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WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Beavers create chances, but can’t convert in loss to SCSU

The shot distribution was 38-19 in favor of the Bemidji State women’s hockey team on Friday at the Sanford Center. The chance distribution was slanted even further.

012622.S.BP.BSUWHKY Paige Anderson.jpg
Bemidji State junior Paige Anderson (13) passes the puck in the second period against St. Cloud State on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI -- The shot distribution was 38-19 in favor of the Bemidji State women’s hockey team on Friday at the Sanford Center. The chance distribution was slanted even further.

Several BSU shots clanged off the pipes surrounding the netting. But unlike in horseshoes, hitting the metalwork isn’t sufficient to score any points in hockey.

The Beavers relearned that lesson in a rude way. Visiting St. Cloud State scored two of those 19 shots, while Bemidji State only got one. And despite the massive advantage in shots on goal, BSU lost 2-1.

“There were certainly some good things today just in terms of creating some shots, creating some chances,” Beavers head coach Jim Scanlan said. “The frustrating thing was we just didn't finish. We had multiple breakaways. We had multiple odd-man rushes. And we just weren't able to finish.”

012622.S.BP.BSUWHKY Gabbie Smith.jpg
Bemidji State sophomore Gabbie Smith (20) sets up the puck before scoring in the first period against St. Cloud State on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Bemidji State (7-13-3, 4-13-2 WCHA) did strike first, with Gabbie Smith scoring 10:04 into the first period off assists from Taylor Nelson and Kendra Fortin to give the Beavers an early 1-0 lead. But BSU couldn’t put any more in the net despite several excellent opportunities, and the Huskies (6-12-1, 3-11-1 WCHA) made it hurt by scoring one of their own at 15:57. SCSU’s goal by Olivia Cvar ensured the session would end in a 1-1 stalemate.

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“We had an opportunity to go from one to two,” Scanlan said. “After they tied it, we had an opportunity to go ahead. It's a different game if we can go from one to two, and two to three. But they come out of that tied 1-1, and I'm sure that they had to feel good about it.”

It got worse for Bemidji State in the second period, as Cvar scored again just two minutes in to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead. And then, despite the Beavers’ best efforts – and there were many of them – that was the last score by either team.

“I think in the second period, they outworked us completely,” fifth-year forward Lindsey Featherstone said. “And I think that's super unacceptable. I know that the whole team is really frustrated with our performance. I think that level of intensity from the first to the second just completely dropped off. And that's not OK, that's not the level that we want. That's not the standard here.”

012622.S.BP.BSUWHKY Lydia Passolt.jpg
Bemidji State senior Lydia Passolt (3) controls the puck in the first period against St. Cloud State on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Featherstone is uniquely qualified to speak on the standard at BSU. One week after setting the school’s consecutive games played record with 149 alongside fellow fifth-year Paige Beebe, the two broke the total games played record on Friday night, resetting the bar at 152 games.

“That's a testament to them and their conditioning, just the ability to play through adversity,” Scanlan said. “They're just champion people. And being a champion person is not something you've done, but it's who you are. … Certainly, playing a fifth year has allowed them to get where they're at, but at the same time, throughout their career, they've answered the bell. And they've been tremendous ambassadors for our program.”

Another fifth-year who marked a milestone was goaltender Kerigan Dowhy, who took the ice at the Sanford Center for the first time this season. Featherstone also had some insightful things to say about how Dowhy, her roommate, has worked her way back from the grade 2 partial MCL tear that sidelined her for most of this season .

“We live together this year, and so I saw a lot of her good days and a lot of her really bad, hard days with her injury,” Featherstone said. “And she is just an absolute warrior. She battled back, and she was in the rink as long as we were every single day. … This is what she came back for. She took a fifth year for this. And she's an unbelievable player, unbelievable person and I could not be more proud of her.”

Dowhy, Featherstone and the Beavers will have one more opportunity to knock off the Huskies at 2:01 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Sanford Center.

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St. Cloud State 2, Bemidji State 1

SCSU 1 1 0 -- 2

BSU 1 0 0 -- 1

First period -- 1, BSU GOAL, Smith (Nelson, Fortin), 10:04; 2, SCSU GOAL, Cvar (Hall), 15:57.

Second period -- 3, SCSU GOAL, Cvar (Hall), 2:00.

Third period -- No scoring.

Saves -- Dowhy (BSU) 17; Polusny (SCSU) 37.

012622.S.BP.BSUWHKY Graysen Myers.jpg
Bemidji State senior Graysen Myers (23) takes control of the puck in the second period against St. Cloud State on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
012622.S.BP.BSUWHKY Makenna Deering.jpg
Bemidji State freshman Makenna Deering (2) shoots the puck in the first period against St. Cloud State on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
012622.S.BP.BSUWHKY Taylor Nelson.jpg
Bemidji State sophomore Taylor Nelson (8) shoots the puck in the first period against St. Cloud State on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
012622.S.BP.BSUWHKY Reece Hunt.jpg
Bemidji State junior Reece Hunt (29) makes a drive with the puck in the first period against St. Cloud State on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
012622.S.BP.BSUWHKY Alyssa Watkins.jpg
Bemidji State freshman Alyssa Watkins (16) fights for the puck in the first period against St. Cloud State on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Christian Babcock is a sports reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer. He trekked to Bemidji from his hometown of Campbell, Calif., after graduating from the Cronkite School at Arizona State University in 2021. Follow him on Twitter at @CB_Journalist for updates on the Lumberjacks and Beavers or to suggest your favorite local restaurant.
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