Beavers clash with North Dakota in Alumni Weekend series
Friday, November 16, 2012
Beavers clash with North Dakota in Alumni Weekend series

Bemidji State vs. North Dakota
Nov. 17, 2012, 2 p.m. (CT)
Nov. 18, 2012, 2 p.m. (CT)
Location: Sanford Center (4,373), Bemidji, Minn.
Series History: North Dakota leads 24-18-3

Last Time Out
Last week, Bemidji State finished its nonconference schedule at home against Maine of Hockey East. On Friday, the Beavers jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead on goals by Kaitlyn Tougas, Hanna Moher, and Sadie Lundquist. Kristin Huber notched a pair of assists and Moher’s tally was the first of her career. The Black Bears changed goals to start the second period and Brittany Ott shut the door on BSU, stopping the Beavers’ final 37 (of 60 total) shots, allowing Maine to rally and win 4-3 on four third-period goals. The Black Bears took a 1-0 lead on Saturday, but MacKenzie Thurston tied the score 42 seconds later and Lauren Merkley put BSU up 2-1 in the second with her first career goal. Maine tied it at 2-2 in the third to force a tie before winning in a shootout.

BSU vs. North Dakota
Bemidji State is 18-24-3 against North Dakota all-time and is 9-9-2 against UND at home. North Dakota was 5-1-0 against BSU last year and has eliminated the Beavers from the playoffs in each of the last two years

About North Dakota
North Dakota is off to a 5-5-0 start with a 4-4-0-0 WCHA ledger after reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2011-12. UND is led by the senior Lamoureux twins, Jocelyn and Monique. Jocelyn, last year’s league scoring champion, has half of the team’s 22 goals and leads UND with 13 points, while Monique is second on the squad with 10 points (1g-9a). Between the pipes, Jorid Dagfinud and Shelby Amsley-Benzie have split time. Dagfinud is 3-2-0 with a 1.53 goals against average, a .926 save percentage, and two shutouts, while Amsley-Benzie is 2-3-0 and has a 3.00 goals average and an .878 save percentage.

Alumni Weekend
Bemidji State will celebrate Alumni Weekend this Saturday and Sunday against North Dakota. More than 30 former Beavers will be in attendance and they will be honored after Saturday’s contest.

Player of the Week

After a two-point weekend against Maine, Kaitlyn Tougas was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week this week. The last BSU player to earn a conference player of the week honor was Montana Vichorek, who took home the WCHA Defensive Player of the Week award for the week of Feb. 22, 2012. Rachael Kelly was the last Beaver to receive a WCHA weekly top rookie honor when she won it for the second time in her freshman campaign on Jan. 11, 2012. Tougas is tied for sixth among WCHA rookies in scoring.

Shots, Shots, Shots
In last Friday’s 4-3 loss to Maine, BSU registered 60 shots on goal, the second-highest total in program history. The Beavers posted 72 shots in an 11-0 rout of Lindenwood on Nov. 10, 2011. Bemidji State’s previous season-best for shots was 39, coming in 1-0 loss to St. Cloud on Oct. 13. Against Maine, Natasha Kostenko led BSU with nine shots.

Thinking Out of the Box
Last Saturday against Maine, Bemidji State didn’t take a single penalty. It was the third time in head coach Steve Sertich’s six-plus seasons behind the BSU bench that the team wasn’t penalized in a game. The last time was on Nov. 4, 2011 in a 2-1 road loss to Minnesota State. The Beavers are the second-least penalized team in the nation with just 6.2 penalty minutes per game. Only Harvard (5.0 per game in four games) has less.

Welcome to Bemidji
The Beavers bolstered their defensive corps last weekend, adding freshman defender Ivana Bilic to the lineup for both games. Forward Jenessa Phillipczyk also dressed for the first time against the the Black Bears (on Saturday). Neither player, both of whom played in the exhibition game against the Minnesota Whitecaps, recorded a point.

