BSU is now 1-0 to start the season for the third time in school history, with two of those three wins coming at the hands of the Warriors.
Erin Johnson (So., Farmington, Minn.) put Bemidji State on the board early with a goal just 1:29 into the game. She was assisted by freshman linemates Kaylee Keys (St. Paul, Minn.) and Emily Erickson (Coleraine, Minn.).
This line would do some damage later in the game, also.
After outshooting WSU 10-8 in the first frame, the Beavers skated into the locker room with a 1-0 advantage.
Bemidji State again won the shot battle in the second period, 9-7, but neither team was able to notch a goal. BSU gave the Warriors four power-play chances, but the staunch Beaver defense stifled any and all opportunities that Wayne State had.
Last season Bemidji State was 4-0 when leading after two periods, and that would get tested early and often in a frantically played third period.
First Wayne State tied the game when Melissa Boal, WSU’s leading scorer from last season, scored at the 7:10 mark of the final frame off an assist by Sam Poyton.
After killing off a Johnson penalty, captain Brooke Collins (Sr., Pilot Mound, Manitoba) deflected a shot off a Warrior player from behind their net into the goal, giving BSU a 2-1 advantage at the 14:02 mark. Erin Cody (So., Roseville, Minn.) and Annie Bauerfeld (So., Woodbury, Minn.) were credited with assists on the play.
Despite the 2-1 lead, the game wasn’t over as Cody was whistled for high sticking just more than a minute after the goal.
The Warriors finally capitalized on their power play, scoring 13 seconds into the man-advantage. Tina Vanderhoeven scored the power-play marker off assists by Katrina Protopapas and Chelsea Burnett.
It took less than two minutes for Bemidji State to answer in what would be the game-winning goal. Keys received a pass from Erickson directly in front of the net and backhanded a shot into the goal to light the lamp at the 17:13 mark of the third. Johnson was also credited with an assist on the goal.
The game was well in-hand for the road squad, until Collins was whistled for checking with 1:31 left. Now BSU had to skate a man down for the remainder of the game.
WSU pulled its goaltender and the Beavers had to skate 4-on-6 for the final 50 seconds, but did so admirably in winning the first game of the season for both teams.
Wayne State (0-1) took 17 shots in the final period to just six for BSU (1-0), but both teams notched two goals and that was all that mattered in the end.
The Beavers went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Wayne State was 1-for-9 on their man-advantage opportunities. BSU scored three goals in the first game of the year, something it did only five times all last season. In the end, WSU outshot BSU 32-25.
Zuzana Tomcikova (Fr., Bratislava, Slovakia) earned her first-collegiate win in net for Bemidji State. She saved 30 shots for the Beavers and allowed just two goals while playing all 60 minutes.
Bemidji State will look to start its season 2-0 for the first time in school history Saturday against the Warriors. The puck will drop on Game 2 of the series at 2 p.m. local time.