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Bemidji State women's hockey: Beavers end regular season at No. 2 Wisconsin

The Bemidji State women's hockey team ends the regular season this weekend with a two-game set at Wisconsin.

The Beavers play the Badgers today and Saturday in Madison. Both games are set for 2:07 p.m.

The weekend series ends the season the same way it began - against the Badgers.

The only difference this time around is that the Badgers are no longer ranked as the top team in the country.

But make no mistake, the currently No. 2 ranked Badgers remain as much a national championship contender as it was back in October when they swept the Beavers 4-0 and 9-0 at John Glas Fieldhouse.

Back when the two teams first met, Bemidji State was still learning how to play together as a group with so many new players on the roster.

The Beavers were not much of a match for the Badgers in that meeting or for any other team through the first half of the season.

But Bemidji State rallied after the new year and has played better hockey in the second half of the season.

The Beavers enter the week-end 6-21-5 overall (3-20-3 WCHA) and are coming off a shootout win and a loss in last weekend's series against St. Cloud State at The Glas.

Bemidji State is 5-6-3 in the second half of the season.

This weekend the Beavers will have the chance to see how much improvement has been made since the beginning of the year.

Wisconsin enters the week-end series 25-2-5 overall and 19-2-5 in the WCHA.

The Badgers are second place in the Association stand-ings, just one point behind first-place Minnesota.

Wisconsin still has a chance to win the regular season title, but needs wins this weekend and some help in Gophers losses.

If the Badgers can somehow move ahead of Minnesota this weekend, the Beavers will have to make a return trip to Madi-son next weekend for the first round of the WCHA playoffs.

Otherwise, the Beavers will travel to Minneapolis to face Minnesota in the first round.

Leading Wisconsin into this weekend's series is Hilary Knight (35 goals 21 assists-61 points) and goalie Jessie Vetter, who has 10 shutouts this season.

Knight is one of four Badgers who have more than 40 points this season.

Erin Cody is Bemidji State's top scorer with 12 goals and 12 assists for 24 points.

Erin Johnson (8-11-19 points), Annie Bauerfeld (7-10-17 points) and Montana Vichorek (3-10-13) are also offensive threats for the Beavers.

Vichorek is just the third defenseman in BSU history to reach double-digit assists in one season.

Zuzana Tomcikova will likely get the start in net this weekend for BSU. She has a .922 save percentage and 2.87 goals against average in 26 games played.