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Bemidji State women's hockey: Late rally falls short for BSU against No. 2 Gophers

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The Bemidji State women's hockey team was unable to pull off the upset against No. 2 ranked Minnesota Friday night.

The Gophers defeated the Beavers 4-2 at Ridder Arena behind second-period goals from Kellie Blankenship and Bemidji High School grad Sarah Erickson.

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It marked Minnesota's14th straight victory over Bemidji State. Minnesota controlled play for much of the game and outshot the Beavers 38-21.

"I thought we were losing a lot of one-on-one battles, but it wasn't about speed or skill, we were just not scrapping hard enough with them," head coach Steve Sertich said. "We had some chances late and it was good that we could take the game back at a point where some teams would have packed it up."

Blankenship and Erickson gave the Gophers a lead with back-to-back goals in the second period. The Gophers led 2-0 heading into the third period.

Tera Rassmussen put Minnesota up 3-0 with a goal five minutes into the third period.

Bemidji State tried to rally late and cut the deficit down to 3-1 on Erin Cody's fourth goal of the season with 7:14 to play.

Annie Bauerfeld scored her fourth of the season with just over a minute to play to bring the Beavers within one goal at 3-2.

BSU pulled goalie Zuzana Tomcikova in favor of the sixth attacker and Minnesota was able to ice the game when Emily West scored the empty-net goal with 41 seconds remaining.

"I was really proud of our team," Sertich said. "I've seen some teams pack it in after being down and outshot in two periods like we were. It was amazing what we did in the last 10 minutes of the game and it shows how resilient our players are."

Tomcikova had 34 saves in the game and recorded her 10th game this season with a save percentage better than .900. She had a .919 save percentage on the night. Her efforts helped keep the Beavers in the game including a huge diving-save in the third period on a rebound shot.

Cody finished the night with two points, scoring the first Beaver goal and assisting on the second. Marlee Wheelhouse (So., Crookston, Minn.) and Sadie Lundquist also tallied assists for the Beavers.

The Beavers wrap up the weekend series with Minnesota Saturday at 4:07 p.m.

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Pioneer staff reports
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