WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Despite five-point weekend, Bemidji State helps set penalty minute record
The Bemidji State women’s hockey team has made its way into the all-time NCAA record books.
Unfortunately it’s not the kind of record head coach Steve Sertich and the Beavers would like to be associated with.
Last Friday during their Western Collegiate Hockey Association game at Ohio State, the Beavers and the Buckeyes combined for 49 penalties and 318 total penalty minutes following BSU’s 3-2 win in Columbus.
Forty-one of those penalties occurred after the final buzzer sounded and resulted in 19 game disqualifications — nine for the Beavers and 10 for the Buckeyes.
The 318 penalty minutes shattered the NCAA record for combined penalty minutes in a game, men or women, at the Division I or Division III level.
The previous record was 268, which occurred in a men’s game between Boston University and Maine on Jan. 24, 2004.
The previous women’s record? Just 83 total penalty minutes, set by Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth on Dec. 14, 2003.
The Bemidji State men still hold the Division III record for penalty minutes in a game (266), set Nov. 26, 1993 against Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
The cause of the fighting in Friday’s game is unknown, but video from the game showed a tussle for the puck after the horn sounded followed by both benches emptying.
The disqualifications Friday resulted in both teams being shorthanded Friday — the Beavers and Buckeyes were limited to 10 players a side, meaning they could dress just two lines and two defensive pairings.
Sertich wouldn’t comment on the cause of the fighting other than to say he was disappointed that the penalties overshadowed a great game for the Beavers.
“It’s a disappointing way to end a hockey game, and in college athletics in general,” Sertich said. “We’ve tried to strive in the last three, four years to be the least penalized team in the league and it’s kind of our mantra to stay out of the box. So it was a tough way to end.
“And the hardest part was it overshadowed a great game… but it happened and we have to take our responsibility for it.”
The game saw a solid power play and penalty kill for the Beavers — who scored a shorthanded, 3-on-5 goal in the second period off the stick of Tess Dusik. Bemidji scored twice more in the 3-2 win.
Freshman Brittini Mowat made 31 saves in the win — she went on to make 50 saves in Saturday’s game, a 2-2 tie that ended with BSU getting the shootout victory.
It does not appear as though any additional penalties will be handed down to the Beavers, They return to the Sanford Center this weekend for another WCHA series against Minnesota State Mankato Friday and Saturday afternoon.