The No. 7 Golden Gophers got a goal and three assists from Kelly Terry Saturday to earn a 6-2 victory over the Bemidji State University women's ice hockey team and salvage a series split.
“They were definitely a better hockey team than they were yesterday and we knew they would be,” head coach Steve Sertich said in regards to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. “We made some mental mistakes and it’s a touch hill to climb when you’re down three goals to a team like that.”
After dropping yesterday’s game, the Gophers came out firing and used a three-goal a blitz, that came in the span of one minute, in the first period to help claim their 11th win of the season. The first goal was scored after UM’s Sarah Davis and Kelly Terry came down on a two-on-one. Davis made a centering pass that got deflected off the skate of a defender and bounced into the back of the Beaver net. A minute later, Amanda Kessel, the WCHA preseason Newcomer of the Year, scored on a breakaway. Off the ensuing face off at center ice, Terry received the puck and broke into the BSU zone unopposed and scored just five seconds after Kessel’s goal.
The Beavers would finish off the rest of the period and head to the locker room for the first intermission with the three-goal deficit. Zuzana Tomcikova (Jr., G., Bratislava, Slovakia) started the game and made seven saves in the first period as the Beavers were out-shot 10-4. However, the Bemidji State coaching staff opted for a change in net and had Alana McElhinney (Jr., G., Calgary, Alberta) play in net starting in the second period.
Minnesota would add to their lead behind goals by Jen Schoullis and Megan Bozek. The Beavers played better in the second, but were sitll out-shot 13-9 in the period.
Down five goals to start the final period of the game, the Beavers were determined not to roll over and continue to battle against the No. 7 team in the nation. Bemidji State did just that as they out-shot the Gophers 8-5 in the final frame and managed to notch two goals, even while conceding one on the penalty kill.
“I think the biggest positive is that we didn’t quit and that’s important to me that players don’t quit and teams don’t quit,” Sertich said. “When you’re down five goals or four goals it’s a real test of your players, you have to deal with adversity and its important how you react, and I think we reacted well.”
Emily Erickson (R-So., Fwd., Coleraine, Minn.) scored the first goal for the Beavers just 1:34 into the start of the third. After cycling the puck in the Gopher zone, a UM defender gained control of the puck and attempted to clear it out. However, the clearing attempt found its way straight to the stick of Erickson who was wide open in the slot. With a clear look on net, Erickson fired a strong wrist shot past UM tender Noora Räty.
Minnesota would score its sixth and final goal of the game while on the power play at the 10:21 mark of the period. With the final minutes of the game waning, Bemidji State continued to pressure the Gopher defense. While killing the second penalty of the game, Annie Bauerfeld (Sr., Fwd, Woodbury, Minn.) and Erin Cody (Sr., Fwd., Roseville, Minn.) found themselves on a two-on-one break away. Bauerfeld made a centering pass to Cody while entering the UM zone and after making a move on net Cody passed the puck to the far post back to Bauerfeld who then tapped it home for her second goal of the season. While on the breakaway the BSU penalty expired so the goal went as an even-strength goal and not short handed. Kimberly Lieder (Jr., Def., Eagan, Minn.) picked up her second point of the season as she assisted on the odd-man rush.
The Beavers drop back to a .500 record and are now 7-7-2 (5-5-2-1 WCHA) on the season. Bemidji State will head into their final games of the calendar year next week as it travels to Mankato over the Dec. 10-11 weekend to take on WCHA-foe Minnesota State. Game times are set for 7:07 p.m. Friday and 3:07 p.m. on Saturday.
-- bsu --