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WOMEN'S HOCKEY: BSU looks to move on from wild weekend in Ohio

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BEMIDJI — Last Friday’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association game between Bemidji State and Ohio State has already gone down in history for being the most-penalized women’s college hockey game ever.

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The penalty minutes added up quickly after the Beavers and Buckeyes got into a bench-clearing brawl as the final buzzer sounded on BSU’s 3-2 win Friday. Nineteen players were disqualified once referees sorting everything out — nine Beavers and 10 Buckeyes.

Those disqualifications carried over to Saturday’s game, yielding some even more impressive math for Bemidji State: Two lines, two defensive pairings, 65 minutes, plus a shootout equaled a hard-fought two points for the Beavers.

“It was tiring but it was fun,” said BSU senior captain Allie Duellman, who scored her second goal of the season in the game for BSU. “I think it brought our team closer together. Us 10 girls wanted to rally together and get those three points. We fell a little short but we still got two so it was a successful weekend.”

The Beavers (4-6-2, 1-4-1 WCHA) return home this weekend hoping to capitalize off some of that momentum from their wild trip to Ohio. BSU hosts Minnesota State Mankato (3-7-0, 0-6-0 WCHA) Friday and Saturday afternoon at the Sanford Center.

“We’re just going to move on as a team,” Duellman said. “We need to keep playing Beaver hockey, play hard and come into the Mankato series and try to get six points.

The Beavers have five points in the league table and are just ahead of the Mavericks, who are still winless in conference play.

“We need all the points we can before Christmas break,” Duellman said. ‘We want to put ourselves in the best possible position for the playoffs. Points now matter at the end of the year.”

The Beavers had struggled to get results against league leaders Minnesota and North Dakota but Ohio State is also a strong team so head coach Steve Sertich is encouraged by how the team handled itself against one that has been ranked this season.

“It was fun to get points like that on the road like that, it’s never easy,” he said. “Ohio State has a good hockey team. Friday night, we played really well.

“Saturday night was an unusual situation, 10 on 10, but those kids sucked it up and got the two extra points so it was a successful weekend for us.”

Freshman goaltender Brittni Mowat made 81 saves for the Beavers to help them escape with the five points, including a career-high 50 Saturday night.

“She was just unbelievable,” Duellman said of the Beaver goaltender. “Any shot that came to her she really just cleared her rebounds, kept them covered and did a good job lining up with the shooters. She was just unbelievable.”

BSU’s special teams play was also strong. On Friday the Beavers scored a power play goal (from Hanna Moher) and a shorthanded goal (a 3-on-5 tally scored by Tess Dusik) and held OSU scoreless on five power play chances; on Saturday Duellman’s goal came on the power play and the BSU penalty kill unit again did its job.and held OSU to 0-for-4.

This weekend the Mavericks come into the Sanford Center struggling. Through six conference games they’ve been outscored 28-5. However, Sertich said he thinks they’ll give the Beavers a good battle.

“I dont think we can be fooled by MSU’s record,” he said. ‘They’ve played a few tough teams in the WCHA. They’re going to be a good hockey team. They have speed, depth from top-to-bottom and their goaltender has been outstanding. Their coaches do a really good job with it so we’ll expect a battle.”

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Jack Hittinger
Jack Hittinger is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer, focusing on Bemidji State but also covering area high schools. 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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