Beaver Fever Friday – Kayla Santl – Womens Hockey

Beavers return to action by hosting Minnesota State at Sanford Center

BSU Women’s Hockey comes off bye week looking for first wins of 2023-24

The Bemidji State University Women’s Hockey team returns from its bye week this weekend and ends its six-game homestand by hosting Minnesota State University, Mankato at Sanford Center.

The Beavers (0-11-1, 0-8-0 WCHA) host the Mavericks (2-9-0 0-8-0 WCHA) for a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series beginning Friday, Nov. 17 at 6:01 p.m., and concluding Saturday at 3:01 p.m.

Each game of the series will be streamed online at B1G+ with play-by-play provided the Beaver Radio Network. A Beaver Radio Network broadcast will also be available for each game on the radio dial at 94.3 FM or online at

The Beavers close out a six-game homestand this weekend and looks for their first wins of the season before a week off for Thanksgiving break.

Bemidji State snaps a run of four consecutive opponents ranked nationally by facing the unranked Mavericks. The Mavericks opened the season receiving votes in the national polls but have fallen out after a nine-game losing stretch.

Five of the eight member teams in the WCHA are ranked in the national top-15 polls.

Bemidji State last played on Nov. 3-4 and fell twice to No. 2 Ohio State University at Sanford Center.

Bemidji State is fueled by its top line of Taylor Nelson, Gabbie Smith and Hailey Armstrong.

The three have combined for 15 of the team’s 28 points this season and eight of the team’s 10 goals.

However, the line has come across a scoring drought and has not produced a goal in three games (Oct. 21).

Smith (1g-3a) center’s the line with Nelson on the left and Armstrong on the right. Nelson leads the team with six points off two goals and four assists while Armstrong follows with five points off five goals to lead the team in goal scoring.

Smith has taken 41 percent of the team’s face-offs and is third in the WCHA with 254 total face-offs. She has won 109 of those draws for a 42.9 win percentage which ranks 11th in the conference.

Armstrong’s five goals pace the team and is tied for 15th in the WCHA.

Junior Makenna Deering powers the Beavers’ blueline leading the group with three points off three assists and is tied for ninth in the league with 19 blocked shots.

Freshman Riley Reeves leads the team with 30 blocked shots which is the most in the WCHA and tied for fifth in Division I.

Junior Abbie Thompson has been the workhorse in between the pipes for the Beavers starting nine of the Beavers’ 12 games this season.

She has stopped the most shots in the WCHA (290) and 14th in Division I.

The Forest Lake, Minn., native has posted a 4.20 goals against average and .890 save percentage.

Minnesota State travels to Bemidji looking to snap a nine-game losing streak and has had eight days off from its last competition (Nov. 9) in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game.

The two teams will meet for the 102nd and 103rd meetings in the all-time series this weekend and Bemidji State holds the all-time series record at 46-40-15.

However, the Mavericks have won the last three meetings and went 3-1-0 in last year’s season series.

Bemidji State is 23-17-10 when hosting the Mavericks.

Head coach Jim Scanlan is 19-17-3 in 10 seasons coaching against the Buckeyes.

2023-24 is the 26th season of Bemidji State Women’s Hockey. In 26 seasons, the Beavers are 271-523-79 (.360).

Head coach Jim Scanlan is in his 10th season at the helm of the Bemidji State Women’s Hockey program. He is 118-183-22 (.413) in his coaching career. He is one of 22 head coaches in Division I Women’s Hockey with 100 career victories and is sixth among active WCHA coaches in victories.