Beaver Fever Friday – Claudia Verkerke – @BSUBeaversWHKY

Beavers and Friars clash for non-conference series

After opening the season with a series split versus Lindenwood University, the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team continues non-conference play at home by hosting Providence College at Sanford Center. The Beavers (1-1-0, 0-0-0 WCHA) host the Friars (1-1-0, 0-0-0 Hockey East) for a two-game series Friday and Saturday beginning with game one Friday at 3:07 p.m., and followed by game two Saturday at 2:07 p.m.

The Beavers and Friars meet for just the seventh and eighth meetings in the two program’s histories in a series that dates back to 2011. Providence holds the all-time series record at 3-2-1 after winning three consecutive games including a series sweep of the Beavers last season in Providence, R.I. The Beavers were outscored 8-4 in the series and were led by Abby Halluska who totaled a goal and assist. Of the six total games played, only two have been played in Bemidji where the Beavers are 1-0-1. Six-year head coach Jim Scanlan is 0-2-0 coaching against the Lions while second-year head coach Matt Kelly is 2-0-0.

The Friars enter their second week of action after opening the season last weekend against Quinnipiac University. The Friars fell in game one versus the Bobcats by a score of 2-1 but rebounded with a 3-2 victory in game two to earn the series split. Freshman Bailey Burton led the Friars with two goals in the series while Whitney Dove and Meaghan Rickard each recorded two assists. Junior Maureen Murphy, who scored three goals against the Beavers in last season’s series, also scored a goal against the Bobcats.

Providence’s special teams were lacking in its season opening and came up empty on all four of its power-play chances while its penalty kill allowed two power-play goals in five chances (.600). The Friars averaged 2.00 goals per game to open the season which is tied for seventh in the Hockey East conference while their defense also allows 2.00 goals per game, also ranked seventh.

Seven Friars recorded a point in their season opening series with Burton, Dove and Rickard leading the way with two points. Besides Burton and Murphy, junior Annelise Rice was the only other Friar to score a goal while senior Neve Van Pelt and sophomore Sara Hjalmarsson each tallied one assist. Hjalmarsson led the Friars with eight shots on goal while Murphy followed with seven. Murphy is Providence’s active leading goal scorer and has scored 42 career goals and posted 30 career assists for 72 points. Providence started only one goaltender last weekend in senior Clare Minnerath, a Sartell, Minn., native. Minnerath went 1-1-0 and allowed four goals on 46 shots (.913) and earned a 2.02 goals against average. She has a career record of 4-3-0 and career marks of 2.59 goals against average and .895 save percentage.