A WCHA mismatch in the works in Bemidji

The Minnesota womenâÄôs hockey team has as many wins as this weekendâÄôs opponent has losses. The Gophers (7-2-1 overall, 6-1-1-1 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) travel to Bemidji State (1-7- 2, 0-6-0-0) to play at 7:07 Friday and 2:07 p.m. Saturday . Bemidji is currently on a 17-game losing streak in WCHA series play dating back to a 4-1 win over North Dakota Jan. 11 . Minnesota is second in the WCHA, trailing by one point to Wisconsin, who travel to play third-place North Dakota this weekend. The Gophers have 11 series shutouts against Be midji but both teams had the past weekend off because of the Four Nations Cup. Most teams in the WCHA took the weekend off in order for players to participate in tournament. Coach Brad Frost said the off weekend allowed the players not in the Four Nations Cup to regroup, go home and visit family and friends. While some players went home, junior Brittany Francis said she stayed here and relaxed. âÄúI did nothing. I hung out with some of the girls on the team, got caught up on homework,âÄù she said. âÄúIt was a weekend to catch up on sleep, regroup and refresh.âÄù Now the Gophers face a few tough practices in order to get the intensity and chemistry back between the lines. Minnesota has been skating and practicing the last week and a half and Frost said he would be much more worried about the upcoming games if his players hadnâÄôt been playing hockey. And, despite the fact that FrancisâÄô line was missing a couple of players during the Four Nations Cup, she said she isnâÄôt worried about having to readjust to each other since all five lines are doing well in practice. âÄúWe have so much talent on this team and everybody brings something different so all the lines are working so well,âÄù she said. The Gophers have had a lot of success against Bemidji. Sophomore Jenny Lura earned her first career shutout against Bemidji on Dec 1, 2007 . Against Bemidji, Francis tied her career high of three assists against the Beavers on Feb. 1, 2008 and had a career high four points on three days later. In addition, Minnesota has won the last five games against the Beavers , but that doesnâÄôt mean the Gophers are taking Bemidji lightly. Francis said she hopes Minnesota can come out strong in the first period and that things will flow from there. âÄúItâÄôs a quick-paced game but itâÄôs very gritty,âÄù Francis said. âÄúI feel like they are a very intense, hardworking team so we have to bear down and make sure not to get penalties.âÄù