WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Nothing keeps BSU's Halluska out of the lineup

012920.S.BP.BSUWHKY2 Abby Halluska.jpg
Bemidji State senior Abby Halluska (21) skates with the puck in a game against Minnesota State on Jan. 25 at the Sanford Center. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- Abby Halluska is Bemidji State’s resident iron woman.

The senior co-captain of the Beaver women’s hockey team has never missed a game in her career. Since making her collegiate debut in 2016, the forward has taken the ice in 143 consecutive games. That now includes four whole regular seasons and three postseasons (with one still on the way) worth of bumps and bruises.

How has she managed to pull it off?

“I think it’s just toughness, mental toughness,” Halluska said. “A lot of it is just kind of going out there and grinding every day, and making sure you’re staying healthy off the ice. You’ve got to get sleep, eat well, drink a lot of water. I just try to focus on those things and stay positive, go into the rink with a positive attitude and just look forward to the next game every time.”

“She’s a competitor. She just loves to play the game,” head coach Jim Scanlan added. “That’s a tribute to her. Obviously she keeps herself in really good shape. She’s played through some things over her career. It’s a tribute to her toughness, both mentally and physically. But I think she just loves to play and there’s nothing that’s going to keep her out of the lineup.”


The Delano native and Buffalo High School graduate buried the eventual game-winner last Friday in a 3-0 victory at St. Cloud State, giving her seven goals on the season to go with nine assists for 16 points.

Halluska’s streak is the sixth longest in program history. She doesn’t have to look far to find the name at the top of the list.

Former teammate Alexis Joyce never missed a game in her career either, playing in a program-record 148 consecutive games from 2014-18. Joyce is now in her first season as BSU’s co-director of hockey operations.

A deep postseason run through the WCHA Tournament could allow Halluska to catch Joyce, as long as she stays healthy, of course.

“It means a lot to me, but I don’t want to jinx it or anything like that,” Halluska said. “Obviously injuries happen and I’ve just been fortunate enough to not have anything too serious happen. … I’m just trying to stay healthy (and) looking to make a playoff push here, so obviously it’d be great to finish off with a few more wins here.”

Beavers rest before postseason

Bemidji State’s regular season ended last weekend with a split at St. Cloud State. After Friday’s win, the Beavers couldn’t get anything past Emma Polusny in a 1-0 overtime loss Saturday.

The defeat didn’t affect BSU’s seeding for the WCHA playoffs as the team had already clinched the No. 5 seed Friday.

The top four seeds have yet to be decided, however, going into the season’s final weekend, though Bemidji State will be resting at home while the rest of the league dukes it out for positioning.


“Any off weekend is a good one, no matter where you are in the season, just to rest your legs,” Halluska said. “We’ve gone a few weeks straight here (without a break). It’s just nice to rest the legs, rest your mind and get prepared for the playoffs.”

Next weekend, the Beavers will travel to the No. 4 seed, which will be either Minnesota Duluth or Ohio State. Both are tied for third with 40 points each. UMD hosts first-place Wisconsin and OSU hosts seventh-place SCSU to close the season.

The Badgers entered the weekend with a three-point lead on Minnesota for the league title. The Gophers will finish at home against sixth-place Minnesota State.

Austin Monteith is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of Bloomington, Ill., he is a 2015 graduate of Butler University. Follow him on Twitter at @amonteith92. Contact the Pioneer sports department at
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