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WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Beavers looking for more intensity as they face Lindenwood again

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WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Beavers looking for more intensity as they face Lindenwood again
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

BEMIDJI — Just three short weeks after traveling to Missouri to take on Lindenwood in their season opener, the Bemidji State women’s hockey team returns the favor this weekend, hosting the Lions in their final weekend of nonconference action.

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The Beavers (1-2-1) host the Lions (0-5-1) at 2:07 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Sanford Center.

BSU head coach Steve Sertich is looking for more intensity from the Beavers after a pair of losses last weekend against Robert Morris.

“I think we were all disappointed,” Sertich said. “We expected a better weekend. Give credit to Robert Morris; some of their top players dominated the game at times.

“I just don’t think we played hard consistently. And you can’t play this game without playing hard.”

The Beavers lost Friday’s game 2-1 before being shut out 3-0 in Saturday’s game.

Tess Dusik scored the lone goal for BSU in the waning seconds of Friday night’s game. Other than that, scoring was hard to come by, even despite BSU getting eight power play chances over the weekend.

The Beavers went 0-for-5 Friday and 0-for-3 Saturday.

“We’re struggling scoring a little bit and our power play hasn’t been great,” Sertich said. “We made some mental mistakes, took ourselves out of three power plays by taking a few dumb penalties. So there’s some mental things we have to work on.”

Last time out against Lindenwood the Beavers scored twice on the power play, going 2-for-3 in a 3-2 win Sept. 27.

The penalty kill was improved against Robert Morris, as the Beavers held the Colonials goalless in nine attempts on the man-advantage.

“Anytime you can go from where we were against Lindenwood to Robert Morris and shutting them down, is awesome,” Sertich said. Lindenwood scored all three of their goals against BSU during that weekend on the power play.

“(Against Robert Morris) our kids did a good job stopping and starting and getting sticks on the ice, blocked a few shots. On the flip side our power play has to be a bit better.”

Since forcing the tie with the Beavers Saturday, Sept. 28, the Lions have lost four straight games. They gave up 21 goals in four games against North Dakota and Minnesota State.

Sertich said he hopes his team can play much better this week against the struggling Lindenwood squad — especially considering the Beavers are playing Minnesota and North Dakota in the coming weeks.

“We know their lineup, obviously, but I’m more concerned that we’re better this weekend than we were last weekend,” he said. “I just want to see some improvement. But most of all I want to see the intensity. I want to see our team be more intense the whole weekend.”

Mowat getting comfortable

Since being thrust into the net during the first Lindenwood series, freshman goaltender Brittini Mowat is getting more comfortable with the speed of the college game.

“It’s really been good,” she said. “Practice has prepared me a lot for the games. Lindenwood was a little slower, but Robert Morris came out a little faster so it was a little harder to get used to their pace. But I think I’ll get used to it pretty fast.”

With senior Jess Havel still out for another few weeks, Mowat is the go-to goalie for the Beavers for the foreseeable future.

Mowat has played 243 minutes, 17 seconds, in net and has a save percentage of .917 and a goals against average of 1.97. Not bad for a freshman who hadn’t played a game in college before September.

“I still have a lot of learning to do,” she said. “Everything is so different from what I’m used to in high school. Everyone is just bigger and there’s more traffic in front of the net. I’ve played in big games but everything is just more intense here.”

This weekend will be another building block for the Glenboro, Manitoba, native. She wants all the experience she can get before No. 1 Minnesota comes to town next weekend.

“I think it’s going to be good for us, since we’ve seen (Lindenwood) before,” she said. “We need a few wins here considering what we’ve got coming up. We need to build off of this.”

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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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