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WOMEN'S HOCKEY: BSU returns from break rejuvenated, ready to improve

After a winless December, the Bemidji State women’s hockey team was glad for its long holiday break. It was much-needed after consecutive series sweeps at the Sanford Center – against top-ranked Minnesota and against Minnesota-Duluth.

“We had a longer break than we normally do,” said BSU senior forward Emily Erickson. “It was nice to go home and spend some time with hockey but it gave us time to get in the mood for hockey. Now we’re all back and fresh and ready to go.”

The Beavers (3-13-2, 2-11-1 WCHA) travel to St. Cloud State this weekend hoping to avenge the Huskies’ early-season sweep.

“We’re just remembering that they took some crucial points away from us in our home building,” Erickson said. “We want to do the same to them when we go down there now and come out on top.”

The Huskies (7-12-1, 3-11-0) came to the Sanford Center Oct. 12-13 and dominated the Beavers, winning 3-1 and 1-0.

Those two wins in Bemidji represent two of St. Cloud’s three conference wins – the Huskies also beat Minnesota State Mankato to close out the first half of the season.

With just two points separating teams from the WCHA standings, the Beavers very well could steal some points from the Huskies and leapfrog over them for seventh place.

They just need to do what’s eluded them so far this season – score goals.

BSU has scored just 29 goals on the season and has allowed 69 – only Colgate, Union, Yale and Brown have scored fewer goals than the Beavers.

There are bright spots for BSU. In the past four games – all losses – all four of the Beavers’ goals came from underclassmen.

Sophomore Kristin Huber and Natasha Kostenko and freshmen Ivana Bilic and Megan Lushenko scored, while freshman Hanna Moher and sophomore Alex Citrowske also tallied assists.

Still, only seniors Sadie Lundquist and Mackenzie Thurston have reached double digits in points so far for the Beavers, and Erickson is right on the cusp with nine points.

“We gotta get our scoring up,” Erickson said. “We think that’s going to happen, we just have to raise our battle level and raise our passion a little bit. We have a hard-working team, and we have to keep that up for three periods of hockey.”

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 and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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