BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team prepares for its final road trip of the regular season and will travel to face St. Cloud State University, Feb. 15-16. The Beavers (11-17-2, 8-10-2-0 WCHA) currently hold fifth place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings and trail fifth-place University of Minnesota Duluth by five points and third-place Ohio State University by 10 points. The Beavers and Huskies (10-21-2, 5-17-0-0 WCHA) will play for six league points beginning Friday, Feb. 15 at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center followed by game two Saturday, Feb. 16. Puck drop for game one is scheduled for 6:07 p.m. and game two at 3:07 p.m.
The Beavers and Huskies meet for the 89th and 90th meetings in the all-time series dating back to 1999. Bemidji State owns the all-time series with a 41-38-9 record but are 18-20-5 in St. Cloud. Bemidji State and St. Cloud State have met three times already this season with the Beavers boasting a 2-1-0 record. St. Cloud State’s lone win against BSU came in non-conference action at the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum Game in Brainerd, Minn. The Beavers were defeated 3-0 in the game but rebounded by sweeping the Huskies in their conference series in Bemidji the following weekend. The Beavers posted back-to-back shutouts in the series with wins by scores of 3-0 and 2-0. Bemidji State was led by redshirt sophomore Lauren Bench in the series who recorded back-to-back shutouts and stopped all 37 shots by the Huskies. Bench was awarded the WCHA Goaltender of the Week for her efforts. Junior Haley Mack also had a tremendous weekend against the Huskies by scoring four of the team’s five goals in the series including her first collegiate hat trick Friday night.
Mack leads all active skaters with 10 points (4g-6a) in 12 career games against the Huskies while senior Emily Bergland follows closely with eight points (5g-3a) in 16 games. Bench leads the BSU netminders with a 2-1-0 career record against the Huskies and has posted a 1.67 goals against average and .927 save percentage with two shutouts.
A Look At The Huskies
The Huskies begin the weekend’s series sixth in the league standings with 15 points in conference play and are 10-21-2 on the season. The Huskies are fresh off their series split on the road at (RV) Minnesota Duluth. UMD defeated St. Cloud State 4-2 in game one but the Huskies rebounded with a 3-2 victory in game two. St. Cloud State’s netminder Janine Alder was spectacular for the Huskies and earned the league’s Goaltender of the Week award after she stopped 51-of-53 shots in Saturday’s upset win.
St. Cloud State is near the bottom of the league in scoring offense and defense this season. In 33 games this season, the Huskies have scored 63 goals to rank sixth in the WCHA with a 1.91 goals per game average. Their defense is last in the league and have allowed 100 goals in 33 games for a 3.03 goals against average. The Huskies are one of the better teams in the league about staying out of the penalty box this season. SCSU averages just 5.9 penalty minutes per game for second in the league and is just 0.1 behind the league-leading Beavers. St. Cloud State’s power play is fifth in the WCHA and has scored 12 power-play goals in 74 chances (.162). Its penalty kill has struggled however, and is last in the league at .756 percent and have allowed 20 power-play goals (62-of-82).
The Huskies are led by the line of seniors Hannah Potrykus, Julie Tylke and freshman Jenniina Nylund. The trio have each totaled 20 points on the season with Potrykus leading the team with 11 goals (11g-9a=20). Tylke follows with 10 goals while Nylund has totaled eight goals and 12 assists. Junior Hallie Theodosopoulos follows closely with 18 points (10g-8a) in 33 games while junior Kayla Friesen leads the team with 13 assists (4g-13a=17pts). St. Cloud State has split time in net between junior Janine Alder and sophomore Emma Polusny. Alder leads the team with 17 games started while Polusny follows closely at 16. Polusny boasts the better record at 6-9-1 but Alder boasts a 2.46 goals against average and .940 save percentage which leads the WCHA.
A Look at the Beavers
Bemidji State prepares for its final road trip of the season after earning a split against No. 9 Ohio State University. The Beavers defeated the ninth-ranked Buckeyes 3-2 on Friday night for the Beavers’ second consecutive Friday upsetting a top 10 team. Bemidji State head coach Jim Scanlan earned his 82nd career victory on the night and became the program’s all-time winningest coach surpassing Steve Sertich. The Beavers came back from down 2-0 after the first period to score three-unanswered goals for the 3-2 win. Senior Emily Bergland scored the game-winning goal, the seventh of her career, to tie her for third most in program history. Redshirt-sophomore Lauren Bench stopped a career-high 44 shots in the game including 22 in the final period en route to her team leading seventh win of the season.
Bemidji State ranks fifth in the league in scoring by averaging 1.93 goals per game but are sixth in the league by allowing 2.77 goals per game. The Beavers are the least penalized team in the conference and average just 5.8 penalty minutes per game while their penalty kill has been dominant and leads the conference, and is fifth in the nation, at .880 percent (66-of-75). On the other end, the Beavers’ power play has struggled this season and is last in the WCHA at .104 percent (8-of-77). Despite that low percentage, the Beavers have scored more with the extra skater as of late and are 3-of-16 in their last five games (.188).
The Beavers are led on offense by sophomore Clair DeGeorge who has posted 18 points (8g-10a) on the season. She is followed by senior Emily Bergland who has posted 15 points (6g-9a) and junior Jacqueline Kaasa with 14 points (7g-7a). Sophomore Paige Beebe follows with 13 points (7g-6a) while Lydia Passolt (5g-5a) and Abby Halluska (5g-5a) have each added 10 points. Redshirt sophomore Lauren Bench leads BSU’s goaltenders with a 7-8-2 record and has posted a 2.37 goals against average and .914 save percentage to also lead the team. Sophomore Kerigan Dowhy follows with a 4-8-0 record and has a 2.90 goals against average and .901 save percentage.
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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).