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WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Hannah Hogenson returns to site of 56-save shutout at Wisconsin

Facing No. 1 Wisconsin at LaBahn Arena in Madison, Wis., Hogenson commandeered the Bemidji State women’s hockey team’s defense in a stellar performance last season, stopping 56 shots in goal to keep the Badgers off the board entirely.

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Bemidji State goalie Hannah Hogenson (1) makes a save in the first period against Wisconsin on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021, at the Sanford Center. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)
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BEMIDJI – Hannah Hogenson’s career changed on Nov. 6, 2021.

Facing No. 1 Wisconsin at LaBahn Arena in Madison, Wis., Hogenson commandeered the Bemidji State women’s hockey team’s defense in a stellar performance, stopping 56 shots in goal to keep the Badgers off the board entirely. The Beavers ultimately tied UW 0-0, with Wisconsin winning the shootout 1-0 to pick up the extra WCHA standings point.

But that’s not what most remember about the matchup. What lives on is Hogenson’s Herculean showcase, and how it marshaled BSU to a transcendent team result that stood out as one of the squad’s finest efforts of the 2021-22 season.

“It was definitely an exciting game,” Hogenson said. “But another thing with that game, not just me, it was also our team as a whole playing good. We had girls sacrificing the body that whole game. That's going to be a big factor going down there again this weekend, knowing that it's not just going to be me having a good game. It's going to be all of us needing to show up ready to play.”

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Bemidji State junior Hannah Hogenson deflects the puck during the second period against Lindenwood on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Bemidji State head coach Jim Scanlan, a former goaltender on the BSU men’s team, pinpointed Hogenson’s competitiveness as the attribute that keyed her exceptional display.

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“The one thing about Hannah, she's extremely competitive,” Scanlan said. “Doesn't like to get scored on, hates to get scored on even in practice. Hates when I do any kind of drills that involve no defense and the team tic-tac-toes the puck around her. I mean, she doesn't like it. And that's a great attribute to have as a goalie.”

Technique-wise, Scanlan ascribes Hogenson’s success to her willingness and ability to confront opposing players.

“She's really good with her feet,” Scanlan said. “If you watch her, she'll come out and challenge a play rather than just standing flat-footed in her goal crease.”

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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

“It’s definitely a big factor, being able to hold the feet,” Hogenson said. “Especially against these teams that are going to move the puck as much as they do. Biting too early, you're going to get passed and then walked right around. So it's going to be huge, especially coming out and challenging too. These girls can pick corners, so making sure you're forcing them to either go around you or make that pretty play to beat you to get into the net is going to be big.”

Also important is the confidence that tying Wisconsin last year gave the Beavers moving forward.

“The energy in the locker room in between periods was great all around,” Hogenson said. “You could really tell that our team, everybody was bought in, everybody wanted to win. Obviously not the end result with the shootout that we wanted, but just getting to that point in that Saturday game was huge for us, knowing that, ‘Hey, we can hang with these teams.’

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Bemidji State goalie Hannah Hogenson (1) stops a shot in the second period against Minnesota Duluth on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

“That's the energy that we need to bring into this weekend – knowing that if we go out there and we play how we're supposed to play, we'll be able to get the job done.”

Bemidji State (2-5-1, 0-4 WCHA) returns to Madison on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 20-21, for another pair of contests with the No. 5 Badgers (7-1, 4-0 WCHA). And while the trip brings back sweet remembrances of glories gone by at LaBahn, that doesn’t mean it’ll be any easier to tie – much less beat – UW this time.

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“The energy the crowd brings can obviously be a positive for us,” Scanlan said. “It's just fun to play in a facility that’s almost completely full. They're loud, and they're smart hockey fans, so they know when to be loud. That kind of energy, you can feed off it. … Enjoy it, because you're always going to be at your best when you're having fun. So it's a great challenge. Great team, but we're going to go out there and have fun while we're competing.”

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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