BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University Women’s Hockey Head Coach Jim Scanlan announced that the program has added Abby Ecker and Kara Werth to its 2017-18 freshman class. The Native Minnesotan duo brings the incoming class to nine.
Abby Ecker, a recent graduate of Long Prairie-Grey Eagle High School, was a three-sport athlete who competed in tennis and track and field in addition to hockey. In the rink, she was an All-Mid-State Conference defenseman for Prairie Centre where she led her team in goals scored, with 17, and finished with 27 points (17g-10a). She also participated in the Senior Classic for Section 6A-AA to conclude the 2016-17 season. Ecker capped her high school career by participating in the Minnesota State Track and Field Meet, where she finished seventh in the high jump and added an eighth-place finish as a member of the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Thunders’ 4x200-meter relay team. Last fall she also advanced to the State Class A Tennis Tournament as a singles player.
Scanlan on Ecker: "Abby is an outstanding athlete who is an excellent skating defenseman and has good offensive skills. She has tremendous upside to her game and it will be fun to watch her develop as she commits to hockey full time.
Kara Werth, a recent graduate of Moorhead High School, was also a three-sport athlete as a prep. In addition to hockey, she participated in soccer and track and field for the Spuds. Werth was her team’s top-scoring defensman. In 26 games as a senior, she recorded 24 points (13g-11a) en route to an All-Greater Minnesota Conference selection. In addition, she also participated in the Senior Classic for Section 8A-AA and in the NIT Tournament.
Scanlan on Werth: “We feel very fortunate to be able to bring in Kara Werth to our program after UND dropped its program this past spring. She too is an outstanding athlete who defends very well. She has excellent skating skills and likes to jump into the play offensively. We look for her to come in and compete for playing time.
“Both Abby and Kara are wonderful young women who will add to our culture,’ Scanlan added, “They are both exceptional students and they will be outstanding ambassadors for our team, school and community.”
Ecker and Werth join Paige Beebe (F, Blaine, Minn.), Clair DeGeorge (F, Anchorage, Alaska), Kerigan Dowhy (G, The Pas, Manitoba), Lindsey Featherstone (F, Woodbury, Minn.), Christina Kampa (D, Maple Grove, Minn.), Makayla Langei (D, East Grand Forks, Minn.) and Lydia Passolt (F, Chanhassen, Minn.) who each signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Beavers during the early signing period.
The Beavers finished the 2016-17 season with a 12-20-3 record and earned the seventh seed in the WCHA Playoffs by going 7-18-3 in conference play. The Beavers took one game against second-seeded Minnesota in the tournament but fell to the Golden Gophers in the best-of-three series.
Bemidji State welcomes back 17 letter-winners from the 2016-17 season, including leading scorer Emily Bergland, and opens the 2017-18 season Sept. 20 when its hosts the Korean National Team for an exhibition game. BSU officially begins its 34-game schedule with a home series versus Syracuse University, Sept. 29-30.
For more information on the Bemidji State women’s hockey program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers or @BSUBeaversWHKY), 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 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).