BEMIDJI, Minn. – After upsetting No. 1 University of Wisconsin by earning a series split with the Badgers, the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team looks to play spoiler again this weekend on the road at No. 9 Ohio State University. With just three weeks remaining in the regular season, the Beavers (10-16-2, 7-9-2-0 WCHA) eye key Western Collegiate Hockey Association points in hopes of moving into home playoff seeding. Bemidji State currently holds fifth place in league standings with 23 points and trail fourth place, University of Minnesota Duluth, by five points. The Buckeyes (17-11-0, 11-9-0-0 WCHA) will be looking to distance themselves of the Bulldogs and hold the third seed by just five points.
The Beavers and Buckeyes clash for the 77th and 78th meetings in the all-time series and the final series of the regular season. Ohio State owns the all-time series record at 38-27-12 dating back to 1999 and are 20-11-5 when playing in Columbus. However, the Beavers have had the most recent success and have won three consecutive games against Ohio State including earning a series sweep earlier this season Nov. 9-10 against the then fourth-ranked Buckeyes. The pair of upset wins snapped a 10-game winless streak (0-9-1) for the Beavers and was BSU’s first series sweep of the season. Bemidji State began the series by downing OSU 2-1 in game one and then followed with a 4-2 win in game two. Kerigan Dowhy, Abby Halluska and Graysen Myers were each awarded league players of the week for their efforts in the series while Dowhy was also awarded the NCAA’s First Star of the week after stopping 70-of-73 shots by the Buckeyes.
Senior Emily Bergland leads all active skaters with eight career points (2g-6a) in 13 games against the Buckeyes while junior Haley Mack follows with six points (3g-3a) in 10 games. Mak Langei, Jacqueline Kaasa, Abby Halluska and Clair DeGeorge have all tallied four points against the Buckeyes. Sophomore Kerigan Dowhy has seen the most action against the Buckeyes and has been magnificent in three games. She is 3-0-0 against Ohio State and boasts a 1.33 goals against average and .961 save percentage. In his five seasons with the Beavers, head coach Jim Scanlan is 9-8-1 against the Buckeyes while third-year head coach Nadine Muzerall is 4-5-1 for OSU.
A Look At The Buckeyes
The Buckeyes begin the weekend’s series as the No. 9 team in both the USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls. Ohio State is 17-11-0 overall this season and hold third place in the WCHA standings with 33 points and a record of 11-9-0-0. OSU lost five consecutive games before earning a series sweep last weekend over St. Cloud State University. The Buckeyes earned back-to-back shutouts against the Huskies and outscored them 9-0. Freshman goaltender Andrea Braendli was awarded the league’s rookie of the week and was the NCAA’s Second Star of the Week after stopping all 50 shots by the Huskies.
Ohio State brings the third-best offense in the league this weekend and have scored 78 goals in 28 games (2.79) this season while its defense is fourth in the WCHA by allowing 2.50 goals per game. Ohio State is the most penalized team in the conference and average 7.6 penalty minutes per game and its penalty kill has seen the most action of any team in the conference. They rank fifth in the league with a penalty kill of .828 percent (82-of-99). The Buckeyes power play is fourth at .162 percent and have scored on 12-of-74 chances.
The Buckeyes are led by one of the top scorers in the league in sophomore Emma Maltais. Maltais is third in the WCHA with 35 points (12g-23a) in 28 games. Her 23 assists this season is tied for the second most in the league. Following Maltais is senior Charly Dahlquist and junior Jincy Dunne who each have posted 23 points in 26 games. Not far behind is sophomore Tatum Skaggs with 22 points in 28 games and senior Madison Field with 20 points in 27 games. In net the Buckeyes are led by freshman Andrea Braendli who is 14-9-0 in 24 games. She has posted a 1.96 goals against average and .934 save percentage this season to rank fourth and second, respectively, in the conference.
A Look at the Beavers
The Beavers look to carry momentum gained from its 2-1 upset over No. 1 Wisconsin into Columbus this weekend. The Beavers earned its first series split with the Badgers with the team’s first win over Wisconsin since 2015. The win was also just the third time in program history the Beavers downed the top team in the nation.
Bemidji State ranks fifth in the league in scoring by averaging 1.93 goals per game but are sixth in the league by allowing 2.71 goals per game. The Beavers are the least penalized team in the conference and average just 5.9 penalty minutes per game and their penalty kill has been dominant and leads the conference and is third in the nation at .887 percent (63-of-71). However, the Beavers’ power play has struggled this season and is sixth in the WCHA at .111 percent (8-of-72). Despite that low percentage, the Beavers have scored more with the extra skater as of late and are 3-of-11 in their last five games (.273).
The Beavers are led on offense by sophomore Clair DeGeorge who has posted 18 points (8g-10a) on the season. She is followed by junior Jacqueline Kaasa (7g-7a) with 14 points and has been hot as of late by scoring five points (3g-2a) in the past five games. Senior Emily Bergland (5g-9a) has also totaled 14 points on the season while sophomore Paige Beebe follows with 12 points (7g-5a). Redshirt sophomore Lauren Bench leads BSU’s goaltenders with a 6-7-2 record and has posted a 2.21 goals against average and .914 save percentage to also lead the team. Sophomore Kerigan Dowhy follows with a 4-8-0 record and has a 2.90 goals against average and .901 save percentage.
- Bemidji State head coach Jim Scanlan tied the program record for most wins in program history with his 81st win in BSU’s 2-1 upset win over Wisconsin.
- 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 leads the WCHA and is third in the nation at .887 percent (63-of-71).
- Sophomore Mak Langei has 19 career assists in her two seasons with the Beavers and is tied for 10th for most assists by a defenseman.
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).