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Beaver Fever Friday – Womens Hockey – Sylvia Marolt

Beavers clash with defending national champs in season-opening series

The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team will wait no longer to start the 2018-19 season and officially kick-off the season by hosting the two-time defending national champion, No. 1 Clarkson University. The Beavers (0-0-0, 0-0-0-0 WCHA) and Golden Knights (0-0-0, 0-0-0-0 ECAC) clash for the season-opening, non-conference series hosted at Sanford Center, Sept. 28-29.

The Series
The Beavers and Golden Knights will meet for just the third and fourth times in the two programs’ histories. Clarkson owns the series record at 2-0-0 after the teams met last season in Potsdam, N.Y., where the Golden Knights swept the Beavers by scores of 2-0 and 5-4. Haley Mack, Clair DeGeorge and Kiki Radke each posted a goal and assist in the series while redshirt-sophomore Lauren Bench posted a 36-save performance in net in game two. Fifth-year head coach Jim Scanlan is 0-2-0 against the Golden Knights and 71-67-10 in his career while 11th-year head coach Matt Desrosiers is 2-0-0 against the Beavers and 256-92-41 in his career.

A Look At The Golden Knights
The Golden Knights start their quest for a third straight national championship this weekend after defeating Colgate University 2-1 in overtime for the 2017-18 national championship. Clarkson enters the weekend No. 1 in the preseason USHCO.com Poll and seeks to become just the second women’s hockey program to win three straight NCAA titles since University Minnesota Duluth won three in a row from 2001-03.

The Golden Knights return 17 letterwinners from last year’s squad that won 25 of its last 26 games en route to a program best 36-4-1 overall record. Clarkson will roster 23 student-athletes during the season and have added six newcomers to the roster.

Ranked fourth in the nation in scoring last year, Clarkson should once again be one of the most potent offensive teams in the country with nine forwards returning from a group that help the Knights average 3.85 goals per game. Clarkson’s top four scorers up front are back, including the most prolific line in college hockey. Senior Loren Gabel, a top-3 finalist for the Patty Kasmaier Memorial Award, leads the Golden Knights after recording a school-record 75 points (36g-39a) while sophomore Elizabeth Giguere (27g-44a) and Michaela Pejzlova (26g-29) bolster the Golden Knights top line. On defense, CU is led by assistant captains Joasiane Pozzebon (13g-36a) and Ella Shelton (5g-20a). The Golden Knights graduated all-time winningest goaltender Shea Tiley but added Ohio State University All-American Kassidy Sauve who will compete as a graduate to fill the net.

Bemidji State Notes

The Beavers were picked to finish fifth in the WCHA Preseason Coaches’ Poll after garnering 16 points in the poll.

Bemidji State will be captained by Melissa Hunt during the 2018-19 season and she will be assisted by Emily Bergland and Kiki Radke.

The Beavers welcome back 19 letter-winners from last season and will have five newcomers join the squad to fill the roster at 24.

The Beavers finished fourth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association scoring an average of 2.37 goals per game and were sixth in defense (2.53 g/gm) in 2017-18.

Bemidji State returns eight of its top ten leading scorers from last season including its top three in Haley Mack (11g-14a), Emily Bergland (11g-13a) and Clair DeGeorge (7g-16a).

Also returning for the respective careers are sophomore Mak Langei (4g-14a), junior Jacqueline Kaasa (8g-9a), sophomore Paige Beebe (7g-10a), junior Abby Halluska (7g-7a) and junior Kiki Radke (3g-9a).

The Beavers graduated just one goaltender from last year and will look to split time between sophomores Kerigan Dowhy and Lauren Bench. Bench posted an 8-9-0 record in 18 starts to lead the Beavers while Dowhy had the hot hand late in the season and backstopped BSU to the WCHA Final Faceoff.

Joining the Beavers for their first season with the green and white are freshmen Claudia Verkerke, Ellie Moser, Lexi Cheveldayoff, Graysen Myers and Lexi Baker.

Emily Bergland leads all active skaters with 53 career points (30g-23a) while Haley Mack follows with 38 points (15g-23a).

Sophomore Clair DeGeorge rejoins the Beavers after spending the offseason with the U.S. Women’s Hockey Olympic Team at its evaluation camp and U-22 series versus Canada.

Bemidji State will be at the center of the hockey world in Minnesota by participating in the 2019 Hockey Day in Minnesota Jan. 19. The Beavers will play a non-conference game with Minnesota State University, Mankato outdoors next to Lake Bemidji.

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