BEMIDJI, Minn. – After numerous postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19, the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team is finally ready to drop the puck on the 2020-21 season. The Beavers (0-0-0, 0-0-0-0 WCHA) play host to St. Cloud State University (1-3-0, 1-3-0-0 WCHA) for a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series beginning Thursday, December 10 and concluding Friday, December 11. Puck drop for game on between the Beavers and Huskies is set for 6:07 p.m. Thursday and the series finale will take place at 3:07 p.m.
Bemidji State and St. Cloud State will meet for the 96th and 97th meetings in the all-time series history and the first-ever series to begin a season. The Beavers lead the all-time series record at 47-39-9 (.542) and are 24-16-4 (.591) when playing at home. Last season Bemidji State dominated the series going 4-1-0 against the Huskies. Bemidji State’s lone loss came in a 1-0 overtime victory for SCSU in the regular season finale, snapping the Beavers’ eight-game winning streak against the Huskies. Head Coach Jim Scanlan is 18-8-1 coaching against the Huskies while second-year head coach Steve Macdonald is 1-4-0. Bemidji State is led by senior captain Clair DeGeorge who has posted nine points (2g-7a) in 14 career games against SCSU while fellow senior Lydia Passolt follows with six points (2g-4a) in nine career games. The Beavers have only one goaltender on their roster who has faced the Huskies in senior Kerigan Dowhy. Dowhy has faced St. Cloud State one time in her career back on Nov. 20, 2018 in a 3-0 loss where she stopped 21-of-24 shots.
Scouting the Huskies
St. Cloud State continues its season after playing its first series Nov. 27-28 in St. Cloud against Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Huskies split the series with the Mavericks after earning a 1-0 victory in game one but fell 4-2 in the series finale. SCSU then traveled to Duluth to face No. 6 University of Minnesota Duluth but fell in both games to the sixth-ranked Bulldogs. St. Cloud State enters its series at Bemidji with a 1-3-0 (1-3-0-0 WCHA) record and tied for fourth in the WCHA standings with three points.
St. Cloud State averages just 1.00 goals per game early on in the season which is last in the league while its defense allows 3.25 goals per game to rank fifth. SCSU has yet to score a power-play goal this season, coming up empty on all 13 of its chances while its penalty kill has allowed just one special team’s goal in its 16 opportunities (.938).
The Huskies are led on offense by sophomore and 2019-20 WCHA All-Rookie Team selection Klara Hymlarova who has posted two points in four games off of a goal and assist. She is joined by junior Jenniina Nylund who has also posted a goal and assist in four games. Junior Allie Cornelius and freshman Mackenzie Bourgerie are the only other Huskies to score this season. In net, freshman Sanni Ahola paces the team with a 1-2-0 record and has posted a 3.17 goals against average to go along with a .920 save percentage. Senior Emma Polusny follows with a 0-1-0 record, 3.44 goals against average and .931 save percentage.
Bemidji State Notes
- As the last remaining team in the WCHA to have yet play a game this season, the Beavers are eager to drop the puck this weekend with the Huskies.
- Bemidji State returns 19 letter-winners from last year’s team that went 16-18-3 to finish fifth in the WCHA standings and were eliminated in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs.
- BSU has added seven freshmen to the team during the offseason in Hannah Hogenson, Taylor Nelson, Kayla Santl, Anika Stoskopf, Calli Forsberg, Khloe Lund Gabbie Smith and all hope to make an impact this season.
- The Beavers return two of their top three scorers from last season in Clair DeGeorge and Reece Hunt. DeGeorge finished second on the team with 22 points off of seven goals and 15 assists while Hunt followed with 19 points off of seven goals and 12 assists and was named to the All-WCHA Rookie Team.
- Bemidji State will be captained by seniors Mak Langei and Clair DeGeorge during the 2020-21 season while seniors Tina Kampa and Kara Werth will serve as assistant captains.
- The Beavers’ return four of its top six blueliners from last season in Langei, Kampa, Werth and redshirt junior Abby Ecker. Langei paced Bemidji State defensemen with 15 points off of two goals and 13 assists and was followed closely by Kampa who had posted 13 points off of 13 assists. Werth and Ecker look to take increasing roles this season after the pair posted four points (2g-2a) and two points (0g-2a), respectively.
- BSU’s offense returns eight players who played in at least 20 games last season including DeGeorge, Hunt, senior Paige Beebe and senior Lydia Passolt who were all featured in the Beavers’ top six at some point last season.
- Bemidji State loses 35 of its 71 goals from last season due to graduation but return 36 goals including Passolt who was second on the team with 10 goals.
- Bemidji State’s notable loss during the offseason was goaltender Lauren Bench who grad-transferred to University of Minnesota to pursue a medical degree. The Beavers return two goaltenders in senior Kerigan Dowhy and junior Lexi Baker who played in a combined 286 minutes last season.
- Dowhy has the most experience in net and has posted a career record of 11-13-1 with a 2.48 goals against average and .912 save percentage in 29 games. Baker has seen less time but has posted a 1-1-1 record, 2.86 goals against average and .861 save percentage in seven games.
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).