GRAND FORKS, N.D. - In a series that never wanted to end, the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team and the No. 8 North Dakota Fighting Sioux played into overtime of game three in the first-round of WCHA playoffs. North Dakota would end the season for BSU after netting a goal 16 minutes into overtime Saturday night at Purpur Arena.
After shutting out North Dakota the previous night, making 22 saves, Zuzana Tomcikova (Jr., G., Bratislava, Slovakia) had another gem of a game making 27 saves including seven in overtime.
A very fast-paced first period saw neither team able to claim a tally on the scoresheet. Wanting to get some momentum rolling early, Bemidji State got a shot on net from Emily Erickson (R-So., Fwd., Coleraine, Minn.) within the first few seconds of the game. BSU went on to out-shoot North Dakota 7-4.
The second period was a tale of two teams for both sides. Gaining the first goal of the game is always a huge objective to accomplish and the Beavers were the team to do just that. At the 1:06 mark of the period, Marlee Wheelhouse (Jr., Def., Crookston, Minn.) scored her second goal of the season off a broken play. Erickson and Sadie Lundquist (So., Fwd., Cloquet, Minn.) entered the zone on a two-on-one. Lundquist wanted to pass the puck to Erickson, but her pass was broken up by a UND defender. The broken pass then slid out to the slot and Wheelhouse skated in and one-timed the loose puck into the back of the net.
However, with all the momentum in their favor the Beavers seemed to forget that there was still more than plenty of time left to play. North Dakota would go on to score back-to-back goals, including one on the power play to take a 2-1 lead. Both goals were the result of the Sioux crashing the net hard and picking up rebounds at the back door.
With North Dakota cruising and Bemidji State struggling to break the puck out of their own zone, the Beavers suddenly changed things around. Looking like they have the whole weekend, the Beavers went back on the prowl and UND started struggling in their own zone. With just under five minutes left in the period, BSU found the game-tying goal they were looking for. Kimberly Lieder (Jr., Def., Eagan, Minn.) put the puck in on net from the left point and Lundquist came crashing in for the rebound. Lundquist was tripped up on the play and coincidentally slid into the puck and knocked it past the UND tender. The Sioux out-shot the Beavers in the period 13-12 with Jocelyne Lamoureux gaining six shots alone in the period.
The third period was just like the first with neither side gaining an advantage. After 60 minutes of play neither team was able to claim a go-ahead goal and extra time was needed to decide a victor.
The overtime period saw the fast-pace tempo of the game go even faster as Bemidji State and North Dakota both battled to score the series-winning goal. BSU thought they had the winner after the puck fell loose underneath Ney in the UND goal. However, the referee waived off any would-be goal for the Beavers. Tomcikova kept Bemidji State in the game making save after save in the extra time, including a glove save from a sitting position against Lamoureux.
Unfortunately for the Beavers, Monique Lamoureux-Kolls came up big for the Sioux as she skated down the ice, catching the BSU off balance and was able to walk in on the side of the net sneaking one into the back of the net at the 16:00 mark. Winning the series, North Dakota will advance on to the 2010 WCHA FINAL FACE-OFF to play against No. 1 Wisconsin in semi-final action.
The loss ends Bemidji State’s season with a mark of 14-17-4 (11-14-4-2 WCHA), just one win shy of tying the program record for most wins in a season set in the 1999-2000 season at 15.
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