of Division I (.960) and the fifth-best power-play percentage (.259). The Beavers will be up against the top penalized team in the WCHA in North Dakota this weekend.
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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)