|February 25, 2017||1st||2nd||3rd||Final|
|1||06:15||BSU||Thibodeau, Summer (Nelson, Ciscely , Miller, Lauren)|
|2||19:32||MINN||Sarah Potomak (Cara Piazza )|
|3||11:09||BSU||Nelson, Ciscely (Hutchinson, Madison )|
|Shots on Goal||23||34|
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Bemidji State University women's hockey team forced a deciding game three in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Playoffs after defeating No. 4 University of Minnesota, 2-1, Saturday afternoon. The Beavers (12-19-3, 7-18-3-1 WCHA) were led by seniors Ciscely Nelson and Brittni Mowat after Nelson scored the game-winning goal with 8:51 to play and Mowat stopped 33-of-34 shots to even the series.
Nelson factored in on both of Bemidji State’s two goals in the game after recording a goal and assist while Summer Thibodeau scored BSU’s first goal in the first period. Lauren Miller and Madison Hutchinson each added assists in the game.
Bemidji State had a much better start to the game than the night before and just 6:15 into the opening period Thibodeau tapped in a rebounded shot by Nelson to put the Beavers ahead 1-0. The Gophers increased pressure in their offensive zone but Mowat tracked the puck well in the period and stopped all 11 shots by Minnesota. At the end of the period, UM held the advantage on the shot chart at 11-7.
Minnesota would look to tie the game in the second period, but the Beavers’ defense and Mowat remained a tough test for the Gophers. Bemidji State would head on a power play with 2:24 left to play. Bemidji State had several chances and held the puck in their zone for most of the power play, however, just as time was winding down, Minnesota’s Sarah Potomak stole the puck and beat Mowat for the Gophers’ tying goal with 28 seconds remaining. Minnesota would make a third trip to the penalty box after a hooking penalty with 1.4 left as Bemidji State would close out the second period with an extra skater. Minnesota held a decisive shot advantage through most of the period but a late surge by the Beaves brought the shot chart to 22-17, Minnesota.
The third period would continue to be a battle between the two teams. The Beavers were unable to set up on their power play to start the period, but at 11:09 Nelson skated to the right circle and fired a bad angle shot that snuck through Peters to put the Beavers ahead 2-1 with under 10 minutes to play. The Gophers would pull Peters with less than two minutes remaining but a suffocating Beaver defense surrounded the puck whenever Minnesota tried to enter the zone and the Beavers were able to keep Minnesota off of the scoreboard.
Mowat finished with 33 saves in the game while only allowing one goal to earn her 11th win of the season and push her season record to 11-18-3. Peters finished with 21-of-23 saves and fell to 23-6-4.
The win for the Beavers marks the first time this season that Minnesota has lost a game at home and first time in Minnesota’s program history they lost a game in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs.
Bemidji State and Minnesota will play the deciding game of the series tomorrow and will face-off for a 4:07 p.m. scheduled puck drop.
For more information on the Bemidji State hockey program, follow the Beavers on Twitter (@BSUBeavers), like them on Facebook (facebook.com/BSUBeavers) or sign up for the TXTUpdates from BSUBeavers.com text-messaging system through the "Multimedia" pull down menu on the main page of BSUBeavers.com.
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooden region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, BSU sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).