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Beaver Fever Friday – Jacqueline Kaasa – @BSUBeaversWHKY

Beavers seek first win by hosting No. 4 Buckeyes

The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team seeks its first win of the season and will get that opportunity this weekend by hosting No. 4 Ohio State University. The Beavers (0-9-1, 0-5-1-0 WCHA) face their fifth nationally ranked opponent of the season in the Buckeyes (9-3-0, 5-1-0-0 WCHA) and third in the past four weeks that have been ranked in the top five. Bemidji State and Ohio State clash for a two-game series at Sanford Center Nov. 9-10 with puck drop for each game scheduled for 3:07 p.m.

The Series
The Beavers and Buckeyes clash for the 75th and 76th meetings in the all-time series dating back to 1999. Ohio State leads the all-time series at 38-25-12 and the Buckeyes took the regular season series last season by going 2-1-1 against the Beavers in 2017-18. However, Bemidji State did earn five points against the nationally ranked Buckeyes with a shootout win at home and upset the sixth-ranked Buckeyes in Columbus with a 2-1 win Feb. 17. Mak Langei led the Beavers with four points (1g-3a) against the Buckeyes last season while Sylvia Marolt scored two goals and had three points. Emily Bergland has tallied the most career points against the Buckeyes among active skaters and in 11 games she has six points (2g-4a). Haley Mack has added four points (2g-2a) in eight games while Langei has a point per game average against the Buckeyes with four points (1g-3a) in four games. Fifth-year head coach Jim Scanlan is 7-8-1 in his career against Ohio State while third-year head coach for the Buckeyes Nadine Muzerall is 4-3-1 against the Beavers.

A Look At The Buckeyes
Ohio State enters the weekend’s action tied for second in the WCHA standings with 15 points and boast a 5-1-0-0 league record. The Buckeyes are 9-3-0 overall and are ranked No. 4 in the latest USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls. The Buckeyes hosted St. Cloud State University last weekend and earned a series sweep against the Huskies with two 3-2 victories. Ohio State was led by sophomore Emma Maltais and senior Madison Field in the series. Maltais led OSU with four points (1g-4a) while Field followed with three goals (3g-0a).

The Buckeyes come into the weekend averaging 2.92 goals per game to stand third in the league while allowing 2.17 goals per game for fouth in the WCHA. Ohio State is the most penalized team in the league and through 12 games, average 8.7 penalty minutes. Despite the volume of action, the Buckeyes’ penalty kill has seen, Ohio State has one of the best penalty kill in the nation. The Buckeyes rank second in the conference by killing at a .918 efficiency (45-of-49) to also stand ninth in Division I. Ohio State’s power play has struggled to start the season and in 28 chances, the Buckeyes have just two power-play goals to rank sixth in the WCHA with a .071 percentage.

Ohio State has one of the most dynamic scorers in the nation in Emma Maltais. The sophomore forward leads the WCHA with 19 points (5g-14a) in 12 games and is tied for second in the nation with that tally. Her 14 assists lead Division I and has assisted the league’s leading goal scorer in Tatym Skaggs. Skaggs is tied for the league lead with seven goals but has yet to post an assist. Following Maltais is senior Charly Dahlquist who has tallied 12 points (5g-7a) to tie for fifth in the league while Jincy Dunne and Madison Filed follow closely with 10 and nine points, respectively. In net, the Buckeyes rely heavily on freshman Andrea Brändli who has seen action in .746 percent of the team’s games. Brändli, a native of Zurich, Switzerland, has posted a 6-3-0 record, 1.89 goals against average and is second in the WCHA with a .940 save percentage. Sophomore Amanda Zeglen has appeared in three games for the Buckeyes and has a perfect 3-0-0 record.

A Look at the Beavers
Bemidji State begins the weekend’s action after spending last weekend on the road at No. 2 University of Minnesota. The Beavers were swept by the second-ranked Gophers by scores of 6-3 and 2-1. BSU came close to an upset of the Gophers in game two and were tied 1-1 heading into the last period after junior Jacqueline Kaasa scored the tying goal. Bemidji State still looks for its first win of the season and is seventh in the league with one point and a 0-5-1-0 league record.

The Beavers are struggling scoring and average a league-low 1.40 goals per game. They also are one of the bottom teams in preventing goals and stand seventh in the WCHA by allowing 3.80 goals per game. BSU’s special teams have had better success and rank fifth and fourth on the power play and penalty kill, respectively. The Beavers have scored three power-play goals in 31 chances for a .097 percentage while their penalty kill have stopped 22-of-26 chances for a .846 percentage.

Bemidji State is led on offense by sophomore Clair DeGeorge, senior Emily Bergland, sophomore Paige Beebe and junior Briana Jorde who each have posted four points in 10 games. DeGeorge leads the Beavers’ scorers with three goals this season including two against No. 2 Minnesota while Jorde leads BSU in assists with four. In the crease, the Beavers have split time between sophomores Lauren Bench and Kerigan Dowhy. Bench leads the team with six games played and is 0-5-1 with a 3.16 goals against average and .883 save percentage. Dowhy follows with a 0-4-0 record in four games and 4.00 goals against average and .837 save percentage.

Emily Bergland scored a goal against Minnesota this past weekend and is 11th on BSU’s career goal scoring list with 32 career goals. Bergland leads all active skaters with 57 career points (32g-25a) while Haley Mack follows with 38 points (15g-23a).

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