Put it on the Board
Freshmen Hanna Moher and Lauren Merkley both recorded their first career goals last weekend against Maine. Moher put BSU ahead 2-0 on Friday and Merkley gave the Beavers a 2-1 lead on Saturday. Danielle Williams, who played at forward on Saturday for the first time in 10 games all season, and Allie Duellman picked up their first points of 2012-13 with assists in the weekend finale.

Block Party

Senior defenseman Erika Wheelhouse has aided BSU’s goaltending ever since she joined the team. She has been in the top three in blocked shots every season and is leading the team with 53 this year after racking up a Beaver-best 115 last season. In 110 career games, she has 277 blocks (2.52 per game).

BSU in October
Bemidji State finished the month of October with a 2-5-1 record. Six of its eight games were played on the road. BSU was 6-2-1 in October last season.

Settle In
After traveling to Providence, Wisconsin, and Ohio State, its three longest trips of the season, Bemidji State will only leave the state of Minnesota one more time in the regular season, when it travels to North Dakota in February.

On the Docket
As usual, Bemidji State’s schedule is a tough one in 2012-13. The Beavers are slated to play 18 games against teams with recognition in this week’s national poll. Last week, BSU finished its nonconference schedule with a 1-2-1 record. Bemidji State will play its final 22 games of the year against WCHA foes.

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game
Two weeks ago, Bemidji State played in its fourth U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Face Off Classic. With a 3-2 overtime win over the Minnesota Whitecaps, the Beavers moved to 2-2-0 in the annual event that is played at the Eveleth Hippodrome in Eveleth, Minn. In three all-time exhibition contests against the Whitecaps, BSU is 2-1-0.

No Sophomore Slump or Senioritis
BSU’s seven-member sophomore class has scored 43.8 percent of the team’s goals (seven of 16) in 2012-13. No other class has more than four goals. The senior class, which also includes seven players and is headed by leading-scorer MacKenzie Thurston, leads the team with 16 total points. 


With a 1-0 loss to St. Cloud on Oct. 13 and a 1-0 win against Wisconsin last Friday, BSU played in back-to-back 1-0 games for the first time since losing to Minnesota 1-0 on Dec. 1, 2007 and falling by the same score to SCSU seven days later. 

Two Scores and Seven Years
Entering the third period against Providence in their season-opener, Bemidji State trailed 2-1 and was down 2-0 before sophomore Kayleigh Chapman cut the deficit in half with her team’s first goal of the season. In the final frame, Alex Ehlert knotted the score with 12:25 to play and Natasha Kostenko put the Beavers in front with 5:55 to play. The two third-period goals gave BSU its first third-period comeback in almost seven years when it erased a 1-0 deficit at Minnesota State on Nov. 5, 2005 to win 2-1.

About Last Year
The 2011-12 Bemidji State women’s hockey season was a memorable one. The Beavers finished with a 17-17-3 record, setting a program record for wins in a single season. BSU also topped its best WCHA win total by winning 11 conference contests. Along the way, the Beavers achieved a top-ten national ranking for the first time ever, checking as high as No. 7. After beating and tying Providence in the first week of the season, Bemidji State at least received votes in every poll through the end of the season. BSU recorded at least one win against every squad in it faced except regular-season champion Wisconsin. The Beavers finished 6-0-1 in nonconference play. 

Behind the Bench

Accomplished head coach Steve Sertich has returned for a seventh season behind the BSU bench and enters this weekend with a 66-133-29 record. Assistants Shane Veenker (sixth season) and Amber Fryklund (second season) join Sertich, along with strength and conditioning student assistant Kailey Cox (second season) and student assistant Tegan Rose, who played for the team as a freshman last year.

Oh Captain, My Captain
This year’s BSU hockey team entered the season with an average age of 20.1, consisting of eight seniors, five juniors, eight sophomores, and seven freshmen. Leading the team as captains are senior forward Sadie Lundquist, Erika Wheelhouse, and MacKenzie Thurston.  Thurston is wearing an “A” as the team’s lone assistant captain.

Preseason Picks

After a sixth-place finish in 2011-12, the Beavers were slotted in the same spot in the WCHA Coaches Poll. BSU, which was tabbed behind Ohio State by the coaches, was picked ahead of the Buckeyes for a fifth-place finish in the’s season preview.