Minnesota Golden Gophers vs
Friday, October 13 at 3:07 p.m.
The Gopher Women's Hockey team hits the road for the first time in the 2017-2018 campaign, headed north to face the Bemidji State University Beavers. The two teams will play a Friday-Saturday matinee series, October 13 and 14, with both games scheduled to start at 3:07 p.m. at the Sanford Center.
Last season against Bemidji State – The Gophers and Beavers faced each other 7 times in 2016-2017, thanks to a three-game WCHA Quarterfinal playoff series. Minnesota went 5-2-0 versus BSU; their wins all came when scoring 3+ goals, and their losses occurred when held to less than 2 goals. The teams split the October series in Bemidji a year ago; the Gophers won 3-1, but the Beavers took the second game 2-0. Minnesota swept the late November series at Ridder Arena, 4-0 and 4-1. In the playoff series, the Gophers took the first game, 3-1, but the Beavers won the second game 2-1; Minnesota ended BSU's season, however, with a 3-2 win in the deciding Game 3.
The top line of Kelly Pannek, Dani Cameranesi, and Sarah Potomak combined for 12 goals and 15 assists against the Beavers; Pannek led in total scoring with 12 points (5G, 7A), Cameranesi had three separate 2-goal games plus two assists for 8 points, and Potomak lit the lamp once but dished out 6 assists. Madison Hutchinson led BSU in total scoring against Minnesota with a goal an 4 assists, while Lauren Miller and Ciscely Nelson each netted two goals and an assist.
Analyzing the Beavers – Bemidji State is trying to shake off a 7th-place finish in the WCHA with a 7-18-3 conference record. They did go 4-0-0 in regular-season non-conference play, finishing 12-20-3 overall (including their 3 playoff games against the Gophers). However, non-conference play so far this season has not been so kind; the Beavers are 1-2-1 in their 4 games.
While the top 3 scorers from last season's games against Minnesota (Hutchinson, Miller, and Nelson) were seniors and have completed their collegiate careers, the top two Beavers scorers for the entire season are back. Junior Emily Bergland (#9) was the only BSU player to score 10+ goals last year, netting 16, while adding 9 assists for 25 points. Senior defender Alexis Joyce (#22) also reached the 20-point mark, dishing out 16 assists while lighting the lamp 4 times herself. Juniors Haley Mack (#19) and Jacqueline Kaasa (#12) each have two goals to start this season.
Bemidji Sate had tough skates to fill with the graduation of 133-game starter Brittni Mowat. Mowat's backup, now-senior Erin Deters (#30), saw limited duty her first 3 seasons, making only 11 appearances and going 3-5-1 in 9 starts. That said, 2 of her 3 wins were shutouts; she had a .923 career save percentage and 2.45 goals-against average entering this year. It appears Deters will be splitting time this season with freshman Lauren Bench (#35); the two have each started two of the team's four games. Deters has stopped 63 of 65 shots on goal, while Bench has 62 saves on 67 shots; each shut out Syracuse during their opening weekend.
Recent action for Bemidji State – The Beavers faced a large challenge when they went on the road to face defending national champions Clarkson this past weekend. The Knights outshot BSU by a combined 73-42, sweeping the series 2-0 and 5-4. Clarkson's Elizabeth Giguère netted two goals in the series, and Amanda Titus added a goal and two assists; Bemidji State's Clair DeGeorge, Haley Mack, and Kiki Radke each recorded a goal and an assist in the second game.
Gophers lose to, tie with Ohio State – While both Minnesota and Ohio State erased two-goal deficits in their series at Ridder Arena last weekend, the Buckeyes took 5 of 6 WCHA standings points, defeating the Gophers 3-2 and then earning a shootout win after a 5-5 tie.
OSU's Jacyn Reeves scored twice in the first period of Friday's game, but Sophie Skarzynski and Grace Zumwinkle tallied in the second stanza to knot the score 2-2. However, Charly Dahlquist's third-period shot attempt hit a Gopher defender and went into the net for Ohio State's game-winning goal.
