BEMIDJI, Minn. – After numerous weeks of planning, the time has come for the entire state of Minnesota to celebrate its hockey roots at the 2019 Hockey Day in Minnesota. This year, the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team will take part in the 13th annual celebration when it hosts Minnesota State University, Mankato outdoors off the shore of Lake Bemidji. The Beavers (8-14-1, 5-8-1-0 WCHA) and Mavericks (8-10-4, 3-9-2-1 WCHA) non-conference bout will be featured Saturday, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports North.
The Beavers look to build upon a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series split against University of Minnesota Duluth last weekend while the Mavericks, who are 0-5-2 in their last seven games, will try to rebound from being swept at home by No. 2 University of Minnesota. Although Saturday’s game will not be for league points, the Mavericks sit just four points back from the Beavers for fifth in league standings and will preview next weekend’s series between the two teams in Mankato.
For complete game notes, click here.
The Beavers and Mavericks meet for a non-conference match-up this weekend before facing each other again the following weekend for the final series of the regular season. BSU and MSU met earlier this season Oct. 26-27 in Bemidji where the Beavers were upended in series after falling to the Mavericks 4-1 in game one and fell in the shootout in game two after 65 minutes of scoreless hockey. Sophomore Kara Werth was the lone Beaver to score in the series after scoring her first collegiate goal in the first period, Oct. 26. Saturday’s meeting with MSU will be the 80th of the two program’s histories dating back to 1999. Bemidji State holds the all-time series record at 40-28-11 and are 20-12-8 when facing the Mavericks at home.
Senior Emily Bergland leads all active skaters with nine points (5g-4a) in 14 career games against the Mavericks while Clair DeGeorge follows with seven points (1g-6a) in six games. Head coach Jim Scanlan is 13-4-1 all-time against Minnesota State while four-year head coach John Harrington is 4-9-1 against the Beavers.
A Look At The Mavericks
Minnesota State enters Saturday’s action with an overall record of 8-10-4 and are sixth in the WCHA standings with 12 points and a league record of 3-9-2-1. The Mavericks have fallen in three consecutive games and are winless in their last seven (0-5-2) with their last win coming Dec. 1, a 3-0 victory over then ranked No. 6 Ohio State University. MSU was swept in its home series with No. 2 Minnesota and fell by scores of 5-1 and 6-3. The Mavericks were led by freshman forward Brooke Bryant who posted two goals in the series.
Minnesota State has struggled on offense this season and are last in the WCHA with a scoring average of 1.77 goals per game with just 39 goals in 22 games. That mark is also near the bottom in all of Division I, ranking 35th of 40 teams in the nation. However, the Mavericks have been one of the best teams defensively and have held opponents to just a 2.00 goals per game scoring average for third best in the league and tied for 13th nationally. A big reason for the Mavericks’ stellar play defensively has been the play of freshman goaltender Abigail Levy. Levy has started every game for the Mavericks and boasts a 1.93 goals against average and .937 save percentage ranking her fifth and third in the league, respectively. Minnesota State is one of the most penalized teams in the conference by averaging 6.8 penalty minutes per game (2nd). However, its penalty kill has been dominant and leads the league with a penalty kill percentage of .903 (65-of-72). That mark is tied for second best in the nation. MSU’s power play has faltered and is sixth in the league with a percentage of .103 (6-of-58).
The Mavericks use members of its senior class to fuel their offense and are paced by senior Corbin Boyd who has totaled 16 points off six goals and 10 assists in 22 games. Seniors Rebekah Kolstad and Jordan McLaughlin follow Boyd with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Boyd, Kolstad, Brittyn Fleming and Brooke Bryant have all tallied six goals to tie for the team lead while Boyd paces the team with 10 assists.
A Look at the Beavers
Bemidji State has struggled on the offensive side of the ice in the first half of the season, scoring just 30 goals in 19 games (1.58 g/gm), but have been hot to start the second half with 13 goals in four games (3.25 g/gm) and is 3-1-0 during that span. The Beavers are sixth in the conference with a 1.87 scoring average throughout the season while its scoring defense is also sixth at 2.78 goals per game. BSU’s power play is last in the WCHA with a percentage of .082 (5-of-61) and hasn’t scored a goal since Nov. 30 (0-for-17). However, its penalty kill has been dominant and is second in the league and tied for fifth nationally at .898 (53-of-59). The Beavers allowed their first power play goal last weekend since Nov. 10, a penalty kill streak of 27 successful kills.
Bemidji State is led in scoring by sophomore Clair DeGeorge who has posted 15 points (7g-8a) in 15 games and leads the Beavers in goals and assists. She is followed by senior Emily Bergland with 11 points (4g-7a) and Jacqueline Kaasa with nine points (4g-5a). Paige Beebe (5g-3a), Lydia Passolt (3g-5a) and Abby Halluska (3g-5a) have each recorded eight points this season. In net, the Beavers have split time between sophomores Lauren Bench and Kerigan Dowhy. Bench leads the team in goals against average (2.26) and save percentage (.911) and is 4-7-1 in 12 games while Dowhy has posted a 2.98 goals against average, .901 save percentage and is 4-7-0 in 11 games. Bench has started back-to-back games for the Beavers and three of the last four.
- Bemidji State head coach Jim Scanlan sits at 79 career victories in his five seasons with the women’s hockey team. He trails Steve Sertich (06-14) by two games for most in program history (81).
- Sophomore Lydia Passolt was named the WCHA Forward of the Week after posting three points (2g-1a) in a series split with UMD. She tied for a league-high two goals and was +4 with six shots on goal.
- Clair DeGeorge has tallied six points (3g-3a) over the last three games and has recorded two points in every game during her three-game scoring streak.
- Senior captain Melissa Hunt leads the team with a four-game scoring streak (0g-4a). Passolt joins DeGeorge with four points (2g-2a) over the past three games.
- Senior Emily Bergland is tied for ninth in program history with 34 career goals. She needs just two goals to jump all the way up to fifth and is also tied for seventh with six career game-winning goals.
- This weekend marks the second time in program history the Beavers have played outdoors. Bemidji State’s first ever game outside occurred at the Culver’s Camp Randall Hockey Classic at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Feb. 6, 2010. Bemidji State fell to the ninth-ranked Badgers 6-1 in the game.
- Bemidji State is 7-4-1 at home this season, setting a program record with seven consecutive home wins from Nov. 9-Jan. 11. The Beavers had their win streak broken last Saturday in a 5-2 loss to Minnesota Duluth.
- Bemidji State’s roster consists of 18 student-athletes who hail from the state of Minnesota including 17 who played high school hockey and three who played for prep schools within the state.
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).