MELFORT — Minot (N.D.) State University women’s hockey goalie Lexi Beuker’s many interests keep the Melfort product juggling – literally.
At the age of 14, Beuker learned to juggle. Now the second-year university student does it before every game. Goaltending has been a passion for the daughter of Allan and Kerri Beuker since she started playing hockey at the age of 10.
“I enjoy goaltending for many reasons,” Beuker said. “I like the leadership role that comes with being a goalie. Goalies are always on the ice and they see everything that is going on which they can then relay to the team between periods. I enjoy being challenged each day with each different shooter and team I face. There is an individual aspect to being a goaltender which I enjoy as I can control one half of the scoreboard with the help of my teammates. I enjoy being able to push myself in every practice as there is always something different, I can work on each day.”
This season Beuker has the opportunity to help the Beavers compete for a national championship. The team hosts the American Collegiate Hockey Association Women’s Division I National Championships April 15-20.
On a talented team, ranked third nationally in a March 9 poll, Beuker is battling for playing time in the crease. In her first start this season, the 5-foot-6 netminder shut out Dakota College at Bottineau.
“Lexi is a very composed goaltender with strong lateral movement,” MSU head coach Ryan Miner said. “She works at her game every day to get better and continues to take strides to prove herself.”
Hockey and juggling are just two of Beuker’s many interests. During this school year, she was part of a program at MSU’s Looyenga Leadership Center that saw her complete 15 leadership workshops. Beuker said her biggest accomplishment was becoming a published author with having a poem in the Coup, Minot State’s art and literary magazine.
“I love to write and have written many poems over the course of the last three years as I express myself better in writing better than I do with my voice,” she said.
In late 2020, Beuker won the People’s Choice Award and was an honourable mention in the Global Sights Photography Competition at Minot State. Her winning entry was a photo she took back home on the family farm.
“It features a double rainbow overtop of a tractor, which screams Saskatchewan,” Beuker said.
Academically, the student-athlete is kept busy as she pursues an exercise science and rehabilitation major with an interest in a physical therapy career. During her time at MSU, Beuker has earned spots on the President’s List and the Vice President for Academic Affairs’ Honor Roll for her classroom achievement. She has been identified as a leader for the kinesiology department by faculty.
This semester Beuker is doing an internship where she works 170 hours alongside athletic trainers on campus and Dr. Beth Marschner, a physical therapist and professor. She works with graduate assistant Alison Sys – mostly with the Minot State softball team. She also works in the athletic department.
In order to juggle academics, hockey, and her many interests, Beuker said she keeps a very organized schedule.
“Each week I lay out a plan, so I know what I have to do on a daily basis which keeps me busy from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. each day,” she said. “I am in an overloaded semester, meaning I have 19 credits to complete, which keeps me busy from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. In the free time I have before practice, I work at my internship or work at my job with athletics. Finally, I finish off my day with practice and homework.”
Whether it be hockey or academics, Beuker has the backing of her parents – who she calls her biggest supporters.
“When I need help making a choice, they offer their opinion and trust I will make the right choice whether it's what they thought I should do or not,” she said. “The two of them have given me so many opportunities to get as far as I am with school and hockey as they want me to strive to be my best.”