Beavers clash with Gophers in WCHA opening series

Beavers clash with Gophers in WCHA opening series
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Beavers clash with Gophers in WCHA opening series

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team kicks-off Western Collegiate Hockey Association play this weekend by hosting No. 9/6 University of Minnesota for a two-game series, October 13-14. The Beavers (1-2-1, 0-0-0 WCHA) and Gophers (1-2-1, 0-1-1 WCHA) are scheduled to face-off at 3:07 p.m., Friday-Saturday.

The Series
The Beavers and Gophers will meet for the 85th and 86th time in the all-time series dating back to 1998. The Beavers and Gophers last met in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs last season, with BSU falling to UM in three games. Bemidji State became the first team to defeat Minnesota at home in a playoff game with a 2-1 victory on Feb. 25. Fourth-year head coach Jim Scanlan is 4-11-1 all-time against the Gophers while Brad Frost is 39-6-4 in 10 seasons against the Beavers.

A Look At The Gophers
The Gophers enter the weekend ranked No. 9 in the latest USCHO.com and No. 6  in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls after going 0-1-1 last weekend at Ohio State University. Minnesota fell in game one of the series 3-2 and then earned one point in the WCHA standings with 5-5 tie in game two. Ohio State defeated the Gophers, 2-0,  in the shootout to earn the extra point in the standings. Senior Caitlin Reilly led the Gophers with two goals and an assist in the series while senior Sydney Baldwin tallied three assists.

Minnesota continues to be an offensive force in the WCHA and has averaged 3.50 goals so far this season ranking third in the league behind Ohio State and University of Wisconsin. That mark is also good enough for seventh in the nation. The Gophers’ defense has not been as dominant in the past and is last in the WCHA by allowing 3.25 goals per game. Minnesota’s special teams units however, rank in the top five in Division I. The Gophers have scored on 4-of-14 power plays this season tops in the WCHA and tied for second in the nation at .286 percent. Their penalty killing unit has been just as good, killing off 11-of-12 chances (.917), best in the WCHA and sixth in the nation.

The Gophers top scorer early in the season has been Sydney Baldwin, leading the team with five points (0g-5a). Freshman Grace Zumwinkle has had a successful start to her career tallying three goals and one assist throughout the team’s first four games. Nicole Schammel (2g-2a), Olivia Knowles (2g-2a) and Alex Woken (1g-3a) have also tallied four points. Freshman Alex Gustene has spent the most time in net this season beating out senior goaltender Sidney Peters for the starting position. In four games, Gustene has a 1-1-1 record with a 2.47 goals against average and .900 save percentage.

Bemidji State Notes

  • The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team will look to rebound this weekend after falling twice against No. 2 Clarkson University the previous weekend on the road.
  • The Beavers were swept in the series (0-2-0) falling in game one, 2-0, and was narrowly edged in game two, 5-4.
  • BSU fell down early in game two but responded with three goals in the third period to climb within one of the second-ranked Golden Knights. The Beavers scored twice within the last two minutes of the game but ran out of time before they could complete the comeback.
  • Sophomores Haley Mack and Kiki Radke as well as freshman Clair DeGeorge each tallied a goal and assist in the game to lead the Beavers while sophomore Jacqueline Kaasa was the other Beaver to tally a goal in the game.
  • Emma Terres, Emily Bergland and Abby Halluska each added assists.
  • Senior goaltender Erin Deters started the first game of the series allowing just two goals on 32 shots for a 2.02 GAA average and .938 save percentage. Redshirt freshman Lauren Bench started game two and faced 41 shots allowing five goals for a 5.15 GAA and .878 save percentage.
  • In total the Beavers were out-shot, 73-42 in the series but only out-scored 7-4.
  • The Beavers have been one of the top teams in the WCHA throughout the first two weeks of the season. BSU has averaged 2.25 goals per game to rank fourth in the WCHA while holding opponents to just 1.75 goals, second in the league.
  • Despite starting the season 0-for-9 on the power play, the Beavers tallied two power-play goals at Clarkson to improve its percentage to .111 (2-of-18), fourth in the WCHA.
  • The Beavers penalty killing unit has also been impressive holding opponents to just one power-play goal in 11 chances, second in in the conference (.909).
  • Sophomores Jacqueline Kaasa and Haley Mack are tied for sixth in the conference with two goals this season behind leader Tatum Skaggs from Ohio State (5g).
  • Bemidji State received a vote in the USCHO.com weekly poll for the second consecutive week.
  • Senior defender Alexis Joyce remains just two points shy of tying for third on BSU’s all-time points list as a defender with 59 career points. She also needs just two goals to tie for second in career goals as a defenseman with 16 career tallies.
  • The Beavers open Western Collegiate Hockey Association play this weekend by hosting No. 9 University of Minnesota for a two-game series at Sanford Center.
  • BSU is 8-69-7 all-time against the Gophers with their last win coming last year during the WCHA Playoffs in a 2-1 win, Feb. 25.
  • Senior Alexis Joyce has tallied the most points against the Gophers, compiling four points (0g-4a) in 16 career games against Minnesota. Senior Summer Thibodeau has scored the most goals with two goals and one assist.
  • Head coach Jim Scanlan is 4-11-1 in his career against Minnesota and 56-50-8 in four season. Minnesota head coach Brad Frost is 39-6-4 in 10 seasons against the Beavers.

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).

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