Presumably, something's got to give this weekend in Bemidji, Minn.
UAA arrives in the Northwoods packing a four-game winless streak, though it owns a pair of ties against elite teams in that stretch -- a deadlock at North Dakota when the Sioux were ranked No. 4 and one at home against then-No. 2 Minnesota.
Bemidji State is shouldering a four-game losing streak, and a particularly painful one at that, as it entertains the Seawolves in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association series -- the Beavers lost two games in overtime to visiting Michigan Tech last weekend.
Coming off its second idle weekend in the last three weekends, the Seawolves are hoping to get the series off to a strong start, which would be a welcome change. In each of the last three weekends it played, UAA was thumped Friday, then rebounded well Saturday.
Back at UAF's tournament in mid-October, the Seawolves fell 5-0 to then-No. 2 North Dakota before bouncing back for a 6-3 win over Merrimack. The following week, the Seawolves fell 4-1 at North Dakota, then righted themselves with a 3-3 tie. Minnesota then came to Anchorage and delivered a 4-0 smack-down in the series opener before the Seawolves forged a 2-2 tie.
UAA still is trying to get its power play on track -- the Seawolves have scored twice on 26 opportunities in eight games.
And the Seawolves could use some diversity in their scoring to secure their first WCHA win this season. A couple of veteran forwards, senior center Daniel Naslund and junior winger Brett Cameron are both off to slow starts in the opening eight games. After both players furnished 5-8--13 totals last season, Naslund has just one assist this season and Cameron has yet to generate a point.
UAA junior goaltender Rob Gunderson is 1-0-3. The only goalie in Division I who has played more than Gunderson and has yet to lose is Nebraska-Omaha senior John Faulkner, who is 6-0-1.
Senior defenseman Scott Warner was named an assistant captain by coach Dave Shyiak earlier this week. He joins senior captain Chris Crowell and junior assistant captain Matt Bailey.
Senior winger Alex Gellert's four goals, which tie him for the team lead with sophomore Scott Allen, are a career high.
Junior defenseman Quinn Sproule, who missed three games with a separated shoulder, is expected back in the lineup this weekend.
With career totals of 52-55--107 in 120 career games, Beavers senior Jordan George is the only current player in Division I with 50 or more career goals and one of eight active players with at least 100 career points.
George will play his 99th consecutive game Friday night.
Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.
(2-3-3, 0-2-2 WCHA)
Bemidji State Beavers
(2-5-1, 1-4-1 WCHA)
Friday, 4:37 p.m. AST; Saturday, 4:07 p.m. AST
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