BEMIDJI, Minn. – After having the previous weekend off for Thanksgiving break, the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team returns home to Sanford Center seeking league points against St. Cloud State University. The Beavers (2-12-1, 2-7-1-0 WCHA) face-off with the Huskies (5-11-1, 2-8-0-0 WCHA) 10 days after the two teams met at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Face-Off Classic in Brainerd, Minn. BSU was held scoreless in the game after Janine Alder posted a 36-save shutout for her first shutout of the season. Bemidji State and St. Cloud State will play a two-game series beginning Friday, Nov. 30 at 6:07 p.m. followed by game two Saturday, Dec. 1 at 3:07 p.m.
The Beavers and Huskies meet for the 87th and 88th meetings in the all-time series dating back to 1999. Bemidji State owns the all-time series with a 39-38-9 record and are 20-16-4 at home against the Huskies. SCSU is currently on a four-game winning streak against the Beavers. Bemidji State’s last win came on Nov. 11, 2017 in a 3-0 win in St. Cloud. Bemidji State and St. Cloud State met just 10 days earlier at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Face-Off Classic with the Huskies earning a 3-0 shutout over the Beavers despite being out-shot 36-24. Bemidji State went 2-3-0 during the regular season against SCSU in 2017-18. Senior Emily Bergland and junior Haley Mack lead all active skaters with six career points each against the Huskies. Bergland has totaled six points (5g-1a) in 14 games while Mack has six points (0g-6a) in 10 games. Junior Kiki Radke has added four points (2g-2a) in eight games. Five-year head coach Jim Scanlan is 10-7-1 coaching against the Huskies while SCSU head coach Eric Rud mirrors that record after his five seasons with the program.
A Look At The Huskies
St. Cloud State enters the weekend’s action last in the WCHA standings with 6 points, one point behind the Beavers, and sport a 2-8-0-0 league record and 5-11-1 overall. SCSU had a home-and-home series with No. 2 University of Minnesota before facing the Beavers in Brainerd and fell to the Gophers in both games by scores of 3-4 and 2-7. The Huskies were led by junior Brooke Kudirka (2g-0a) and freshman Jenniina Nylund (1g-1a) who each tallied two points in the series.
The Huskies come into the weekend averaging 2.29 goals per game and are fourth in the league with that mark. They allow 2.94 goals per game which is near the bottom of the league at sixth. St. Cloud State is one of the least penalized teams in the league and are fifth by averaging just 6.4 penalty minutes per game. The Huskies’ power play has scored on 5-of-38 chances this season to rank fourth in the league with a .132 percentage. SCSU’s penalty kill is last in the WCHA at .771 percent and have killed off just 37-of-48 chances.
St. Cloud State is led by senior Julia Tylke this season. Tylke paces the Huskies’ offense with 16 points (7g-9a) in 17 games, including scoring the game’s second goal last week, and is fifth in the league in points. She is joined by one of the leagues’ leading rookie scorers in Jenniina Nylund who has totaled 14 points (4g-10a) in 15 games. Joining the duo is Hannah Potrykus and Hallie Theodosopoulos who have totaled 11 points each. In net, the Huskies have split time between junior Janine Alder and sophomore Emma Polusny. Alder leads the team with 10 games played but the Huskies are 2-7-1 when she starts while Polusny follows with seven games played and is 3-4-0. Alder has compiled a 2.27 goals against average and. 939 save percentage to lead the team while Polusny has a 3.70 goals against average and .915 save percentage.
A Look at the Beavers
Bemidji State enters the weekend sixth in the WCHA standings with six points and a league record of 2-7-1-0. Before Nov. 20th’s non-conference game, the Beavers traveled to top-ranked University of Wisconsin and were swept by the Badgers. BSU was outscored 8-0 in the series but sophomore goaltender posted career numbers after stopping 80-of-88 shots by Wisconsin. Dowhy began the series with a career-high 43 saves in game one and then followed with 37 saves the next day.
The Beavers are struggling scoring and average a league-low 1.33 goals per game. They are also near the bottom in preventing goals and average a league-worst 3.47 goals allowed per game. Bemidji State has had one of the toughest schedules to start a season in Division I and boast the fourth toughest strength of schedule. BSU’s special teams have had better success and rank sixth and fourth on the power play and penalty kill, respectively. The Beavers have scored four power-play goals in 40 chances for a .100 percentage while their penalty kill has stopped 34-of-39 chances and have killed off 10 consecutive power plays.
Bemidji State is led on offense by sophomore Clair DeGeorge and senior Emily Bergland. The pair have totaled six points each in 15 games while DeGeorge leads the Beavers’ scorers with four goals this season. Bergland has posted two goals and four assists while junior Briana Jorde leads the team in assists with five. Sophomore Paige Beebe and junior Abby Halluska have each added five points this season to tie with Jorde for second on the team while junior Jacqueline Kaasa has four points (2g-2a). In the crease, the Beavers have split time between sophomores Lauren Bench and Kerigan Dowhy. Dowhy leads the team with a 2-7-0 record and has made six consecutive starts. Dowhy has posted a 3.31 goals against average and .895 save percentage while Bench is 0-5-1 and sports a 3.16 goals against average and .883 save percentage.
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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).