Bemidji, Minn. is located in the northern half of Minnesota, about 20 hours from Columbus by car.
It is a small college town of 12,000 people, found on the coast of one of Minnesota’s many lakes, Lake Bemidji. It is proud to claim that it was the first community settled on the Mississippi River.
Discovering these facts is simple thanks to Google and a Sony laptop. However, actually getting to Bemidji is not.
“It’s gonna be a tough trip,” said Ohio State senior defenseman Rachel Davis.
The Bucks will have to fly to the Minneapolis airport before taking a five-and-a-half hour bus ride to Bemidji.
Once they get there, the Bemidji State women’s hockey team (1-3-0) awaits them fresh off a win over the reigning National Champion, No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers.
The Bucks and the Bemidji Beavers square off for back-to-back conference games, one on Friday night and one Saturday.
Although Bemidji State has struggled thus far, the Buckeyes seem keen on not overlooking them.
OSU coach Jackie Barto was not surprised that they beat Wisconsin.
“There are no upsets,” she said. “Anyone in this league can beat anyone else.”
That’s why the Buckeyes (0-2-2), plan on using special teams and speed, two advantages that Barto thought the Bucks had and needed to utilize in order to win.
The main key to securing a victory, however, is “outworking the hardest working team in the league and doing the little things well,” she said.
Two wins are crucial to a Buckeye team that is coming off two losses to fellow conference rival Minnesota, especially since the games this weekend are in conference play and thus point-awarded (with two for a win).
After the Buckeyes drive and fly back from Bemidji, the following week they travel to Madison, Wis., to take on the Badgers.
When asked about the season at large, senior Rachel Davis sounded optimistic, saying that although they are young, “It looks like we could go pretty far this year.”
Distant Bemidji, Minn. is the first stop on their long journey.
“It’ll be a great place to test our skills and game,” Barto said. “We’re getting better everyday.”