BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team puts its five-game winning streak to the test this week by hosting non-conference opponent Mercyhurst University for a two-game series at Sanford Center. The Beavers (10-10-2, 6-7-1-1 WCHA) and Lakers (7-11-2, 5-2-1 CHA) ring in the new year with two meetings, Jan. 2-3, scheduled to start at 6:07 p.m. and 1:07 p.m., Tuesday-Wednesday.
The Beavers and Lakers meet for the 14th and 15th meetings in the two program’s histories but first since 2010. Mercyhurst holds the all-time series record at 10-2-2 but the two teams split its last series in Bemidji, Minn., Oct. 15-16, 2010. The Lakers came into the series ranked No. 1 in the nation but a 56-save performance by goaltender Alana McElhinney and four points from Erin Cody fueled the Beavers 5-3 upset. This week’s series will mark the first time seeing the Lakers during the Jim Scanlan era while 19-year head coach, Michael Sisti, is 10-2-2 against the Beavers.
A Look At The Lakers
The Lakers travel to Bemidji, Minn., after splitting its home series with No. 7/6 Ohio State University before the holiday break, Dec. 15-16. Ohio State took game one, 2-1, but the Lakers answered back with a 6-4 win in game two. Celine Frappier and Sarah Hine each had two goals in the series while Frappier lead the team with three points.
The Lakers currently stand second in College Hockey America with 11 points, one point behind No. 9/8 Robert Morris University. Mercyhurst scores the second most goals in the conference by averaging 2.20 goals per game while their defense ranks third by allowing 2.50 goals per game. Its power play is last in conference and 38th out of 40 teams in Division I with a .074 conversion rate (6-of-81). The Lakers’ penalty kill, however, leads the conference and is 11th in the nation at .873 (89-of-102), but the Lakers are the third most penalized team in the country averaging 11.2 penalty minutes per game.
Mercyhurst is led on offense by junior Vilma Tanskanen who has posted 13 points (7g-6a) in 18 games this season. Sophomore Maggie Knott follows with 12 points (6g-6a) in 20 games while Summer-Rae Dobson (4g-5a) and Molly Blasen (1g-8a) each have nine points. The Lakers have split time in net between junior Sarah McDonnell and freshman Kennedy Blair. Blair leads the team with a 4-5-0 record, 1.91 goals against average and .927 save percentage while McDonnell is 3-6-2 with a 2.81 GAA and .891 save percentage.
Bemidji State Notes
- Bemidji State tied a program record with its fifth consecutive win Dec. 16 after sweeping Minnesota State.
- The Beavers earned six points in league standings and moved up to fourth, three points ahead of Minnesota Duluth.
- Bemidji State was led by its freshmen in the series with Lauren Bench, Clair DeGeorge and Paige Beebe garnering WCHA Players of the Week honors.
- DeGeorge was named the Co-Offensive Player of the Week after leading the nation with four assists in the series and also went +5.
- Bench was named the Defensive Player of the Week after earning two wins and posting a 1.00 GAA and .951 save percentage including a 20-save shutout.
- Beebe earned WCHA Rookie of the Week honors after tying for the league lead with four points (1g-3a) including her first three-point game.
- Bemidji State is tied with Wisconsin for the third longest active winning streak in Division I with only Sacred Heart (8 games) and Clarkson (6 games) ahead of them.
- The Beavers had one of the best offensive months in December leading the WCHA and second in the country with 23 goals during the month.
- The Beavers’ power play percentage jumped up to .212 and now ranks second in the league behind Minnesota.
- Haley Mack and Jacqueline Kaasa each tallied seven points during the month to lead the team and tie for second in the WCHA. Alexis Joyce, Emily Bergland and Mak Langei had six points each to tie for fourth.
- Mack has scored three short-handed goals this season which is tied for the nation’s top mark and tied for the program’s highest total in a single season.
- Mack leads the team and is tied for 14th in the league with 16 points while Emma Terres and Clair DeGeorge each follow with 15 points.
- Abby Halluska leads the team with six power-play points (3g-3a) and is tied for third in the WCHA.
- Mak Langei paces BSU blueliners with 13 points (3g-10a) and is tied for fourth among WCHA defensemen.
- Alexis Joyce recorded her 70th career point (20g-50a) Dec. 15 and became just the third BSU blueliner to reach 70 career points.
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).