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WOMEN'S HOCKEY: BSU looks to rebound from UND series

Bemidji State goaltender Jessica Havel, left, stands her ground as BSU’s Madison Hutchinson, right, and North Dakota’s Becca Kohler tussle for the puck during last weekend’s series at the Sanford Center. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI — After a disappointing series against No. 4-ranked North Dakota in which they were outscored 11-3 and outshot 74-41, the Bemidji State women’s hockey game would rather put that series sweep behind them.

“I told myself I wasn’t going to think about after Saturday night,” BSU assistant coach Amber Fryklund joked Tuesday. “It wasn’t the greatest weekend for us. But we had some good things we did on Saturday. We had some good opportunities on offense. So we have to find the positives in that and build on that this weekend.”

The Beavers (3-6-1, 0-4-0 WCHA) will try and regroup this weekend when they travel to Columbus, Ohio, for their first Western Collegiate Hockey Association series on the road. The Beavers take on the Ohio State Buckeyes (3-3-1, 2-3-1) at 6:07 p.m. today and 3:07 p.m. Saturday at the OSU Ice Rink.

The Beavers’ last WCHA win came against the Buckeyes on Feb. 1, 2013, in Bemidji.

“They’re going to be another tough team for us,” Fryklund said of OSU, who received votes in this week’s polls. “We started out with No. 1 (Minnesota), then No. 4 (North Dakota) and now (No. 12). So it’s definitely not an easy stretch for us but every weekend we know we’re coming into something that’s going to be a fight.”

After traveling to Lindenwood Sept 27-28, the Beavers have been at home for more than a month. A road trip may do the struggling Beavers good.

“It’s been kind of a weird schedule as far as that goes but it’ll be nice to get on the road and get away for a little bit,” Fryklund said. “We typically play pretty well on the road so we’re looking forward to it.”

OSU also comes into this weekend’s series looking for a win, as the Buckeyes were swept on the road at No. 2 Wisconsin.

The Buckeyes don’t have any one player on the team with eye-popping numbers but can spread the scoring around.

Kari Schmitt leads the team with four goals while Taylor Kuehl and Kendall Curtis have three and Sara Schmitt and Claudia Kepler two.

Hanna Moher leads the Beavers with four. Five other Beavers have two.

In goal, Chelsea Knapp has logged the majority of the minutes for OSU, playing in six of their even games. She has a 3.12 goals against average and a .898 save percentage.

For BSU, senior Jess Havel finally returned from her injury this past weekend. She came in to relieve freshman Brittni Mowat in Friday’s game and started in Saturday’s game.

She’s still working her way back from the injury but Frylkund said she was encouraged by what she saw from Havel.

“Jess did really well,” Frylkund said. “She got an opportunity to play on Friday night and she got the start on Saturday. I think maybe she got a little tired but she made some great saves so we’re excited to see her back.”

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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