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The State of Hockey: Girls Hockey Begins Section Play on Tuesday: BSU Women take on the Gophers

Photo courtesy of Bemidji State University and Image Photography

The high school girls’ hockey section playoffs begin this week.  Two highly rated northern teams are again favored to win their sections and be among the eight teams in the Class A State Tournament.  In section 7, which includes all of northeastern Minnesota, defending state champion Proctor-Hermantown (17-7-1) is the favorite.   Warroad (20-3-1) is again the favorite in Section 8.

In Section 7AA, Grand Rapids-Greenway (17-8) had a strong season but if they are to move on to the State Tournament, they will have to get past top ranked Andover (24-0).  Moorhead (17-8) may get the top seed in 8AA, but Brainerd/Little Falls (13-11), Roseau (14-8-2), and Alexandria (12-10-1) can make this a very competitive section.

The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team (10-15-3) took on the hottest team in the nation, the number one ranked Minnesota Gophers, in Minneapolis this weekend.   The Gophers (22-7-1) lived up to their ranking on Friday with a dominating 7-0 win.  Bemidji came out much stronger Saturday, but still lost 5-2.  Minnesota goalie Lauren Bench, who played four seasons at Bemidji State before transferring to Minnesota, stopped 25 of 27 shots for her ninth win with the Gophers.  Hanna Hogenson from Anchorage, Alaska, had another strong game in goal for BSU, stopping 42 of 47 Gopher shots on Saturday. 

Both teams’ rosters are loaded with talented Minnesota born players.  Sophmore forward Taylor Nelson, from Cloquet-Esko-Carlon, got one of the Bemidji goals Saturday, and Gabbie Smith, a forward from Brainerd, assisted on the Beavers’ other goal.  It doesn’t get any easier for BSU.  They host national power, #2 Ohio State at the Sanford Center this Friday and Saturday. 

KAXE/KBXE Senior Correspondent