MADISON, Wis. – The Western Collegiate Hockey Conference (WCHA) announced Wednesday that Bemidji State University women’s hockey goaltender Jessica Havel (Sr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) has been selected WCHA Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts in the Beavers’ 2-0 road conference victory against St. Cloud State University Jan. 5.
In her only start between the pipes on the week, Havel was perfect, registering the first shutout of her collegiate career against the Huskies to help Bemidji State snap a six-game losing skid. In her first game action since she set a career-high with 35 saves against top-ranked Minnesota Dec. 8, the senior netminder turned aside 21 SCSU shots, including 10 in the third period, to help her team triumph in a critical WCHA tilt.
Entering the series finale against SCSU, the Beavers had not held onto any of its previous three multiple-goal leads in 2012-13 and had not won a game by more than a goal, but Havel’s effort allowed BSU to accomplish both feats. She also gave BSU its first Saturday win—it was previously 0-6-1 in such contests. In four starts away from home on the season, the senior from Grand Rapids, Minn. now has a 3-1-0 record with a 2.18 goals against average and a .921 save percentage.
The WCHA award marks the second time the league has selected a member of the Beavers for a weekly honor in 2012-13. Kaitlyn Tougas (Fr., F, Thunder Bay, Ontario) received was named the league’s top rookie for the week of Nov. 9-10 when the Beavers hosted the University of Maine. The last BSU player to earn WCHA Defensive Player of the Week was 2011-12 senior Montana Vichorek, who took home the award for the week of Feb. 22, 2012. Vichorek was the last player to receive the accolade last season. The last goaltender to win the award was Zuzana Tomcikova, who took it home the week before Vichorek.
In addition to Havel, the WCHA named Minnesota State University, Mankato senior forward Lauren Smith its Offensive Player of the Week, while University of North Dakota forward Meghan Dufault earned the WCHA Rookie Player of the Week award. Both the Mavericks and UND posted sweeps of Lindenwood University last week.
Following a road split with St. Cloud State to open the new year, Bemidji State will play at home for the first time in 2013 when it hosts Minnesota State Friday at 7:07 p.m. and Saturday at 4:07 p.m. BSU will seek its first win after an 0-9-1 start at home.
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University 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).