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The challenge for both Bemidji State basketball teams today is similar: Go on the road, as an eight-seed, and knock off the top team in the conference — one who also happens to be nationally ranked. The BSU men head to No. 2 Augustana in Sioux Falls, S.D., for its first-round NSIC tournament game today, while the women travel to Wayne, Neb., and attempt to defeat No. 18 Wayne State. Sounds simple, right? For men’s head coach Mike Boschee, his Beavers are in an unusual position after hosting first-round playoff games for the past three seasons.
As expected, Red Lake and Cass Lake-Bena took the top two seeds in the Sub-Section 8A East boys basketball tournament, which begins this week. Red Lake (19-5) is the defending Section 8A champion and is looking to return to the state basketball tournament for the second straight season. As the top seed the Warriors have an opening-round bye and on Thursday will play the winner of today’s 7 p.m. play-in game against No. 8 Laporte (9-16) and No. 9 Lake of the Woods (4-19). The Warriors will play the winner at 6 p.m. Thursday at Bemidji State. Cass Lake-Bena (21-5) received the No. 2 seed.
BEMIDJI -- With six power play chances in the first 40 minutes of Saturday night's game, the Bemidji State men's hockey team was getting frustrated: Six opportunities and no goals. Gerry Fitzgerald's celebration after finally scoring on his team's seventh try was telling. "We had a lot and it was frustrating not scoring," Fitzgerald said. "But we had good puck movement and we knew if we just kept shooting the puck we would get one eventually.
BEMIDJI -- It felt a little like "deja vu" for the Bemidji State women's hockey team Saturday. Like Friday night's game at the Sanford Center -- a 3-2 Minnesota win -- the Beavers scored first Saturday. And also like Friday's game, the Gophers took a second-period lead and forced the Beavers to play catch-up. The only difference Saturday was the scoreline. The Beavers once again battled back -- this time from a 3-1 deficit -- to make the game interesting, but the Gophers proved to be too much and won 4-2 in the regular-season finale for both teams. "It was kind of like deja vu," said BSU
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State men’s hockey team needed a boost Saturday night, down 2-1 going into the second period. The Beavers had given up two goals in the final five minutes of the first period to an Alaska Anchorage team that hadn’t played with a lead since mid-January. Kyle Bauman gave the Beavers the lift they needed.
BEMIDJI -- Down 2-1 to No. 2 Minnesota heading into the final period, the Bemidji State women’s hockey team needed a goal to keep its chances alive to host a WCHA playoff series. Kaitlyn Tougas gave them a chance. With 14 minutes to play, Tougas netted the equalizer on Golden Gophers’ goalie Amanda Leveille, going high over the Minnesota netminder’s shoulder on a 2-on-1 to knot the game up at 2-2.
BEMIDJI — After failing to win a true road game since the start of the season, the Bemidji State men’s hockey team finally did it last weekend was a major sigh of relief. The Beavers sweep at Northern Michigan might have been the most significant two wins all season for a BSU team that has struggled to win on its opponents’ home ice. “That was huge,” BSU forward Charlie O’Connor said. “It one of the biggest weekends for most of the guys here as as a Beaver.” Not only did BSU’s sweep of Northern Michigan in Marquette give BSU its first two road wins since Oct.
BEMIDJI — Jim Scanlan didn’t have to do the math to find out exactly which playoff scenarios could happen to the Bemidji State women’s hockey team. Someone at the Western Collegiate Hockey Association offices did it for him. Still, all the possibilities made his head spin. With just two games left in the regular season, the Beavers could still finish anywhere from third to sixth in the final WCHA standings. “I started looking at that and getting confused and sick looking at all the numbers,” the BSU head coach joked Tuesday. “So I just thought, to heck with it.
BEMIDJI — Two games remain in the Bemidji State women’s basketball team’s regular season. And although the Beavers (6-19, 3-17 NSIC) already know their seed and opponent for the first round of Wednesday’s NSIC conference tournament game (they’re the No. 8 seed and will travel to Wayne State), BSU hopes to use their final two home games this weekend to be prepared for one of the country’s top teams. BSU hosts MSU Moorhead (14-10, 13-7 NSIC) at 6 p.m. today and Northern State (20-6, 14-6 NSIC) at 4 p.m.
BEMIDJI — Christian Pekarek wasn’t even expecting to play at all for the Bemidji State men’s basketball team this season. Although the 6-foot-1 guard had starred at Upsala High School as the Cardinals’ all-time leading scorer and assists leader, he knew the transition to college basketball would take a while and was prepared to redshirt, sitting out a year to learn from some older players. Except it didn’t work out that way. On a team rife with injuries, head coach Mike Boschee needed some depth to help the Beavers get through the season.