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Bemidji State women's hockey sign four during early signing period

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The Bemidji Sate University women's hockey team announced Wednesday the signing of Allie Duellman (Maplewood), Alexandrea Elhert (Portage, Wis.), Emily McKnight (Roland, Manitoba) and Danielle Williams (Waconia) to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period.

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Duellman, Elhert, McKnight, and Williams will join the BSU squad for the 2010-2011 season.

"We feel the addition of these four young players to the good core of players we have will continue to move the Bemidji State Women's Hockey program in the right direction," said head coach Steve Sertich. "We also hope to add two or three more players in this class."

Duellman, a defenseman, has played for Roseville since her eighth grade season in 2005-06, where she played under coach Sertich.

In 2008-09 she played in 28 games and finished with five goals and 20 assists. She helped lead her team to a 25-2-1 overall record and a conference championship. She was named All-Conference and to the 2009 All-State Team.

"I chose Bemidji State because I wanted to be apart of a growing program, with a great coaching staff that will help me achieve my full potential," Duellman said. "When I went on my visit it was the perfect fit for me, both academically and athletically. I am really excited about my future as a Beaver."

Elhert, a defenseman, has played for the Madison Capitals AAA association for nine years. She was the captain of her team for six of those nine years. Before playing with the Capitals she played boys hockey and started the game when she was in second grade.

Sertich is excited for the speed element she will bring to the BSU blue line.

"Bemidji State University had the combination of a home town atmosphere, great academics, and also the athletic program I was looking for," said Elhert. "The University and hockey program are something special and I am honored to have the opportunity to be apart of it.

McKnight, a forward, played last year with the Balmoral Hall School Prep Team in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She helped lead her team to a second-place finish in the Junior Women's Hockey League (JWHL). She was selected to play for the JWHL All-Star team in 2008-09.

In addition to Balmoral Hall School, McKnight played nine years of boys' hockey and has played in girls' AAA hockey for seven years.

Sertich said McKnight will be an asset on the team as a two-way player.

"I chose to come to Bemidji State because of the amazing coaching staff, the passionate team, the academics and it's proximity to home," McKnight said. "I'm honored to be given this opportunity and to be part of the team that gets to use a new arena for the very first time. I'm very excited about this and can't wait for it to start."

Wiliams, a defenseman, started playing for the Minnesota Thoroughbreds in her junior year and was named captain for the 2009-10 season.

Prior to playing for the Thoroughbreds she played two years with the Chaska High School girls' hockey team where she was the leading scorer for both years. In her sophomore year she was named all-conference and MVP. She also attended the USA Hockey National Development Camp in 2008 and 2009.

Sertich said Williams was one of BSU's earliest commitments and feels she will bring size and energy to the group of developing defensemen.

"I knew Bemidji State was the right choice for me as soon as I stepped foot on campus, it felt like home," Williams said. "I love how the coaches are passionate about hockey and how hard the players work to succeed. I know BSU will help me reach my potential both on and off the ice, which will help me realize my future dreams."

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