BEMIDJI, Minn. – The 2019-20 regular season winds down for the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team and Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoff seeding is starting to become more and more clear after every game. The Beavers (14-15-3, 8-12-2-0 WCHA) currently hold fifth in the WCHA standings with 26 points and concludes their regular season by traveling to seventh-place St. Cloud State University for a two-game, league series. The Beavers are battling with Minnesota State University, Mankato for fifth place and hold an eight-point lead over the Mavericks who have four games remaining. Bemidji State travels to St. Cloud, Minn., for its final meeting with the Huskies (5-20-4, 1-18-1-0 WCHA) beginning with game one Friday, Feb. 14 at 6:07 p.m., followed by game two Saturday at 3:07 p.m.
The Beavers and Huskies will meet for the 94th and 95th meeting in the all-time series that dates back to Jan. 22, 1999. Bemidji State holds a 46-38-9 edge in the all-time series record including winning the past seven meetings. The Beavers are 3-0 against the Huskies during the 2019-20 season after earning a series sweep in Bemidji Dec. 6-7 and earning a 1-0 overtime victory in game one of the Minnesota Cup, Jan. 4. When playing in St. Cloud, the Beavers are 20-20-5 and swept last season’s series in St. Cloud. In their last meeting, redshirt junior Lauren Bench posted a 23-save shutout and senior Abby Halluska scored the game-winning overtime goal for the 1-0 victory over the Huskies to send the Beavers to the championship game of the Minnesota Cup. In their series at home, Kiki Radke and Halluska led the Beavers to two wins by each recording three points off of two goals and an assist for Radke and a goal and two assists for Halluska. Sixth-year head coach Jim Scanlan is 17-7-1 coaching against the Huskies while first-year head coach Steve Macdonald is 0-3-0 coaching against the Beavers.
A Look At The Huskies
St. Cloud State enters the weekend’s action last in the WCHA standings with four points (1-18-1-0 WCHA) and will be the seventh seed in the WCHA playoffs. The Huskies are winless in their last four contests (0-3-1) and last won back on Jan. 18 at Minnesota State. St. Cloud State traveled to No. 1 University of Wisconsin last weekend and were swept by the Badgers who outscored them 16-1 in the series. Freshman Klara Hymlarova scored the lone goal for St. Cloud State in the series and continues to pace the team with 20 points off of seven goals and 13 assists.
St. Cloud State is last in the WCHA in offense and defense by only averaging 1.83 goals per game while its opponents average 3.41 goals per game. Its power play is fourth in the league however, and convert at a .167 percent (12-of-72). Its penalty kill is fifth and has stopped 73-of-91 chances for an .802 percentage.
Freshman Klara Hymlarova paces the team and is tied for 20th in the league with 20 points in 29 games played off of seven goals and 13 assists which also is tied for the rookie lead in the WCHA. She is followed by senior Hallie Theodosopoulos who has posted 17 points off of 11 goals and six assists while sophomore Jenniina Nylund has added 12 points off of four goals and eight assists. The Huskies’ blueline is led by senior Abby Thiessen who has 11 points off of four goals and seven assists while junior Hannah Bates has added six points off of one goal and five assists. In net St. Cloud State is led by junior Emma Polusny who has a 4-18-4 record to go along with a 3.31 goals against average and .910 save percentage which is fifth best in the WCHA.
A Look at the Beavers
Bemidji State closes out its 2019-20 regular season looking to end a four-game winless streak (0-3-1) after being swept by No. 4/3 University of Minnesota in the home finale last weekend. The Beavers fell to the Gophers 4-1 in game one of the series and fell 6-3 in game two despite being led by freshman Reece Hunt’s first career hat trick. Bemidji State was tied after the first 40 minutes in each game of the series but two, three-goal third periods by the Gophers led to their series sweep. Hunt led the team with three goals in the series while senior Haley Mack totaled three assists and junior Clair DeGeorge added two.
The Beavers are sixth in the WCHA in scoring offense by averaging 2.00 goals per game and fifth on defense by holding opponents to 2.59 goals per game. Bemidji State’s power play is seventh in the league by converting at .125 percent (9-of-72) while its penalty kill is sixth at .771 percent (64-of-83).
Bemidji State is paced on offense by senior Haley Mack who is also tied for 16th in the league with 24 points off of 13 goals and 11 assists which is one-point shy of tying a career best. She is followed by junior Clair DeGeorge who has posted 20 points off of seven goals and 13 assists for her third consecutive 20-point season. Senior Kiki Radke has also posted a career-high 19 points off of six goals and 13 assists while senior Abby Halluska (6g-9a), junior Mak Langei (2g-13a) and freshman Reece Hunt (4g-11a) follow with 15 points each. Langei is tied for eighth in scoring among league defensemen while Hunt is third in scoring among league freshmen. Langei paces the Beavers’ blueline in points and is followed by junior Tina Kampa who has 10 points off of 10 assists and is second in the league with 73 blocked shots. Redshirt junior Lauren Bench paces the Beavers’ netminders and has posted an 11-13-2 record with a 2.46 goals against average and .911 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).