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WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Bemidji State adds on, secures split against St. Cloud State

On Friday afternoon, Bemidji State women’s hockey coach Jim Scanlan stressed the importance of adding on after the Beavers let a one-goal lead slip away in a 2-1 loss to St. Cloud State.

012622.S.BP.BSUWHKY Hannah Hogenson
Bemidji State goaltender Hannah Hogenson (1) deflects the puck against St. Cloud State on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Christian Babcock / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI -- On Friday afternoon, Bemidji State women’s hockey coach Jim Scanlan stressed the importance of adding on after the Beavers let a one-goal lead slip away in a 2-1 loss to St. Cloud State.

BSU listened and doubled the difference on Saturday, building the lead from one goal in the first period to two goals in the second. It turned out to be enough, as Bemidji State held on despite a Huskies score in the third to win 2-1.

“It made all the difference, right?” Scanlan said. “That was the winning goal.”

Paige Beebe gave the Beavers (8-13-3, 5-13-2 WCHA) a quick start with a goal 2:51 into the game off assists from Lydia Passolt and Makenna Deering.

012622.S.BP.BSUWHKY Paige Beebe
Bemidji State forward Paige Beebe (18) looks to shoot the puck on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Christian Babcock / Bemidji Pioneer

BSU continued to attack, generating several looks at the net. It didn’t pay off immediately, but Gabbie Smith eventually broke through at 2:11 in the second period off assists from Lindsey Featherstone and Taylor Nelson to give Bemidji State its elusive 2-0 lead.

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From there, the Beavers held on despite allowing an early third-period goal to SCSU’s Addi Scribner. The Huskies (8-13-1, 3-12-1 WCHA) made it interesting down the stretch, but BSU’s defense, anchored by goaltender Hannah Hogenson, held the line.

“I think a big thing that we wanted to emphasize today was get the first goal, but then also get the second, get the third,” Beebe said. “Not to be satisfied with just one goal. So I think we definitely wanted to emphasize getting the next one, and I think that helped in the end.”

As Beebe alluded to, Scanlan wouldn’t mind if BSU felt like pushing the lead even further moving forward. Getting a three-goal lead, for example, would have prevented SCSU’s third-period score from making it another white-knuckle affair.

“Now our challenge is you want to get to three,” Scanlan said. “And we had chances. If we could have gotten any one of those opportunities to go, it just gives you that much more breathing room.”

Breathing room or not, Hogenson kept the door slammed shut on St. Cloud State’s comeback. Despite fifth-year and season-opening starter Kerigan Dowhy’s return to the lineup, Scanlan opted for Hogenson in the crease on Saturday, and she earned a win with 25 saves.

“She's earned her spot in the net,” Scanlan said. “She's been outstanding. In the first half, she was probably our MVP. We needed a big performance. She came up with it. That's kind of how she's been playing.”

Having both Dowhy and Hogenson healthy and playing well enables Scanlan to be flexible with their assignments as the Beavers prepare for the stretch run.

“We got to look at (the) big picture here,” Scanlan said. “The playoffs are coming up. And rather than riding one goalie, something happens… we've had some bad luck when it comes to injuries with our goalies. So, if I can keep two goalies going, that's certainly going to help us when we get to that point.”

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For now, Bemidji State has a 3-1 season series win to celebrate, as well as a victory that salvaged some points from a crucial home weekend.

Next up is new WCHA member St. Thomas, which will make its first-ever trip to BSU next weekend. The Beavers will lace it up with the Tommies at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28, and 3:01 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Sanford Center.

Bemidji State 2, St. Cloud State 1

SCSU 0 0 1 -- 1

BSU 1 1 0 -- 2

First period -- 1, BSU GOAL, Beebe (Passolt, Deering), 2:51.

Second period -- 2, BSU GOAL, Smith (Featherstone, Nelson), 2:11

Third period -- 3, SCSU GOAL, Scribner (Lind, Wolfe), 2:36.

Saves -- Hogenson (BSU) 25; Polusny (SCSU) 40.

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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