BEMIDJI –The Bemidji State women’s hockey team held its Green/White exhibition game on Friday night at the Sanford Center, and Team White staved off a third-period charge by Team Green to earn a 5-3 win.
Senior assistant captainMacKenzie Thurston led the way for Team White, notching a hat trick before the end of the second period.
The game also saw the return of BSU women’s hockey alumniMarlee WheelhouseandLauren Williams, seniors on the 2011-12 squad.
Beaver captainSadie Lundquist got the scoring going for Team Green 10:47 into the first period.
But Thurston helped Team White answer by knotting the score 1:15 later and giving her team the lead with a shorthanded tally less than two minutes later, tying it with teammateTess Dusik serving a tripping penalty. Team White went into the intermission with a 2-1 lead.
Wheelhouse, whose sisterErika Wheelhousedid not play, got the scoring started in the second stanza 2:31 in. Wheelhouse buried a rebound off aDanielle Williams power-play shot to give Team White a 3-1 lead. Thurston scored the only other goal in the frame to complete her hat trick and make is 4-1.
Team Green made the game interesting in the third period when redshirt sophomore and Minnesota transferStephanie Anderson and Lunquist scored 10 seconds apart.
Team Green pulled its goalie in the last two minutes of the contest, allowing freshmanKaitlyn Tougas to seal the win with an empty-net goal.
On the night, senior netminderJessica Havel stopped 13 of the 14 shots that came her way and sophomore transferAbby Ryplanskicame up with 20 saves on 24 shots. FreshmanAlexane Rodriguemade 16 saves on 18 shots on the night.
The Green/White game served as the only exhibition hockey the Beavers will play before they head to Providence College next Friday and Saturday to kick off the regular season.
After next weekend, BSU will have its first WCHA series and first home games of the season against St. Cloud State on Oct. 12-13.