Last-minute goals lift Beavers to 2-2 tie with Huskies
Saturday, October 11, 2008
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Erin Johnson (So., Farmington, Minn.) and Jackie Robertson (Jr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) each scored goals in the final 1:33 of action to bring Bemidji State back to a 2-2 tie with Northeastern University Saturday evening at John Glas Fieldhouse.

For the second time in as many days, the two teams prepared for a shootout after the game ended in a tie. Friday’s shootout took nine rounds to decide a winner, but Saturday’s shootout took just the minimum three. All three shooters for Northeastern missed, and Bemidji State didn’t have to get to its third shooter as Erin Cody (So., Roseville, Minn.) scored on BSU’s second attempt.

Bemidji State moved to 1-1-2 after tying both games with NU, and the Huskies are now 2-0-2 to start the year.

The road squad took the lead off the strength of two power-play goals in the first period. Kristi Kehoe notched the first goal of the game 10:57 into the first, and Alyssa Wohlfeiler gave Northeastern an early 2-0 advantage when she scored 12:01 into the first.

Bemidji State outshot the Huskies 15-8 in the opening frame, but could never find the back of the net. NU began the game 2-for-3 on the power-play, but ended the game 2-for-7 with the man-advantage. BSU holding the Huskies to an 0-for-4 performance on their power play down the stretch would prove crucial later in the game.

Northeastern outshot BSU 11-8 in the second, but neither team scored as both goaltenders played extremely well.

Bemidji State skated hard in the third trying to find a goal, but was still unable to score despite heavy pressure during multiple stretches of the final frame.

Then it happened.

The Beavers pulled their goaltender with 2:36 remaining, and the risky move worked out in the home team’s favor. First, Johnson scored her second goal of the season at the 18:27 mark of the third off assists from Brooke Collins (Sr., Pilot Mound, Manitoba) and Cody, cutting the Huskie lead in half.

After an NU player went into the penalty box for tripping with less than a minute to play, Bemidji State again pulled its goalie, and again the tactic paid off as the home team scored the equalizer while skating 6-on-4. Robertson notched her goal with just 30 seconds remaining in the contest off Montana Vichorek’s (Fr., Moose Lake, Minn.) first-career assist and Cody’s second assist in a little more than a minute’s time.

The two teams skated out the final seconds of the third period and all five minutes of extra time without scoring a game-winner, and thus the second-consecutive shootout for the two squads ensued.

BSU goaltender Alana McElhinney (Fr., Calgary, Alberta) received her second-career start, and answered with 24 saves and just the two early goals allowed in 63:42 of work. She also shut down all three NU players faced in the shootout to move to 0-1-1 on the season.

For the second-consecutive game, numerous BSU players either set or tied their career marks for shots on goal in a single game. Johnson set her career high for the second-straight day, increasing her total with seven shots from the five she had Friday.

The next four players all matched their career-highs, which were all set in Friday’s game. Cody attempted eight shots, Annie Bauerfeld (So., Woodbury, Minn.) shot the puck six times, Franny Dorr (Jr., Roseville, Minn.) had four shots and Marlee Wheelhouse (Fr., Crookston, Minn.) attempted her second-career shot.

Bemidji State outshot Northeastern 42-26, and this was just the fourth time in school history BSU has recorded consecutive games of 40+ shots. The last time the Beavers had back-to-back 40+ shot games was Feb. 10, 12, 2001, against Wayne State (Mich.) University. The other two times occurred in a series against Concordia-Moorhead Jan. 7-8, 2000, and Feb. 1, 4, 2000, against Gustavus Adolphus and Minnesota State University.

Northeastern came into Saturday’s game as the No. 1-ranked team in the country in terms of goals allowed per game. The Huskies had only allowed two goals all season, and BSU equaled that in 1:03 of action.

Kehoe entered the series as the reigning Division I Women’s Offensive National Player of the Week, and she was leading the country in goals scored per game with 2.00 goals per game. The staunch Beaver defense held her to just one goal in the two games, which dropped her average to just 0.75 goals per game.

This was just the third time in school history Bemidji State has played in back-to-back overtime games, and the first since Jan. 10-11, 2003, when Minnesota State and BSU went to OT on consecutive nights.

Bemidji State returns to action next weekend with a matchup against No. 2 Wisconsin at 7:07 p.m. Oct. 17 at John Glas Fieldhouse. The two teams will travel to the Hippodrome in Eveleth, Minn., Oct. 18 to compete in the first-ever women’s United States Hockey Hall of Fame game. The puck will drop on that contest at 6:07 p.m.