BEMIDJI, Minn. – After going 4-2-1 during the month of January, the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team faces the top-ranked team in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls in University of Wisconsin to begin the month of February. The Beavers (9-15-2, 6-8-2-0 WCHA) play host to the Badgers (23-3-0, 13-3-0-0 WCHA) for a two-game, Western Collegiate Hockey Association Feb. 1-2 at Sanford Center.
The Beavers and Badgers clash for the 83rd and 84th meetings in the all-time series and the final series of the regular season. Wisconsin dominates the all-time series with a 73-5-4 record and Bemidji State is just 1-34-3 at home. The Badgers are currently on a 17-game unbeaten streak (16-0-1) against the Beavers. BSU’s last win came Jan. 16, 2015 in Madison by a score of 2-1. The Beavers and Badger met earlier this season for a two-game series in Madison Nov. 16-17. BSU didn’t score a goal in the series and was outscored 8-0. In five seasons with the Beavers, Jim Scanlan holds a 1-17-0 record against the Badgers while Mark Johnson is 59-4-2 in 17 seasons against BSU.
Senior Emily Bergland leads all active skaters with six career points (3g-3a) in 15 games against the Badgers while Jacqueline Kaasa, Paige Beebe and Clair DeGeorge each have recorded three points. Sophomore Kerigan Dowhy has seen the most action against the Badgers and in five games, she has a 0-3-1 record with a 3.29 goals against average and .913 save percentage.
A Look At The Badgers
Wisconsin enters the weekend’s action voted as the No. 1 team in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls and boast a 23-3-0 record overall. UW has earned the top spot in each both the polls for 12 consecutive weeks. The Badgers are second in league standings with 39 points and are 13-3-0-0 in league games. The top-ranked Badgers hosted St. Cloud State University the previous weekend and swept the Huskies by scores of 5-0 and 3-1. Freshman Sophie Shirley led the Badgers with four points (1g-3a) in the series while Alexis Mauermann, Britta Curl and Annie Pankowski each recorded three points.
The Badgers bring a complete game to Bemidji and excel on both ends of the rink. Wisconsin is second in the conference and fifth in the nation by averaging 3.73 goals per game and also dominate defensively by holding opponents to a nation’s best 1.19 goals against average. They are also one of the least penalized teams in the conference and average just 5.9 penalty minutes per game which is tied for second best. The Badgers’ special teams has also excelled and their power play is tied for first in the WCHA at .253 percent (21-of-83) while their penalty kill is third at .868 percent (59-of-68).
Paving the way for the Badgers in scoring is junior Abby Roque. Roque leads the team and is fourth in the conference with 29 points (7g-22a) in 26 games. She is followed closely by senior Annie Pankowski with 28 points (15g-13a) in 24 games and her 15 goals this season leads the team and is second most in the league. Freshman Sophie Shirley has had an excellent start to her career and is third on the team with 27 points (14g-13a) in 26 games and her 14 goals this season are the most by a freshman in the league. In total, the Badgers have four students who have recorded 20 or more points this season rounded out by freshman Britta Curl with 21 points (13g-8a) in 26 games. 11 Badgers have posted 10 points or more this season. In net, the Badgers are led by statistically one of the best goaltenders in the nation in junior Kristen Campbell. Campbell leads the nation with a 1.16 goals against average and is 16th with a .930 save percentage. She boasts a 23-3-0 record in the crease for the most wins in Division I.
A Look at the Beavers
The Beavers look to continue their recent success into the upcoming weekend after earning four points on the road at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Beavers earned a 5-2 victory in game one against the Mavericks and skated to a 3-3 tie in game two but fell in the shootout, 2-1. BSU was led by sophomore Paige Beebe in the series who posted two goals and an assist. The Beavers are 2-8-0 against ranked opponents this season.
Bemidji State struggled to score in the first half of the season, scoring just 30 goals in 19 games (1.58 g/gm), but have been hot in the first month of the new year by scoring 24 goals in seven games (3.43 g/gm). The Beavers went 4-2-1 during January. The Beavers offense is fifth in the league with a 2.00 scoring average throughout the year. BSU’s defense has done the job in the defensive zone during January and held opponents to a 2.00 scoring average, 14 goals in seven games, but are sixth in the conference in scoring defense throughout the year (2.73).
The Beavers are led on offense by sophomore Clair DeGeorge who has been hot during January. In seven games, she has posted nine points (4g-5a) in seven games and recorded two points in four games during the month. She has totaled 18 points (8g-10a) on the season to tie for 19th in the league. She is followed by junior Jacqueline Kaasa (6g-7a) and senior Emily Bergland (5g-8a) who each have posted 13 points while Paige Beebe has added 11 points (7g-4a). Redshirt sophomore Lauren Bench leads BSU’s goaltenders with a 5-7-2 record. She has posted a 2.30 goals against average and .910 save percentage to also lead the team and has started six consecutive games. Sophomore Kerigan Dowhy has also posted a 4-7-0 record this season and has a 2.89 goals against average and .903 save percentage.
- Bemidji State head coach Jim Scanlan sits at 80 career victories in his five seasons with the women’s hockey team. He trails Steve Sertich (06-14) by one game for most wins in program history (81).
- Senior Emily Bergland is tied for seventh in program history with 35 career goals. She needs just one goal to jump all the way up to fifth and is also tied for seventh with six career game-winning goals.
- The Beavers’ penalty kill is ranked fifth in the nation at .892 percent (58-of-65). That mark leads the WCHA.
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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).