Beaver Fever Friday – Ana Davis – Womens Hockey

Beavers continue homestand by hosting Tommies at Sanford Center
BSU Women’s Hockey looks to end five-game losing skid with WCHA series against St. Thomas

The Bemidji State University Women’s Hockey team continues a four-game homestand this weekend and hosts University of St. Thomas at Sanford Center this weekend.

The Beavers (3-20-1, 2-16-0 WCHA) host the Tommies (8-17-0, 2-16-0 WCHA) for a two-game Western Collegiate Hockey Association series looking to end a five-game skid game. The series begins Friday night (Jan. 26) at 6:01 p.m., with game two following Saturday at 3:01 p.m.

Bemidji State continues a four-game home stand this weekend hosting St. Thomas for its second series versus the Tommies.

Just three home series remain for the Beavers in the 2023-24 season scheduled for Feb. 9-10 and Feb. 23-24 for the regular season finale.

The Beavers are coming off a hard-fought series with then fourth-ranked University of Minnesota last weekend at Sanford Center.

BSU fell 2-0 in game one against the Gophers then fell 3-1 in game two despite holding a 1-0 lead after the first period.

Freshman goaltender Eva Filippova kept the Beavers within striking distance of an upset by turning aside 67 of the 72 shots she faced for a .931 save percentage.

Senior defender Khloe Lund scored the lone goal for the Beavers in the series and was named the WCHA Defender of the Week after leading the team in goals (1), shots on goal (7) and blocks (8).

It is the second time this season and her career that the Thief River Falls, Minn., native earned a league weekly award.

The Beavers are tied with St. Thomas for seventh in the WCHA standings with each team totaling six points entering the weekend’s action.

With 10 games remaining on the league schedule, the highest the Beavers can finish in the league standings is fourth but a sixth, seventh or eight seed is more likely.

Bemidji State and St. Thomas met earlier this season in Mendota Heights before the Holiday break on Dec. 8-9.

After suffering a 4-2 loss in game one, the Beavers bounced back in game two with a 4-0 shutout victory.

The shutout victory was the first for the Beavers since Jan. 29, 2022 and snapped a 36-game winless streak on the road.

Filippova led the Beavers in the game collecting her first collegiate shutout after making 35 saves while the Beavers’ offense produced the most goals of the season (4).

Senior Taylor Nelson led BSU scoring two goals in the series with Kayla Santl (1g-1a) and Riley Reeves also contributing tow points.

The all-time series has been split down the middle between the Beavers and Tommies with each team earning five wins in 10 meetings.

St. Thomas has won three of the last five meetings but Bemidji State has won two of the last three.

When hosting the Tommies, the Beavers are 3-1-0.

Head coach Jim Scanlan is 5-5-0 when coaching against St. Thomas in his 10 seasons.

The Beavers have three home series and two road series remaining on 2023-24 regular season.

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

The three are the top three leading scorers on the team and have combined for 16 of the team’s 28 goals (.571).

Nelson paces the team with 11 points with six goals and five assists through 24 games.

She is followed by freshman Hailey Armstrong who leads the team with nine goals and has totaled 10 points.

She is tied for 15th in the WCHA in goals and her five goals in conference play is tied for 21st.

Senior Gabbie Smith is tied with Armstrong with 10 points and paces the team with nine assists.

She collected her team-leading ninth assist of the season last weekend snapping a four-game scoring drought.

Bemidji State leads the nation with 449 blocked shots and is led by national leader Riley Reeves (66).

Senior Khloe Lund paces the Beavers blueline with five points (2g-3a) and is fifth in the nation with 53 blocked shots.

She is followed by junior Makenna Deering and Reeves who have totaled four points apiece.

In net Filippova and junior Abbie Thompson have split time with each appearing in 14 games.

However, Filippova has taken the reigns of the starter’s crease starting seven of the last nine games.

Since allowing five goals on 15 shots at Minnesota on Dec. 2, Filippova has bounced back to post a .938 save percentage and 2.37 goals against average over the last seven games.

Filippova is 3-7-0 on the season and has posted a 3.05 GAA and .916 save percentage.

Thompson leads the WCHA with 405 saves and has posted a .877 save percentage along with a 4.73 goals against average but has made one start over the last seven games.

Filippova boasts the best save percentage (.916) by a freshman at BSU since Brittni Mowat (.918) in 2013-14 (minimum 500 minutes played).

Filippova currently owns the third-best save percentage by a freshman goaltender at BSU trailing Beaver greats Brittni Mowat (.918) and Zuzana Tomcikova (.917).

2023-24 is the 26th season of Bemidji State Women’s Hockey. In 26 seasons, the Beavers are 274-532-79 (.356).