Sports | Weston DeWitt for The Clarion
Sophomore Caroline Kivisto contributed to the success of the women's hockey team, who finished the season with the most wins and best winning percentage in program history. | Photo for The Clarion by Drea Chalmers
The Bethel University women’s hockey team has put together one of the best seasons in program history. A 17-7-2 record speaks for itself, as does the .720 winning percentage, 82 goals and 121 assists. Even more outstanding is the fact that the team outscored their opponents by 40 goals.
Head coach Brian Carlson came into the season with high expectations, and the team fulfilled those expectations and then some.
“We certainly exceeded our expectations,” Carlson said. “We are very happy with what we have done here and we hope to build off of this success.”
He went on to say the reason for the success is because of the sheer number of players on his team that are capable of playing at a high level.
"We have added depth to our team,” he said. “We are much faster, stronger and play with a ton of intensity and character. But the depth of this team, with the great offense, defense and goal tending, that’s been a huge factor to the success. We have had several players who have also made huge contributions this year.”
One of those players is junior Lindsey Burman. A native of Stanchfield, Minn., Burman has tallied 12 goals and 21 assists on the season. Even Burman herself couldn’t imagine having a season quite like this one.
“I didn’t have the mindset of doing the greatest, I just wanted to contribute to the team,” Burman said. “I am thankful for the teammates that I have, and the points that I have are awesome. It’s even better to have teammates who are there to encourage you. This year, we have been a lot closer as a team, and we have had a lot more fun on the ice with one another.”
Another key member of this year’s squad has been goaltender Erika Allen. The sophomore from Roseville, Minn. has stopped over 500 shots on the season and has an astounding 1.64 goals-against average. To top that, she had four shutouts on the season and a 14-6 record between the pipes.
For Allen, the biggest reason for her success this season has been her defense and back-checking forwards.
“The shots have been coming from the outside, and I have been able to see so many of the shots,” she said. “Obviously, my goal was not to put up these huge stats; it was about giving the team the best chance at winning the game. And it has clearly been a success.”
The team finished the year in the USCHO [United States College Hockey Online] Top 10 poll for the first time in program history, knocking off the eighth ranked Gusties on Feb. 22. Bethel headed into the playoffs with more confidence than ever before, but in order to win the first playoff game in school history and get to the MIAC championship, they would have to get past Gustavus one more time.
This time, the Gusties got the better of the Royals, coming away with a 3-2 win. Although the season ended on a low note, the women on the team will remember the 2013-2014 season as one where they made a mark in the record book and a mark on one another.