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WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Beavers welcome No. 4 Buckeyes to Bemidji

Bemidji State’s Clair DeGeorge (26) looks to make a pass in a game against Ohio State last season on Nov. 17, 2017 at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State women’s hockey team put up a fight against a Minnesota squad ranked No. 2 nationally last weekend.

The Beavers fell by scores of 6-3 and 2-1, though they owned a 3-2 lead last Friday and had chances to score a tying goal Saturday. But they still couldn’t leave Minneapolis with a point in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings.

“Every weekend when you don’t come out with a point it’s pretty tough, especially with how hard we battled and competed,” said junior Jacqueline Kaasa. “We thought we deserved better. But at the end of the day, we didn’t pick up any points and that’s just the way it goes.”

“I thought Saturday was really as close to our identity as a team as we’ve played all year,” said head coach Jim Scanlan said. “We battled extremely hard (and) frustrated them. We didn’t give up a lot…. That was the frustrating thing, because I thought we really played well enough to come out with some points.”

BSU is still looking for its first win of the season, sitting at 0-9-1 overall and 0-5-1 in the WCHA.

Scoring has been an issue for the Beavers, though Friday’s three goals matched the most they’ve netted in a game all season. Kaasa said the Gopher series felt like a step in the right direction.

“Every game we’ve played this year we’ve battled and competed,” Kaasa said, “and there’s never been a game where we felt like we didn’t play well or we didn’t bring it.”

BSU will face another of the WCHA’s top teams this weekend when No. 4 Ohio State comes to town Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10. Both games are scheduled for 3:07 p.m.

The Buckeyes (9-3-0, 5-1-0 WCHA) swept St. Cloud State last week, winning both games by 3-2 scores. The program is also coming off its first NCAA Tournament and Frozen Four appearances last season.

Sophomore forward Emma Maltais leads OSU and the WCHA with 19 points (5g-14a), and is tied for second in NCAA Division I in the category. The reigning WCHA Rookie of the Year’s 14 assists also lead the country.

Kassidy Sauve is no longer in net for the Buckeyes after transfering to Clarkson. After missing the team’s first three games, freshman goalie Andrea Braendli has compiled a 6-3-0 record with a .940 save percentage and 1.89 goals against average, good for second and fifth in the league, respectively.

“We know we’re going to have to play extremely well because of our opponent and how good they are,” Scanlan said. “But again, that’s the challenge of this league every weekend.”

If the Beavers can bring the same intensity as they did last weekend, they have a shot at earning their first win, sophomore Clair DeGeorge said.

“We need to bring it like we did against Minnesota,” DeGeorge said. “We need to treat every game that we play like we’re playing the Minnesota girls, and if we’re able to do that, we can pull out on top.”

If you go

Who: BSU vs. Ohio State

Where: Sanford Center

When: 3:07 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Radio: Beaver Radio Network/1300 AM

Web: FloHockey.tv

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

(218) 333-9787
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