BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team will wait no longer to start the new season. The Beavers officially kick-off the 2017-18 season by hosting Syracuse University at Sanford Center. The Beavers (0-0, 0-0 WCHA) and Orange (0-0, 0-0 CHA) will battle in a non-conference series hosted, Friday-Saturday.
The Beavers and Orange will meet for just the third and fourth meetings all-time this weekend. The two teams met last season in Syracuse, N.Y., where the Beavers earned two wins against the Orange. The Beavers out scored the Orange, 5-1 in the series including a 3-0 shutout by senior Erin Deters in game two. Bemidji State was led in scoring by junior Emily Bergland who tallied a goal and assist in the series. Fourth-year head coach Jim Scanlan is 2-0-0 all-time against Syracuse while SU head coach Tom Flanagan is 0-2-0 against BSU.
A Look At The Orange
The Orange also begin the new season Friday-Saturday after hosting an exhibition against University of Ottawa, Sept. 24. The Orange were picked to finish second in the College Hockey America Preseason Coaches’ poll by the leagues’ six coaches after falling in the CHA championship game a season ago.
Syracuse returns 16 letterwinners from last season and have added seven freshmen during the offseason to fill out its roster at 23 student-athletes. The Orange had one of the stingiest defenses in the nation a season ago and held opponents to 1.78 goals per game, the best average in the CHA and ninth in Division I. Seven defensemen return to defend the blueline again this year and senior goaltender Abbey Miller returns for her final season after earning the CHA’s Goaltending Trophy with the league’s best goals against average (1.58) and save percentage (.923). Miller tallied nine shutouts during the season, setting a conference and school record, and tied for the second-most in the nation.
The Orange will see the most change on the offensive side of the ice this season, returning just six forwards from last season. Syracuse returns its leading scorer from the 2016-17 season and First-Team All-CHA selection, Stephanie Grossi, while five of its top eight scorers also return. The key departure for the Orange is Emily Costales who ranked second on the team with 25 points (9g-16a).
Bemidji State Notes
- The Beavers were picked to finish fifth in the WCHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll after earning 14 points. BSU finished seventh in the conference in 2016-17.
- Bemidji State welcomes back 16 letterwinners from last season and will have nine newcomers join the squad this season. Seniors Emma Terres, Summer Thibodeau and Erin Deters will captain the 2017-18 Beaver squad.
- Bemidji State celebrates its 20th season of women’s hockey this year after its inaugural season in 1998.
- The Beavers return six of their top eight scorers including leading scorer Emily Bergland, who paced BSU with 25 points (16g-9a).
- Bergland finished 10th in the WCHA in goals (16) and her total was the most in program history since the 2010-11 season. The Thief River Falls, Minn., native also tallied a team-high 10 points while on the power play to tie for eighth most in the conference.
- 2016-17 assist leader Alexis Joyce returns for her senior season after pacing the Beavers with 16 assists and finished second in scoring with 20 points (4g-20a). Joyce was the fifth-highest scoring defenseman in the WCHA and her tally tied a personal-best.
- Joyce is the active career points leader for the Beavers and has tallied 58 career points (16g-42a) while wearing the green and white. She is fourth on BSU’s points by a defensemen list (58) and trails third place Ivana Bilic by just three points.
- BSU’s top returners also include Emma Terres (6g-8a), Haley Mack (4g-9a), Abby Halluska (5g-6a) and Summer Thibodeau (4g-5a).
- Fresh to the green and white this year are nine freshmen. Mak Langei, Lydia Passolt, Kara Werth, Abby Ecker, Lindsey Featherstone, Tina Kampa, Paige Beebe, Clair DeGeorge and Kerigan Dowhy all join BSU for their first seasons.
- The biggest question for the Beavers is how they will replace all-american goaltender Brittni Mowat. Senior Erin Deters is the most experienced having played in 11 games while redshirt freshman Lauren Bench and freshman Kerigan Dowhy will each compete for playing time.
- The Beavers opened the 2017-18 season with an exhibition against the Korean National Team. The Beavers defeated Korea 5-0 after having four different freshmen tally a goal in the game.
- BSU was led by Kiki Radke and Mak Langei who each tallied a goal and assist while Paige Beebe, Lydia Passolt and Clair DeGeorge all scored in their freshmen debut.
- The Beavers will now officially open the season by hosting Syracuse University for a Friday-Saturday series at Sanford Center in Bemidji, Minn.
- The series will kick-off Friday with puck drop at 7:07 p.m.
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).