Every weekday from May 23-June 7, we will be looking back at the "Dandy Dozen" moments from the historic 2015-16 WCHA season. Next up on our countdown is…
Moment 10: Record-Setting Year in Bemidji
Over the past two seasons in Bemidji, a potential new giant has begun to emerge in the shadows of Paul Bunyan: Bemidji State women's hockey. After a breakthrough 2014-15 season that saw BSU advance to the championship game of the WCHA Final Face-Off, the 2015-16 Beavers put together the best regular season in program annals.
At 22-11-3, second-year head coach Jim Scanlan and the Beavers posted the most overall wins and league wins (17) in program history, reached the 20-victory plateau during the regular season for the first time ever, secured its highest-ever WCHA finish (third), and ended the campaign ranked 10th nationally in the USCHO.com poll and ninth in the USA Today / USA Hockey Magazine ledger. Bemidji State, which hosted a home playoff series for the first time ever, ascended to No. 4/5 in the polls on Nov. 9 – the highest rankings ever for a Beavers team.
Bemidji State boasted the nation's ninth-ranked scoring defense, yielding just 1.89 goals per game. Ivana Bilic capped a terrific collegiate career by earning WCHA Defensive Player of the Year and Third Team All-USCHO and All-WCHA accolades. Fellow blue-liner Melissa Hunt was named to the WCHA All-Rookie Team. Junior goaltender Brittni Mowat, who was in the net for all 22 Beavers' wins and was tabbed to the All-WCHA Second Team, ranked among the NCAA's top-10 for: wins (6th), shutouts (t-7th with 5), goals-against average (8th at 1.68), save percentage (9th at .938) and saves (9th at 873).
Stephanie Anderson, who earned a gold medal with the U.S. Women's National Team at the 2015 Four Nations Cup and was on the U.S. roster for the 2016 IIHF World Championships, matched fellow senior Kristin Huber for the team lead with 11 goals. Another senior, Kaitlyn Tougas, paced BSU with 29 points (8g-21a).