Beavers head to Minnesota State for final road series before break
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Beavers head to Minnesota State for final road series before break

Bemidji State at Minnesota State
Nov. 23, 2012, 7 p.m. (CT)
Nov. 24, 2012, 3 p.m. (CT)
Location: All Seasons Arena (750), Mankato, Minn.
Series History: Series tied 22-22-10

Last Time Out
Bemidji State took on North Dakota in a Saturday-Sunday series last weekend. In the first game, UND got on the board early in each of the first two periods. The Beavers struck back with Emily Erickson’s first goal of the season, but North Dakota added one more at the end of the second and held on in the final frame for a 3-1 win. For just the fourth time this year, BSU took a 1-0 lead Sunday with another goal by Erickson 1:31 in, but UND answered just 39 seconds later. In the second, Bemidji State regained the lead with another early goal, but North Dakota leveled the score 20 seconds later and went on to rack up six goals in the middle frame en route to a 7-3 win. BSU is still looking for its first home win of the 2012-13 season at 0-5-1 at the Sanford Center.

BSU vs. Minnesota State
Bemidji State and Minnesota State are even in the all-time series at 22-22-10. The teams split four meetings last season and have split 27 meetings in Mankato at 12-12-3.

About the Mavericks
Minnesota State is coming off a weekend in which it was swept by top-ranked Minnesota, dropping the Mavericks’ record to 4-8-2 with a 2-6-2-1 mark in the WCHA. MSU has lost six consecutive games entering the weekend and has scored three goals in that span. Minnesota State is led by Tracy McCann’s 12 points (6g-6a). Lauren Smith leads the team in goals with seven, while Emilia Andersson is tied with McCann for the lead in assists with six. Between the pipes, Danielle Butters has started all 14 games and is 4-8-2 with a 2.96 goals against average and a .915 save percentage with two shutouts.

Hockey on Turkey Day Weekend
In seven of BSU’s 14 previous seasons, the team has played seven series beginning the day following U.S. Thanksgiving. Overall, the Beavers are 3-8-3 with a 0-5-2 record in the first game and a 3-3-1 ledger in the second game. In 1999, BSU traveled to Minnesota State and was swept by the Mavericks, its opponent this weekend.

On the Road Again
After a heavy travel month to kick the season off in October, Bemidji State played was scheduled to play four of five series before the break at home. After hosting Maine and North Dakota, BSU will now travel to Minnesota State before Minnesota Duluth and Minnesota visit the Sanford Center.

Thinking Outside the Box
Two weeks ago against Maine, Bemidji State had its first penalty-free game since Nov. 4, 2011 in a 2-1 road loss to Minnesota State. Overall, BSU went 110:49 without a penalty between a Kristin Huber tripping call in the series opener against the Black Bears and an Ivana Bilic slash in the second period of last Saturday’s tilt against North Dakota. The Beavers are the second-least penalized team in the nation with just 6.3 penalty minutes per game. Only Harvard (5.2 per game in five games) has less.

All In
With Alexane Rodrigue’s collegiate debut in which the freshman goaltender made nine saves on 10 shots against North Dakota last Sunday, all 27 players have now appeared in at least one game for the Beavers this season. BSU is 12 games into 2012-13. 

Last weekend, MacKenzie Thurston recorded an assist Saturday and a goal and an assist Sunday to gain the longest point streak for a Bemidji State player all season at four games. Thurston leads the Beavers with 10 points (3g-7a), including five (2g-3a) during her four-game streak. 

Iron Women
Last Sunday, senior Erika Wheelhouse, the team’s blocked shots leader, missed a game for the first time in her collegiate career after playing 111 in a row. Fellow seniors Sadie Lundquist and MacKenzie Thurston have played in 112 of 112 possible college games. On BSU, only redshirt seniors Emily Erickson (118) and Abby Williams (118) have played more, but both players have missed games. The only other players on the team not to have missed a career game are freshmen Kaitlyn Tougas, Hanna Moher and Megan Lushanko, who have played in all 12 games in their first year this year.

Seniors Leading the Way
Bemidji State’s senior class has led the way so far in points this season, scoring 24 of the team’s 52 points (46.2 percent). Last weekend, BSU recorded 10 points on four goals. The senior class, which includes seven players, posted eight of those points. Second on the list are the sophomores, who have 12 total points. The freshman class is next with 10 points, while the juniors (five players, all of whom are defensemen) have six. 

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. BSU finished its nonconference schedule with a 1-2-1 record and will play its final 20 games of the year against WCHA foes.

Player of the Week
After a two-point weekend against Maine, Kaitlyn Tougas was named the WCHA Rookie of the Week last 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 sixth among WCHA rookies in scoring.

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game
Three 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.

With a 1-0 loss to St. Cloud on Oct. 13 and a 1-0 win against Wisconsin the following 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. 

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.

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-10 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 it faced except regular-season champion Wisconsin. The Beavers finished 6-0-1 in nonconference play. 

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 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.