West leads Minnesota comeback as Beavers fall 3-2
Friday, January 20, 2012
West leads Minnesota comeback as Beavers fall 3-2
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -  The No. 2 University of Minnesota used three unanswered goals in the second and third period to earn a 3-2 comeback victory over Bemidji State University Friday night at Ridder Arena. The Beavers tallied the first two goals of the game but were unable to stave off the late surge from the Golden Gophers including two third period goals from Emily West. BSU falls to 14-10-2 (8-10-1 WCHA). Minnesota improves to 20-4-1 (14-4-1). The Golden Gophers remain unbeaten at Ridder Arena with the victory over the Beavers.

BSU continues its strugles in the first game of series despite playing a hard-fought game against No. 2 in the nation. The Beavers are now 3-8-1 in first games this season.

Kristin Huber (Fr., F, Kelowna, British Columbia) put BSU ahead 1-0 when MacKenzie Thurston (Jr., F, Ottawa, Ontario) wrangled the puck behind the net and found Huber in the kill zone where the freshman played it past Noora Raty for her fourth goal of the season. The assist was Thurston’s 11th of the year.

The Beavers went up 2-0 early in the second period as a Kimberly Lieder (Sr., D, Eagan, Minn.) rocket from just outside the right circle rattled in over the shoulder of Raty who didn’t see the puck. The goal was Lieder’s fourth of the season and came off a pass from Thurston played the puck off the boards to the right of the goal where she found an eager Lieder waiting. The assist was Thurston’s second of the game and her 12th assist of the season.

Rachael Bona looked to lead the charge of a Minnesota comeback at the 7:01 mark in the second period as she was found on the back side of the goal with assists to Sarah Davis and Kelly Terry. Bona played the puck under BSU netminder Zuzana Tomcikova (Sr., G, Bratislava, Slovakia). The goal was Bona’s fourth of the season. The assist was Davis’ 14th and Terry’s 11th of the 2011-12 campaign.

Minnesota had a plethora of chances late in the second period but Tomcikova kept the Golden Gophers out of the net.

The Golden Gophers had a lot of chances early in the third period but the Beavers perhaps had the best chance as they found Raty way out of the net after she tried to play the puck down the ice. BSU’s Danielle Williams took the puck and put a shot on net but Raty proved why she is a top-notch netminder as she made it back to stop the Beaver chance.

Soon after Minnesota found the net on a power-play opportunity as Emily West beat Tomcikova off assists from Davis and Rachel Ramsey. The goal was West’s 10th. The assists were Davis’ 14th and Ramsey’s 11th. The goal on the penalty kill was only the 15th given up this season by the Beavers.

At the 6:55 mark Jamie Hatheway (Jr., D, Trenton, Ontario) lost the puck at center ice as West took the puck and beat Tomcikova in the upper left corner of the goal. The goal was West’s second of the game and her 11th of the season.

Bemidji State pulled Tomcikova late looking for an extra skater and put together several chances including a great opportunity from Emily Erickson (R-Jr., F, Coleraine, Minn.) but were unable to find the equalizer late in the game.

Huber led Bemidji State with five shots on goal. Rachael Kelly (Fr., F, Rosemount, Minn.) chipped in four shots on net. Minnesota was paced by West’s nine shots on net, Ramsey added seven for the game.

Tomcikova suffers the loss for the Beavers after playing a strong game including making 43 saves as Minnesota outshot Bemidji State
46-24. Raty picked up the win for the Golden Gophers with 22 saves.

Bemidji State and Minnesota will play the second game of the series tomorrow at 4:07 p.m. at Ridder Arena. The game will be televised live by Big Ten Network.