From now on, any time a WCHA member has a tie game, there will first be the normal five-minute overtime period and then a shootout will occur if no winner is decided during the extra session. The shootouts in non-conference play do not effect the final result, so BSU would currently be 0-0-1 if the game with the Bison were a regular-season game and not an exhibition matchup.
The shootouts during conference action, however, have an impact on the overall record of WCHA teams. If this were a conference game, BSU would be 1-0-0, and the Bison would be 0-0-0-1. The shootout loss would have given the Bison one point instead of zero for a regular loss.
Now that the shootout procedure for this season has been described - on to the game.
Bemidji State got on the ice for the first time this season, and looked like a team who needed a little practice before the season got under way. It’s not because the team was bad or anything, it’s just because there are 11 new faces on BSU’s roster, and these young players need some game experience at the collegiate level before jumping into conference play.
Both teams were whistled for two penalties in the first period, and BSU outshot Manitoba 10-5. The Beavers outshot UM in every period, and they were finally able to notch a marker after the two teams skated to a 0-0 tie after the second period.
A Bison player went into the penalty box 3:41 into the third, and BSU took advantage. A little more than a minute later, Erin Cody (So., Roseville, Minn.) rifled a shot on the left side of the net past the UM netminder, giving her a power-play goal with assists from Brooke Collins (Sr., Pilot Mound, Manitoba) and Montana Vichorek (Fr., Moose Lake, Minn.).
After BSU took the lead late in the game, the Beavers made a crucial error 7:53 into the third that allowed Manitoba to score the game-tying goal. Erin Johnson (So., Farmington, Minn.) was whistled for checking from behind, which comes with a five-minute major penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct penalty. The Bison took the five minute man-advantage and Addie Miles scored the tying goal.
The two teams skated to a tie the rest of the period after the Beavers killed off the final four minutes of the major penalty. Both teams got quality looks at a game-winner in overtime, but neither were able to find the back of the net.
In the first shootout of the season, Marlee Wheelhouse (Fr., Crookston, Minn.) was the first Beaver to attempt a shot. She missed, but Vichorek didn’t, giving BSU the only goal it needed to post the shootout win. BSU goaltender Alana McElhinney (Fr., Calgary, Alberta) stopped all three UM shots, and that ended a thrilling open to the hockey season.
BSU goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova (Fr., Bratislava, Slovakia) got the start and played the first period, saving five shots and not allowing a goal. Eri Kiribuchi (Fr., Praha, Czech Republic) saved 10 shots in her 20 minutes of action. McElhinney played the final 25 minutes, saving 14 shots and shutting out the Bison in the shootout.
Bemidji State outshot Manitoba 37-30, and both teams were 1-for-4 on the power play.
The Beavers will be back in action Saturday at 3:07 p.m. when Team USA comes to town.