BEMIDJI, Minn. – After taking a week off from Western Collegiate Hockey Association play in order to participate in 2019 Hockey Day in Minnesota, the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team resumes league play by facing its opponent from a week ago, Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Beavers (8-15-1, 5-8-1-0 WCHA) and Mavericks (9-11-4, 3-10-2-1 WCHA) will play a two-game, league series at the Verizon Center in Mankato, Minn., with puck drop for game one scheduled for 7:07 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25 and game two at 3:07 p.m. Jan. 26.
The Beavers and Mavericks meet for the final series of the regular season this weekend and the 81st and 82nd meetings in the two program’s histories. Bemidji State holds the all-time series record at 40-29-11 dating back to 1999 but are 0-2-1 in their three meetings this season. The Beavers are 20-16-3 when playing in Mankato. Minnesota State defeated Bemidji State 2-1 last weekend in a non-conference meeting in part of Hockey Day in Minnesota. MSU opened the game with a goal 1:46 in while sophomore Mak Langei evened the game with her first goal of the season on the power play. The Mavericks scored the eventual game winner off a tip from Brittyn Fleming 16:19 into the second period. The Beavers and Mavericks played for league points earlier this season Oct. 26-27 in Bemidji where the Beavers were upended in series after falling to the Mavericks 4-1 in game one and fell in the shootout in game two after 65 minutes of scoreless hockey. Sophomore Kara Werth was the lone Beaver to score in the series after scoring her first collegiate goal in the first period, Oct. 26.
Senior Emily Bergland leads all active skaters with nine points (5g-4a) in 15 career games against the Mavericks while Clair DeGeorge follows with seven points (1g-6a) in seven games. Head coach Jim Scanlan is 13-5-1 all-time against Minnesota State while four-year head coach John Harrington is 5-9-1 against the Beavers.
A Look At The Mavericks
Minnesota State enters the weekend 9-11-4 overall and are sixth in the WCHA standings with 12 points and a league record of 3-10-2-1, four points behind Bemidji State. The Mavericks fell in three consecutive games before defeating the Beavers on Hockey Day in Minnesota.
Minnesota State has struggled on offense this season and are last in the WCHA with a scoring average of 1.75 goals per game with just 42 goals in 24 games. However, the Mavericks have been one of the best teams defensively and have held opponents to just 2.00 goals per game for third best in the league. A big reason for the Mavericks’ stellar play defensively has been the play of freshman goaltender Abigail Levy. Levy has started every game for the Mavericks and boasts a 1.94 goals against average and .935 save percentage ranking her fourth and second in the league, respectively. Minnesota State is one of the most penalized teams in the conference by averaging 6.6 penalty minutes per game (second). However, its penalty kill has been dominant and is second in the league with a penalty kill percentage of .882 (67-of-76). MSU’s power play has faltered and is sixth in the league with a percentage of .100 (6-of-60).
The Mavericks use members of its senior class to fuel their offense and are paced by senior Corbin Boyd who has totaled 16 points off six goals and 10 assists in 24 games. Senior Rebekah Kolstad follows with 14 points while Brittyn Fleming and Jordan McLaughlin each have posted 12 points. Kolstad, Fleming and Brooke Bryant have all tallied seven goals to tie for the team lead while Boyd paces the team with 10 assists.
A Look at the Beavers
Bemidji State has struggled on the offensive side of the ice in the first half of the season, scoring just 30 goals in 19 games (1.58 g/gm), but have been hot to start the second half with 14 goals in five games (2.80 g/gm) and is 3-2-0 during that span. The Beavers are sixth in the conference with a 1.83 scoring average throughout the season while its scoring defense is also sixth at 2.75 goals per game. BSU’s power play is last in the WCHA with a percentage of .097 (6-of-62) and scored its first power play goal since Nov. 30 (0-for-17) last Saturday. However, its penalty kill has been dominant and leads the league and is fifth nationally at .898 (53-of-59).
Bemidji State is led in scoring by sophomore Clair DeGeorge who has posted 15 points (7g-8a) in 24 games and leads the Beavers in goals and assists. She is followed by senior Emily Bergland with 11 points (4g-7a) and Jacqueline Kaasa with 10 points (4g-6a). Paige Beebe (5g-3a), Lydia Passolt (3g-5a) and Abby Halluska (3g-5a) have each recorded eight points this season. In net, the Beavers have split time between sophomores Lauren Bench and Kerigan Dowhy. Bench leads the team in goals against average (2.28) and save percentage (.910) and is 4-7-1 in 13 games while Dowhy has posted a 2.89 goals against average, .903 save percentage and is 4-7-0 in 12 games.
- Bemidji State head coach Jim Scanlan sits at 79 career victories in his five seasons with the women’s hockey team. He trails Steve Sertich (06-14) by two games for most in program history (81).
- Clair DeGeorge has recorded six points (3g-3a) over the last four games.
- Senior Emily Bergland is tied for ninth in program history with 34 career goals. She needs just two goals to jump all the way up to fifth and is also tied for seventh with six career game-winning goals.
- Bemidji State is 1-9-0 on the road this season and last won on the road at Mercyhurst, Dec. 8.
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).