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WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Hogenson adjusting to new role after Dowhy’s return

Hannah Hogenson has stepped up in a big way for the Bemidji State women’s hockey team this season.

012622.S.BP.BSUWHKY Hannah Hogenson.JPG
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

BEMIDJI – Hannah Hogenson has stepped up in a big way for the Bemidji State women’s hockey team this season.

After fifth-year senior goaltender Kerigan Dowhy went down with an injury in a series at Ohio State, Hogenson stepped in and seized the starting role. She established herself as one of the best goaltenders in the WCHA, winning multiple weekly and monthly conference awards.

As Dowhy has worked her way back into the Beavers’ lineup, though, Hogenson’s role has been reduced. Recently, the two have split series against Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State and St. Thomas, playing one game each.

But finding playing time for two excellent goaltenders is an excellent problem to have. Just ask BSU head coach Jim Scanlan.

“The nice thing is they're both playing well,” Scanlan said. “I feel confident with both of them.”

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Having her role diminished, even with the return of a fifth-year starter, could have dampered Hogenson’s confidence. But she seems to have taken the change in stride.

“I don't think it's really changed much for me,” Hogenson said. “As a player, you approach each week controlling things you can control. Obviously great to have her back in the lineup. Definitely ups the competition during practices, which is great for myself and everyone else.”

Hogenson would love to play all the time, but she recognizes that different approaches can help the Beavers find success.

“Obviously, you want to be in there every single game,” she said. “So playing both was nice earlier in the year, but rotating works just as fine too. So whatever coach decides, we just roll with it.”

They’ll roll with it next against No. 1 Minnesota (20-7-1, 15-6-1 WCHA). Making matters even more difficult, they’ll have to do it at Ridder Arena, the home of the Gophers. Scanlan has said that good goaltending is a necessity in the WCHA, especially against the best teams. But BSU (10-13-3, 7-13-2 WCHA) will likely need Herculean performances from Hogenson and Dowhy to get points this weekend.

Hogenson delivered one such effort against then-No. 1 Wisconsin at LaBahn Arena in Madison, stopping 56 shots to lead Bemidji State to a 0-0 tie. She knows she can play a big role in powering the Beavers, but she can’t do it alone.

“Every player on the ice is important,” she said. “I think as a goalie especially, you have a role where you can be a real difference-maker. But with the Wisconsin game, obviously that was a nice game for myself, but our team as a whole, we came out and we played great.”

She credited her defense, which recorded numerous blocked shots, for contributing to that shutout. But if BSU wants to pick up a win, the offense will have to pack a scoring punch as well.

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“Just us coming together as a full team, offensive, defensive, goalies included, (will be key),” Hogenson said. “Everybody's going to need to be rolling going into this weekend.”

Bemidji State faces the Gophers at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 4, and 4:01 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5, in Minneapolis.

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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