Saturday's rematch started with a wild 5-goal first period; Olivia Knowles and Caitlin Reilly put Minnesota up 2-0, Ohio State's Emma Maltais and Tatum Skaggs knotted the score, but Skarzynski put the Gophers back ahead 3-2 before the intermission. In the 2nd, Alex Woken reestablished Minnesota's two-goal lead, 4-2, but Julianna Iafallo and Skaggs again erased the deficit, sending the game to the third period tied 4-4. OSU then took a lead on a power-play tally by Dani Sadek, but Reilly drew Minnesota back even just 54 seconds later, eventually forcing overtime. Gopher goaltender Alex Gulstene stopped 9 Buckeyes shots in the extra period to preserve the tie. However, Skaggs and Iafallo did score for OSU in the subsequent shootout, winning it 2-0 for the extra point in the conference standings.
Gulstene started both games for the Gophers in net, stopping a combined 60 shots during run-of-play. Kassidy Sauve made 52 saves for the Buckeyes.
Looking ahead, and other quick hits...
“Gold Out” – October 28 – Gopher Women's Hockey fans are highly encouraged to wear gold apparel for the first game of the home series against Wisconsin on Saturday, October 28. Game time is set for 4:07 p.m.
GWH Alumni Day – October 29 – Join us early at Ridder Arena on Sunday, October 29, for the annual GWH Alumni Game at 11 a.m. We hope to see many of you there for this fun event. The varsity team faces Wisconsin in the second game of their series at 3:07 p.m.
International recap: Finland wins 2 of 3 against Sweden – The Finnish National Women's Hockey Team won two of three games in their Finnkampen series against Team Sweden last week. The Finns opened the series with a 2-1 victory last Wednesday, Sweden responded with a 3-2 win on Thursday, but Finland won the deciding third game 4-1 on Friday. Michelle Karvinen and Jenni Hiirikoski each recorded a goal and 4 assists in the series for Finland, while Rosa Lindstedt scored both goals in the first game and added an assist in the second contest. Wilma Johansson lit the lamp twice for Sweden in their victory, and Lisa Johansson dished out 3 assists in the series.
Both Finland and Sweden are next scheduled for action in the Four Nations Cup, being hosted by the United States in the Tampa, FL, area on November 7 through 12. Canada rounds out the list of participating teams.
Final north-of-the-border Canada-U.S. game location, date announced – Hockey Canada and Oilers Entertainment Group announced yesterday that Canada’s National Women’s Team will play the final game of a pre-Olympic series against their U.S. rivals at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Sunday, December 17 at 5 p.m. MT (6 p.m. CT). Tickets for the Dec. 17 game will go on sale at Ticketmaster.ca to the general public beginning this Friday, Oct. 13 at 10 a.m. MT. The teams are scheduled to play each other in Quebec City on Oct. 22, Boston on Oct. 25, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Dec. 3, Winnipeg on Dec. 5, San Jose on Dec. 15, plus in the Four Nations Cup tournament that runs Nov. 7 - 12 in the Tampa area.
Around the WCHA
Recent action – Minnesota Duluth traveled to Boston College, but were swept by the Eagles 4-3 and 4-1 behind a pair of 5-point performances from Daryl Watts (3G, 2A) and Caitrin Lonergan (2G, 3A); Ashton Bell netted two goals for the Bulldogs. St. Cloud State was shut out twice by Colgate, 3-0 and 5-0, being outshot 76-24; Jessie Eldridge scored twice for the Raiders, and goaltender Liz Auby earned both shutouts. Abby Roque scored the lone goal in Wisconsin's opening 1-0 win on the road at Syracuse, then dished out 3 assists while Claudia Kepler lit the lamp twice in a 5-2 victory to complete the weekend sweep. Minnesota State was swept at home by Robert Morris; Brittany Howard scored 40 seconds into overtime for a 2-1 come-from-behind win for the Colonials, and Amber Rennie and Howard each netted a hat trick in the rematch to defeat the Mavericks, 6-2.
Upcoming games – Two other conference series feature Friday night and Saturday afternoon games. Minnesota State hosts Wisconsin in Mankato, while Minnesota Duluth makes another trip east, facing Ohio State in Columbus. Meanwhile, St. Cloud State will play a pair of exhibition matinee games Friday and Saturday, hosting the Minnesota Whitecaps.