WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Kelly, Anderson spark third peiod comeback
BEMIDJI -- It took a fortunate bounce or two but the BSU women's hockey team finally solved Julie Friend.
The St. Cloud State goaltender had turned away 44 of 45 shots in Friday night's 3-1 Huskies win and was similarly outstanding in Saturday's rematch.
The Minnetonka native was shutting out the Beavers out for the first 55 minutes of their Western Collegiate Hockey Association game at the Sanford Center.
Rachael Kelly and Stephanie Anderson helped the Beavers turn the tables on the sophomore goalie.
Kelly scored a power play goal with four minutes remaining in the game then assisted on Anderson's highlight-reel play 90 seconds later as the Beavers came back to topple the Huskies 2-1 Saturday.
"Things didn't look very good for a while, " BSU head coach Steve Sertich said. "I knew it would be a one-goal game both night because of how we match up. When they got up on us it didn't look good for us, but somehow our power play snuck one in."
After a scoreless first 40 minutes of play the Huskies (4-17-3, 3-13-2 WCHA) got on the board first over halfway through the final frame. Julia Gilbert somehow found room in the inches between BSU goalie Brittni Mowat's outstretched left pad and the post to make it 1-0.
That left the Beavers (9-11-2, 6-9-1 WCHA) scrambling to score.
The BSU offense generated 25 shots on Friend in the third period but didn't have any great opportunities until finally earning a power play chance with just over five minutes to play in the game.
Kelly scored the equalizer after redirecting a pass from Kaitlyn Tougas. The puck hit off her stick and fluttered in past Friend.
"It's just the law of averages," Sertich said. 'We've had some great opportunities we didn't get a bounce on. It wasn't a great play by any means but Kelly got her stick on it and it trickled in. Sometimes you have to get a little lucky."
Officials reviewed the play to make sure Kelly didn't kick it in but replay was inconclusive.
"We finally got the bounces today," said Kelly, a junior winger from Rosemount. "It hit my stick and went in. It was good to tie it up and get the momentum."
Ninety seconds later Kelly and Anderson connected for what turned out to be the game-winner.
After winning a faceoff Kelly went to retrieve the puck down behind Friend. Anderson, a sophomore from North St. Paul, was wide open in the slot waiting for a shot.
"I remember screaming, 'Rachel!' at her," Anderson said. "I know she didn't even look. It was a great backhand pass right on my forehand and I just one-timed it.
"I was trying to get it on net. I guess I picked the right corner and it went in."
The celebration after finally getting a second goal past Friend was raucous -- "It was a big goal for us," Kelly said. "We needed these three points."
Friend ended up making 38 saves, taking the loss. BSU freshman goaltender Brittni Mowat made 26 saves to pick up the victory.
"Both goalies played great," Kelly said. "We just kept going hard. We knew it was going to be a close series all weekend. Unfortunately we didn't get their points (on Friday) but we got it today so we're glad to get the split."
The Beavers host No. 2-ranked Wisconsin in another WCHA series next Friday and Saturday at the Sanford Center. Both games are set to begin at 2:07 p.m.
Bemidji State 2, St. Cloud State 1
SCSU 0 0 1 -- 1
BSU 0 0 2 -- 2
First Period -- No Scoring. Penalties -- SCSU, Markstrom (Cross-Checking), 17:39.
Second Period -- No Scoring. Penalties -- BSU, McKnight (Body Checking), 2:52; BSU, Williams (Interference), 14:44.
Third Period -- 1, SCSU, Gilbert (Mott), 11:50; 2, BSU, Kelly (Tougas), 16:10, PP; 3, BSU, Anderson (Kelly), 17:38. Penalties -- SCSU, Funk (Slashing), 14:56.
Shots On Goal -- SCSU, 8-11-8--27; BSU, 9-6-25. Goalies -- SCSU, Friend (40-38); BSU, Mowat (27-26). Penalties-Minutes -- SCSU, 2-4; BSU, 2-4. Power Plays-Opportunities -- SCSU, 0-for-2; BSU, 1-for-2. Faceoffs -- SCSU 32-27. Three Stars -- 1-Anderson, BSU; 2-Kelly, BSU; 3-Gilbert, SCSU.