BEMIDJI, Minn. – A week removed from being swept at No. 10 University of Minnesota Duluth, the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team hopes to rebound by hosting Minnesota State University, Mankato for a pair of Western Collegiate Hockey Association games. The Beavers (13-12-1, 7-9-0-0 WCHA) have just four league series remaining in the regular season and fight for home playoff positioning. BSU is tied for fourth with Minnesota Duluth at 21 points and hold an eight-point lead over the sixth-place Mavericks (8-13-4, 3-11-2-1 WCHA).
The Beavers and Mavericks will meet for the 86th and 87th meeting in the all-time series that dates back to Feb. 20, 1999. Bemidji State owns the all-time series record at 43-30-12 and are 20-13-8 on home ice. In their first meeting this season, the Beavers earned a series sweep over the Mavericks with a 1-0 victory in game one followed by a 5-2 victory in game two. Redshirt junior Lauren Bench backstopped the Beavers to two victories and was named the WCHA Goaltender of the Week after posting a 1.00 goals against average and .962 save percentage. Junior Clair DeGeorge leads all active skaters with 11 points off of two goals and nine assists in 11 career games against the Mavericks while junior Paige Beebe follows with 10 points off of four goals and six assists in 11 games. Bench leads the BSU netminders with 11 games played against MSU and owns a 6-2-2 record with a 1.63 goals against average and .938 save percentage. Sixth-year head coach Jim Scanlan is 14-5-2 coaching against the Mavericks while fifth-year head coach John Harrington is 5-10-2 coaching against the Beavers.
A Look At The Mavericks
Minnesota State enters the weekend’s action holding sixth in the WCHA standings with 13 points (3-11-2-1 WCHA) in league standings and are 8-13-4 overall. The Mavericks are coming off a series split with St. Cloud State University this past weekend after earning a 5-3 victory in game one but fell 2-1 in game two. Seniors McKenzie Sederberg (2g-1a) and Emily Antony (0g-3a) tied for the team lead with three points each while sophomore Abigail Levy earned the lone victory in net after stopping 17-of-20 shots, Friday.
Minnesota State is tied for fifth with the Beavers in WCHA scoring offense this season and average 2.00 goals per game. Its defense is last in the WCHA by allowing opponents 3.08 goals per game. The Maverick’s power play is tied for sixth in the league, also with BSU, and have converted on 8-of-66 chances for .121 percent. Their penalty kill is fifth in the league at .819 percent (68-of-83).
The Mavericks are led on offense by junior Mariah Gardner and freshman Kelsey King. Gardner has totaled 14 points off of six goals and eight assists while King paces all league freshman with 14 points off of four goals and 10 assists. They are followed by sophomore blueliner Anna Wilgren (4g-9a) and senior Emily Antony (2g-11a) who each have 13 points in 25 games played. Sophomore Claire Butorac leads the team with seven goals and has 11 points. The Mavericks have split time in net between sophomore Abigail Levy and freshman Calla Frank. Levy paces the team with a 4-8-2 record, 2.98 GAA and .902 save percentage while Frank follows with a 4-5-2 record, 3.13 GAA and .894 save percentage.
A Look at the Beavers
Bemidji State returns home where it is 6-5-1 this season to host the Mavericks after being swept by No. 10 Minnesota Duluth this past weekend. The Beavers fell to the Bulldogs by scores of 4-0 and 4-2 in the game with senior Jacqueline Kaasa pacing the team with a goal and assist. Bemidji State is tied for fourth in the league standings with UMD and owns a 13-12-1 league record. The Beavers are receiving votes in both the USCHO.com and USAToday/USA Hockey Magazine national polls.
The Beavers are tied for fifth in the WCHA in scoring offense by averaging 2.00 goals per game and are also fifth on defense by holding opponents to 2.38 goals per game. Bemidji State’s power play is sixth in the league by converting at .121 percent (8-of-66) while its penalty kill is sixth at .778 percent (56-of-72).
Bemidji State is paced on offense by seniors Haley Mack and Kiki Radke. Mack leads the team with 19 points off of 13 goals and six assists while her 13 goals this season is ninth in the WCHA. Mack is tied for sixth on the Beavers’ career goal scoring list with 36 career goals. She is followed by Radke who has posted a career-high 15 points off of five goals and 10 assists. Junior Clair DeGeorge has also totaled 15 points coming off of four goals and 11 assists. Senior Abby Halluska follows with 13 points off of six goals and seven assists. BSU’s blueline is led by juniors Mak Langei and Tina Kampa. Langei has posted 11 points off of two goals and nine assists while Kampa follows with 10 points off of 10 assists. Redshirt junior Lauren Bench paces the Beavers’ netminders and has posted a 10-10-0 record with a 2.30 goals against average and .914 save percentage. Bench ranks fifth in the league in goals against average and is fourth in save percentage. Bench has earned a career-high 10 wins this season.
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).