BEMIDJI, Minn. – With just three weekends remaining in the 2019-20 regular season for the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team, the Beavers (14-12-2, 8-9-1-0 WCHA) travel to No. 5 Ohio State University just six points back of the third-place Buckeyes (16-6-4, 9-4-3-1 WCHA) in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings. The Beavers and Buckeyes play a two-game league series at OSU Ice Rink in Columbus, Ohio this weekend beginning with game one, Friday, January 31 followed by game two, Saturday. Puck drop for game one is scheduled for 5:07 p.m. CST while game two is slated for 2:07 p.m. CST.
The Beavers and Buckeyes will meet for the 85th and 86th meeting in the all-time series that dates back to Nov. 19, 1999. Ohio State owns the all-time series record at 44-28-12 and are 23-12-5 when playing in Columbus. In the two team’s first meeting this season, the Buckeyes earned a series sweep over the Beavers after a 4-3 overtime victory in game one and a 3-1 victory in game two. BSU was led by seniors Abby Halluska (1g-1a), Kiki Radke (0g-2a) and junior Clair DeGeorge (1g-1a) who each posted two points in the series. Seniors Haley Mack (4g-3a) and Abby Halluska (3g-4a) each lead all active skaters with seven points in 12 and 14 career games versus the Buckeyes, respectively, while junior Clair DeGeorge follows with six points off of three goals and three assists in 10 games. Six-year head coach Jim Scanlan is 10-11-1 coaching against the Buckeyes while fourth-year head coach Nadine Muzerall is 7-6-1 coaching against the Beavers.
A Look At The Buckeyes
Ohio State enters the weekend’s action as the fifth-ranked team in both the USCHO.com and USAToday/USA Hockey Magazine national polls. The Buckeyes boast a 16-6-4 record overall and are third in the WCHA standings with 31 points and a 9-4-3-1 league record. Ohio State returns to action after hosting Quinnipiac University for a pair of non-conference games and earned a series sweep over the Bobcats by scores of 2-1 and 3-2. Senior Rebecca Freiburger led the Buckeyes in the series and posted three points off of a goal and two assists to pace the team.
The Buckeyes begin the weekend’s series third in the WCHA in goals per game by scoring at a 3.23 average while their defense is fourth in the league by holding opponents to 2.27 goals per game. Ohio State’s power play is fifth in the WCHA by scoring at .151 percent (11-of-73) while its penalty kill is last in the league by killing off .757 percent of its opponent’s power plays (53-of-70).
Junior Emma Maltais leads the Buckeyes in scoring and is fourth in the WCHA with 42 points off of 15 goals and 27 assists in 26 games this season. She is followed by junior Liz Schepers who has totaled 32 points off of 17 goals and 15 assists while junior Tatum Skaggs follows with 29 points off of eight goals and 21 assists. The Buckeyes’ blueline is led by sophomore Sophie Jaques who has 17 points off of five goals and 12 assists while senior Jincy Dunne is close behind with 15 points off of five goals and 10 assists. In net, sophomore Andrea Braendli leads the team with 22 games played and a 13-5-4 record. She has posted a 2.17 goals against average and .911 save percentage for fourth and sixth in the league, respectively.
A Look at the Beavers
Bemidji State returns hits the road the first of its final two road series of the regular season where the team is 6-7-0 on the road. The Beavers received votes in both the USCHO.com and USAToday/USA Hockey Magazine national polls for the second consecutive week and are coming off a weekend where they earned four points against Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Beavers and Mavericks played to a 1-1 tie in game one with Minnesota State earning the extra point in the 3-on-3 overtime while BSU responded with a 3-1 victory in game two. Bemidji State owns a 14-12-2 record with six games to play and stand fifth in the WCHA standings with 25 points (8-9-1-0 WCHA).
The Beavers are fifth in the WCHA in scoring offense by averaging 2.00 goals per game and are also ranked fifth on defense by holding opponents to 2.29 goals per game. Bemidji State’s power play is tied for sixth in the league by converting at .129 percent (9-of-70) while its penalty kill is sixth at .776 percent (59-of-76).
Bemidji State is paced on offense by senior Haley Mack who is also 16th in the league with 20 points off of 13 goals and seven assists in 28 games this season. She is followed by junior Clair DeGeorge who has posted 17 points off of six goals and 11 assists and is coming off a two-goal weekend versus Minnesota State. Senior Kiki Radke follows and has posted a career-high 16 points off of five goals and 11 assists while senior Abby Halluska (6g-7a) and junior Mak Langei (2g-11a) follow with 13 points each. Langei paces the Beavers’ blueline in points while also being +9 on the ice for second on the team and has blocked 60 shots, fourth most in the league. She is followed by junior Tina Kampa who has 10 points off of 10 assists and leads the team and is second in the league with 62 blocked shots. Redshirt junior Lauren Bench paces the Beavers’ netminders and has posted an 11-10-1 record with a 2.17 goals against average and .918 save percentage which stand fifth and third in the WCHA, respectively.
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).