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Bemidji State forward Alex Citrowske sets up in front of Minnesota goaltender Amanda Leveille during Saturday night’s WCHA game at the Sanford Center. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

WOMEN'S HOCKEY: After sweep at hands of Minnesota, BSU wants points vs. UND

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BEMIDJI — Steve Sertich is tired of moral victories.

His Bemidji State women’s hockey team played well enough to defeat top-ranked Minnesota Saturday afternoon at the Sanford Center — tying the game with 16 minutes to go — until the Gophers scored the game-winner later in the period and went on to win 4-3.

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It was a good series for BSU (3-4-1, 0-2-0 WCHA) despite getting swept but Sertich and the rest of the Beavers would prefer to stop having to use the qualifier “despite.”

“I think we felt good coming out of that (series against Minnesota),” Sertich said. “But we’ve probably had enough moral victories, since you don’t get any points out of that. We need to somehow get some points this weekend.”

“I was very proud with the way we played,” senior forward Tess Dusik added. “If we can compete like we did Saturday everybody else in the conference will be a good contestant for us.”

The Beavers host No. 4 North Dakota this weekend (2:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday) in another matchup against a top-five team. UND (6-1-1, 4-1-1 WCHA) is fresh off a sweep of St. Cloud State.

UND’s only regulation loss this season was a 2-1 decision against Ohio State. They’ve scored 32 goals already — just one fewer than the Gophers.

Sertich said UND’s speed sets them apart from most of BSU’s other opponents — the Gophers included.

“I think UND might have more speed (than Minnesota), if that’s even possible,” he said. “Michelle Karvinen is maybe the fastest forward in the league and they have a couple others that can fly too. They’re going to present some problems for us with what they bring up front. They’re a very offensive team. They’ll be tough to defend against.”

Karvinen leads UND with 12 points (7g, 5a) in eight games. UND has two other players (Josefine Jakobsen and Susanna Tapani) in double figure points with 11; Meghan Dufault has seven points.

Dusik said the Beavers would have to play a similar kind of defensive game that they did against the Gophers to try and prevent them from scoring.

“We talked about some key players… Karvinen, Dufault, Jakobsen,” she said. “So we need to keep an eye on those guys, limit them and keep them out of the slot.”

UND doesn’t have the superstar Lamoureux at their disposal this year but Sertich said what they do have still packs a punch.

“Obviously it was fun for them to build a team around the Lamoroeaux twins, and what they have to build on from last year is awfully good,” he said. “They have four or five Europeans that are Olympians and a couple outstanding freshmen Canadian kids. They do a nice job recruiting.

“They have lots of talent. Two excellent lines, two good power plays. Their offensive output is pretty awesome.”

For the Beavers, they’ve been able to find more offense of late.

This weekend all three BSU goals were scored by underclassmen (Hanna Moher, Lauren Miller and Janessa Philipczyk). Moher leads the team with four goals and six points.

“We see progress,” Sertich said. “We’re a better team than we were before. The confidence is there. To score three goals against Minnesota was pretty good on our part since we haven’t scored that much prior to that.”

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Jack Hittinger
Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at http://thebeaverblog.areavoices.com/ and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.
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