DULUTH, Minn. – Scoring first in the game, the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team was unable to surpass the talent of No. 6 Minnesota Duluth, dropping a 5-3 decision at the AMSOIL arena.
Making her first back-to-back start in net this season, Alana McElhinney (Jr., Calgary, Alberta) turned away 18 shots, including denying multiple second chance opportunities against the Bulldogs.
After dropping a 4-3 decision the night before, Bemidji State started the first period fired up and looked to leave Duluth with a weekend split. Just like the night before the Beavers opened the scoring, this time with Kimberly Lieder (Jr., Def., Eagan, Minn.) scoring. MacKenzie Thurston (So., Fwd., Ottawa, Ontario) won a faceoff straight back to Lieder who then wound up for a slap shot. Lieder’s shot beat UMD tender Jennifer Harss to give BSU the early lead at 1:33 in the first period. The Beavers continued to pressure the Bulldogs relentlessly in the period out-shooting them 13-9 and took the one goal lead into the intermission.
However, the sluggish looking UMD team wouldn’t be the same team to take to the ice in the second period. Minnesota Duluth came out and tied the game within the first three minutes of the period off a screen in front of the BSU goal. The Bulldogs would later add two more goals in the period, including one shorthanded, to take a 3-1 lead heading into the third period. UMD received scoring from Elin Holmlov, Pernilla Winberg, and Laura Fridfinnson.
UMD’s Mariia Posa was assessed a five minute major and game misconduct for checking from behind at the end of the second period which gave BSU one minute of power play to start the third. BSU wouldn’t convert on that power play, but would on a later one at the 3:17 mark to cut the deficit to one. Molly Arola (So., Fwd., Walker, Minn.) was sitting in front of the UMD net and put in a rebound to score her first collegiate goal. Tess Dusik (Fr., Fwd., Oak Bluff, Manitoba) and Marlee Wheelhouse (Jr., Def., Crookston, Minn.) were credited with assists on the play.
Unfortunately the Bulldogs would answer back just four minutes later to gain back their two-goal lead.
Bemidji State didn’t give up though and Erin Johnson (Sr., Fwd., Farmington, Minn.) scored on a two-on-one to put the Beavers back within one. Johnson and Annie Bauerfeld (Sr., Fwd., Woodbury, Minn.) entered the zone and after some nifty passing, Bauerfeld fed Johnson a back-door pass. The goal extends Johnsons point streak to eight games now.
With the game back at 4-3 the Beavers pulled McElhinney for an extra attacker in the final minute of play. The Beavers have only conceded two empty netters all season, but the Bulldogs’ Vanessa Thibault found the open twine and sealed the weekend sweep over Bemidji State 5-3.
The Beavers have killed off 35 of their last 36 penalties, killing two UMD opportunities in the game.
BSU drops to 12-11-3 (10-9-3-2 WCHA) on the season and sits in fifth place in the conference with 35 points. Minnesota Duluth (14-7-3, 12-7-3-0 WCHA) sits in fourth with 29 points.
The Beavers return home next weekend hosting No. 1 Wisconsin over the Feb. 4-5 weekend. Game times are set for 6:07 p.m. on Friday and 4:07 p.m. on Saturday.
-- bsu --