MINNEAPOLIS – Once again, Bemidji State goaltender Jess Havel gave her team a chance to win.
But like Minnesota has proven time and again, the Gophers are the No. 1 team in the country for a reason.
Minnesota scored four goals in the third period to ruin Havel’s 41-save performance and help the Gophers defeat the Beavers 5-0 in game one of their best-of-3 WCHA playoff series Friday night at Ridder Arena.
With the win, the Gophers improved to 35-0-0 and have won 43-straight games leading back to last season – an NCAA record. The Beavers, meanwhile, fell to 6-25-2 overall.
The teams resume their series at 4 p.m. today; game three is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday, if necessary.
BSU gave the Gophers a good fight the entire game. In the first period, the teams were fairly even, with Minnesota holding a 9-7 edge on shots.
In the second period, however, the Gophers turned it on, firing 18 shots at Havel.
The senior from Grand Rapids stopped all but one of them – a Mira Jalosuo wrist shot at the 3 minute, 50 second mark.
In the third period, Minnesota’s flurry continued and the Gophers finally put the Beavers away, firing 19 shots on Havel.
Megan Bozek scored twice for Minnesota and Kelly Terry and Rachel Bona each scored a goal apiece.
In all, Minnesota outshot Bemidji State 46-20.
Emily Erickson had six shots on goal for the Beavers and several good scoring chances but was denied by Gophers goalie Noora Raty, who made 20 saves.
Bemidji State 0 0 0 – 0
Minnesota 0 1 4 – 5
First Period – No Scoring.
Second Period – 1, UM, Jalosuo (Bona, Brandt), 3:50.
Third Period – 2, UM, Bozek (Menefee, Kessel), 4:45; 3, UM, Terry (Ramsey, Davis), 8:31, PP; 4, UM, Bona (Brausen, Gillanders), 11:19; 5, UM, Bozek (Unassisted), 16:53.
Shots On Goal – BSU, 7-5-8-20; UM, 9-18-19-46.
Goaltenders – BSU, Havel (46-41); UM, Raty (20-20).
Penalties-Minutes – BSU, 4-8; UM, 3-6.
Power Plays – BSU 0-for-3; UM 1-for-4.