Beavers host Tommies in return to Sanford Center
Just six games remain in the 2022-23 regular season for the Bemidji State University Women’s Hockey team as it makes its return to Sanford Center this weekend to host University of St. Thomas for a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series.
The Beavers (4-23-1, 1-21-0 WCHA) host the Tommies (7-20-1, 2-19-1 WCHA) for their second and final meeting of the regular season. St. Thomas earned a series sweep over BSU in Mendota Heights, Minn., back on Dec. 16-17 for the programs first ever series sweep. Game one of their WCHA series is set to begin Friday, Feb. 3 at 3:01 p.m., followed by game two Saturday at 2:01 p.m.
Each game will be streamed online at B1G+ with play-by-play provided by the Beaver Radio Network. A Beaver Radio Network broadcast with Brian Schultz on the call will be available for each game and can be found on the radio dial at 94.3 FM or online at www.beaverradionetwork.com.
The Bemidji State-St. Thomas series began just two years ago when the Tommies joined Division I women’s hockey and the WCHA in 2021.
The series is even at 3-3-0 between the two teams but the Tommies earned a series sweep over the Beavers earlier this season on Dec. 16-17 in Mendota Heights.
The Beavers are currently undefeated when playing the Tommies at Sanford Center.
St. Thomas rallied to score three-unanswered goals in game one versus the Beavers to claim a 3-1 victory and then downed BSU 5-2 in game two to claim the programs first series sweep.
Makenna Deering, Clair Vekich and Shelby Breiland all scored goals for the Beavers in that series. For Deering, she scored her first collegiate goal in Friday’s 3-1 loss.
Senior Reece Hunt leads active skaters with six points (2g-4a) in six career games against St. Thomas while Makenna Deering (1g-3a) and Claire Vekich (3g-1a) follow with four points also in six games.
Junior Hannah Hogenson is the lone BSU netminder to see action between the pipes against UST and has posted a 1-2-0 record with a .863 save percentage and 3.33 goals against average in three starts.
Bemidji State will attempt to end its season-long 10-game losing streak this weekend. It is the longest losing streak for the Beavers since they lost a program record 14 consecutive games during the 2008-09 season.
BSU enters the weekend’s action eighth in the WCHA standings with three points and an 1-21-0 league record while the Tommies are seventh with eight points and a 2-19-1 league record.
Bemidji State is 3-9-0 when playing at home this season while the Tommies are 2-9-1 when playing on the road.
Bemidji State’s last win was Nov. 26, a 4-1 victory over Sacred Heart University at the Nutmeg Classic. BSU is just 1-16-0 in its last 17 games.
The Beavers traveled to St. Cloud, Minn., last weekend and fell in both games to the Huskies by scores of 0-2 and 1-2. Sophomore Claire Vekich scored the lone goal for the Beavers in the series, a power-play goal and her team-leading fifth of the season.
St. Thomas has lost its last six games after facing No. 3/4 Minnesota, No. 6 Minnesota Duluth and No. 8 Wisconsin the past three weekends.
The Tommies were out-scored 9-1 in last weekend’s series against the Badgers falling in game one 1-6 and then 0-3 in game two.
Bemidji State has had its issues scoring the puck this season and are last in the conference in goals for (31) as well as goals against (126).
BSU is seventh in the WCHA with a power-play percentage of .148 (9-of-61).
The Beavers also rank seventh with a penalty-kill percentage of .787 (70-of-89).
The Beavers are the second-most penalized team in the conference by averaging 8:45 penalty minute per game. They trail conference leader St. Cloud State who averages 9:49 penalty minutes per game.
Bemidji State is second in the WCHA in blocked shots with 421 but lead in blocked shots per game (15.04).
Bemidji State is led on offense by sophomore defenseman Adriana Van De Leest and senior forward Reece Hunt who have each totaled seven points this season.
Sophomore Claire Vekich leads the team with five goals and has two goals in the past three games.
The Beavers have seen 17 different goal scorers this season including nine with two or more goals.
Bemidji State is sixth in the conference with a team face-off win percentage of .500. Senior Paige Anderson leads the team and is ninth in the conference with 205 face-off wins and is .505 percent on the draw.
Junior Hannah Hogenson leads BSU netminders and has played in 85.8 percent of the teams minutes in goal this season. She is 3-21-1 with a 4.12 goals against average and .879 save percentage. She leads the conference and is sixth in DI with 718 saves.