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Bemidji State women's hockey: Surging Beavers take on Minnesota-Duluth

The Bemidji State women's hockey team looks to end the first half of the season on a strong note this weekend with a two-game series at No. 5 Minnesota-Duluth.

The Beavers are in the middle of a turnaround season after finishing last in the WCHA last season.

Bemidji State enters the weekend 6-10-2 overall and 5-5-2-2 in WCHA play. The Beavers had just six wins all of last season.

This weekend's series against the Bulldogs will tell much about the Beavers' progress.

Bemidji State currently sits fourth in the WCHA standings with 14 points, just six points behind first-place Minnesota and four points behind second place Minnesota-Duluth (12-7-1 overall, 8-5-1-1 WCHA).

A split or a sweep would close that gap and position the Beavers nicely for the second half of the season.

Minnesota-Duluth enjoyed a strong November, winning six of its eight games. UMD enters the weekend on a three-game winning streak after sweeping Boston College on the road last week.

Bemidji State started the season out slow by winning only one of the first eight games. But that win was big: a 1-0 victory over then No. 4 ranked Wisconsin.

The Beavers have gone 4-4-1 and have won four of the last seven in regulation or overtime.

Bemidji State played a home-and-home series last weekend with North Dakota and defeated the Fighting Sioux 3-0 in Grand Forks and 3-2 in overtime at John Glas Fieldhouse.

BSU forward Erin Cody was named the WCHA offensive player of the week after scoring three goals in the series. She scored the overtime winner last Sunday night.

She now leads BSU in scoring this season with eight goals and eight assists for 16 points.

Cody and Johnson each have eight goals to lead the team in goal scoring.

The second leading scorers on the team are Annie Bauerfeld and Franny Dorr - each have just three goals on the season.

To be effective against the Bulldogs, the Beavers cannot rely on Cody and Johnson alone.

The Beavers will also need a strong performance in net from Zuzana Tomcikova, who has six wins on the year. She has a goals against average of 2.14 and a save percentage of .933 entering this weekend's series.