Bemidji State drops series finale 3-2 to No. 4 Minnesota
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Oct. 15, 2005
Women’s Ice Hockey

BEMIDJI, Minn. (John Glas Fieldhouse) - The Bemidji State women’s hockey team suffered their second straight loss in the series finale against the University of Minnesota, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon at the John Glas Fieldhouse.

Just one day after being shutout by the Golden Gophers, Bemidji State (1-2-1, 0-2-0 WCHA) struck first getting a goal from freshman Whitney Sears (Nanton, Alberta) who was playing in just her second career game. Sears’ goal was the first of her young career. Junior Kelly Hart added her second assist of the season on Sears’ goal, the 32nd of her career.

Minnesota (3-1-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) would not have to play behind for long as another Whitney, this time Whitney Graft, picked up her first career goal as a Gopher. Graft’s goal at the 12:59 mark of the first period came from Chelsey Brodt who added her first assist of the season.

Much of the second period was played in a 1-1 tie until Minnesota’s Anya Miller gave the Gophers their first lead of the day with her first goal of the season with just under two minutes left to play in the period. Erica McKenzie picked up her thrid assist of the season on Miller’s goal.

Despite allowing a late goal in the second period, the Bemidji State defense made several key stops as the Gopher’s were unable to capitalize on two break-aways.

“Defensivly we had a much better performance today,” said head coach Bruce Olson. “I felt our young defenders (Brooke) Collins and (Whitney) Sears had one of their best performances. Both girls played very well this weekend.”

In the third period Bemidji State had two early power play opportunities they let slip away. Minnesota was able to take a 3-1 lead on a short handed goal by Erica McKenzie at the 12:02 mark of the third period. McKenzie’s goal, her third of the season, turned out to be the game winner for the Gophers.

BSU would not give up as just a minute later junior Kate Robinson (Shanty Bay, Ontario) netted her first goal of the season to bring the Beavers within one. Assisting on the goal was Nina Ziegenhals (Sankt Augustin, Germany) and Haley Balcom (Elk River, Minn.).

“On the ice there is not a lot of time to catch the pass,” said Olson. “The speed of practice is considerably different than in a game situation. We need to be more aggressive in the scoring area and anticipate the pass when we are in front of the net.”

Overall, Olson was impressed by the perfromance of his team.

“It is nice to see several of our freshman playing well, making good decisions and reads,” said Olson. “I think we walk away from this game with a lot of confidence.”

The Beavers will next be in action as they appear for the first time on the road in St. Cloud taking on the Huskies in Western Collegiate Hockey Association actions. Both games are scheduled to begin at 2:07 p.m. at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.