Beavers host top-ranked Badgers as season nears end

Beavers host top-ranked Badgers as season nears end
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Beavers host top-ranked Badgers as season nears end

BEMIDJI, Minn. – With just six games remaining on the 2016-17 schedule, Bemidji State University hosts No. 1 University of Wisconsin in the second-to-last home series this weekend. The Beavers (9-14-3, 5-14-3 WCHA) and Badgers (24-2-1, 19-2-1 WCHA) face-off for points in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings with a Friday-Saturday series, Feb. 3-4.

The Series

The Beavers and Badgers will meet for the 74th and 75th meetings all-time Friday and Saturday. Wisconsin dominates the all-time series record over the Beavers with a 65-5-3 record. Of their five wins all-time against the Badgers, the Beavers have just one win at home and are 1-31-2. Wisconsin is currently on an eight-game winning streak against BSU including earning a series sweep when they met earlier this season on Nov. 5-6. The Beavers were held without a goal in both games of the series and were outscored 11-0. Third-year head coach Jim Scanlan is 1-10-1 all-time against the Badgers while UW head coach Mark Johnson is 52-4-3 in his 14-year career against Bemidji State.

A Look At The Badgers

The Beavers welcome the top-ranked team in the and USAToday/USA Hockey Magazine national polls as well as the first-place team in the WCHA standings. The Badgers boast the best record in Division I with a 24-2-1 record and are currently on a 10-game winning streak. Wisconsin hosted Minnesota State University, Mankato in its previous matchup and earned two wins agains the Mavericks. The Badgers outscored MSU, 11-1, in the series and were led by Annie Pankowski and Sam Cogan who each totaled four points in the series.

Wisconsin is the top-ranked team in the nation for a reason and that’s because the Badgers score the most goals per game (4.07) and hold opponents to the least goals per game (0.93) in Division I. The Badgers seem to dominate play in their own zone and outshoot opponents, 40-17, on average. Wisconsin’s power play is second-best in the WCHA and convert on .192 percent (19-of-99) of its chances. Their penalty kill ranks third in the league at .899, having killed off 89-of-99 chances.

The Badgers are led by junior Annie Pankowski who ranks fourth in the WCHA with 34 points (17g-17a) this season. A total of nine Badgers have tallied at least 15 points so far this season but are highlighted by Pankowski, senior Sarah Nurse (17g-13a) and junior Emily Clark (10g-19a). Senior goaltender Ann-Renne Desbiens is the nation’s top goaltender and leads Division I in wins (20), goals against average (0.72) and save percentage (.958). She also boasts a nation-high 11 shutouts and has compiled a 20-1-1 record this season.

Bemidji State Notes

  • Emily Bergland scored each of the Beavers’ two goals against North Dakota last weekend and paces the Beavers in goals (11) and points (18).
  • The Thief River Falls, Minn., native is tied for ninth in the WCHA in goal scoring and currently has a four-game goal scoring streak. The Beavers are 6-2-2 when Bergland scores a goal and 3-12-1 when she doesn’t.
  • The longest goal scoring streak in the WCHA this season is five and has been accomplished by seven different players.
  • Junior Alexis Joyce continues to lead the Beavers’ blue line after tallying an assist in the North Dakota series.
  • She now has 14 points (2g-12a) this season and has tied a career high in assists. She is just six points shy of tying her career-high in points with 20 set during her freshman season.
  • Joyce is now seventh in the WCHA in points by defensemen. She is accompanied by senior Madison Hutchinson who is 11th with 12 points (5g-7a) but is tied for fourth-best in the league with five goals.
  • Joyce recently surpassed Marlee Wheelhouse for fourth all-time in points by a defenseman and now has 52 career points. She is nine points shy of recent BSU alum Ivana Bilic (61) for third all-time.
  • Brittni Mowat made 51-of-54 saves this weekend to help the Beavers earn one point in the WCHA standings. She totaled a .944 save percentage and 1.46 goals against average.
  • Mowat has 17 career shutouts, needing just one more to tie BSU great Zuzana Tomcikova.
  • The Glenboro, Manitoba native currently owns BSU career records in wins (59), games played (125), goals against average (1.99) and save percentage (.932).
  • Senior Lauren Miller leads the Beavers with 113 consecutive games played. The Brockville, Ontario native has appeared in all but four games in her career and last missed a game on Jan. 18 of her freshman season. Madison Hutchinson follows at 103 consecutive games and last missed a game on Feb. 22, 2014.
  • The Beavers’ power-play unit went 1-for-6 against North Dakota and moved up to fourth in the conference at .144. BSU has scored a power-play goal in seven of its last nine games and are 5-4-2 when scoring on the power play.
  • UND’s power-play goal Sunday was the first special teams goal the Beavers’ penalty-kill unit has allowed in five games (1-for-9). BSU hadn’t allowed a power-play goal since Jan. 13 before Sunday. The Beavers’ penalty kill ranks fourth in the WCHA at .892.

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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).