BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team drops the puck on the 2021-22 season this weekend by traveling to St. Cloud State University for a lone exhibition game Saturday, Sept. 25. Puck drop is slated for 2:00 p.m., from the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.
The Beavers look to improve from last season where they went 2-16-2 in a shortened 2020-21 season and finished seventh in Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings with 12.5 points. Bemidji State returns 19 letter-winners from last season including two of its top-three scorers in junior Reece Hunt (0g-8a) and fifth-year senior Paige Beebe (3g-3a). The Beavers also welcome nine freshmen to the squad bringing the 2021-22 roster total to 28 with 16 forwards, eight defensemen and four goaltenders. Bemidji State will have a total of 12 upperclassmen and 16 underclassmen on its roster.
BSU also retains four fifth-year seniors in Beebe, Lydia Passolt, Lindsey Featherstone and Kerigan Dowhy who earned another year of eligibility due to last year’s shortened season. Beebe leads all returners with 50 career points (27g-23a) in 129 career games while Passolt follows with 34 points (20g-14a) in 98 games. Dowhy is the Beavers’ top returning goaltender and has appeared in 48 career games in net and has posted a 13-27-3 record with a 2.66 goals against average and .909 save percentage. The Beavers also return three fourth-year seniors in Claudia Verkerke, Graysen Myers and Lexi Baker. Verkerke will captain the 2021-22 Beavers and will be assisted by Dowhy and junior Kate Boland.
Bemidji State will have to replace its leading scorer from a year ago after Clair DeGeorge elected to transfer to Ohio State University for her fifth year of eligibility. However, BSU’s biggest loss came on the blueline and graduated four of the Beavers’ top six defenders from last season. The Beavers lose a total of seven letter-winners from last season but freshmen Makenna Deering, Taylor Larson, Shelby Breiland, Claire Vekich, Alyssa Watkins, Adriana Van De Leest, Kendra Fortin, Ella Anick and Abbie Thompson hope to make a positive impression.
The Beavers return all netminders from last season while also adding one freshman in Abbie Thompson. Dowhy returns as last year’s leading goaltender while senior Lexi Baker and sophomore Hannah Hogenson will battle for playing time.
Head coach Jim Scanlan returns for his eighth season behind the bench for the BSU women’s hockey team and sports a 102-122-17 career record. He will be assisted by Shane Veenker who returns for his 16th season and Emma Terres who returns for her second season. Bemidji State was voted to finish sixth in the WCHA in the preseason coaches’ poll earlier this preseason.
Bemidji State will play a total of 32 games including 28 conference games during the 2021-22 season and officially opens the season Oct. 1-2 by traveling to new WCHA member University of St. Thomas for a conference series.
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).