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Beaver women duel Bulldogs in 4-3 loss

For the second consecutive game the Bemidji State women's hockey team went down to the wire with national power Minnesota-Duluth, falling 4-3 Saturday at The Glas.

The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period with the Bulldogs taking a 2-1 lead after the second. UMD looked to put the game away for good with a goal with just under five minutes left in the third. But the Beavers came back to close to 3-2 before UMD iced the game away with an empty net goal with 1:24 left.

The Beavers then scored as time expired to make it 4-3.

Bemidji State employed a bend but don't break philosophy in the game against the third ranked Bulldogs. The Beavers rode the strong goaltending of sophomore Emily Brookshaw and took advantage of opportunities on offense when they were presented.

The Bulldogs rained 19 first period shots on Brookshaw and limited the Beavers to seven, but the scored was tied 1-1. Mari Pehkonen staked UMD to a 1-0 lead at the 3:27 mark, stealing the puck at the near circle, walking in alone and scoring. It is believed Pehkonen will be named a member of the Finnish Olympic team when the squad is announced in the next few days.

The Beavers hung in and came back to even the score at 1-1 about 10 minutes later. Senior defender Sarah Zuelke got off a strong shot which was stopped by UMD's mountain of a goalie Riita Schaublin. The UMD goaltender gave up a big rebound, however, and BSU's Nikki Eckebrecht was there to cash in.

UMD went ahead 2-1 shortly into the second. Once again it was a BSU defensive turnover deep that cost them. The Bulldog's Noemie Marin stole the puck at the near circle, walked in alone and scored 5-hole on a backhand past Brookshaw. That was the only scoring of the period.

The Beavers came extremely close to tying things up at about the seven minute mark as Helena Tageson took a a fine pass from Kelly Hart in close and got off a strong one-timer. Schaublin, however, came up huge with a glove save on the bang-bang play.

Shots were much more even in the period with UMD holding a 12-9 advantage.

The Beavers came out flying to start the third and carried the play for about the first four minutes. Sophomore Jessica Pullar came within fractions of making it 2-2 just 1:45 into the period. Pullar hounded a UMD defender into a turnover, stealing the puck and firing from point blank range in the same motion. The puck slid just inches wide of the open net.

Defender Rachel Drazan gave the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead at 15:16 of the third. But BSU's Aimee Collins wouldn't let UMD pull away, making a steal near the red line, skating in on a breakaway and scoring top shelf to make it 3-2.

The Beavers got a face off in the Bulldogs zone with about 1:30 remaining. After a BSU time out Brookshaw was pulled for an extra attacker in an attempt to tie things up. The Beavers won the face off but an unfortunate bounce of the puck led to a UMD breakaway and an empty net goal for Sara O'Toole with 1:24 left.

Still the Beavers wouldn't give up. Tara Hiscock connected off a pass from Kelly Hart as time expired.

Brookshaw had yet another fine night in net for the Beavers, stopping 42 of the 45 UMD shots she faced. Schaublin got the win, making 22 saves on 25 shots.

The loss dropped the Beavers to 5-17-2 and 4-14-0 in the WCHA. UMD improved to 16-3-1 and 14-3-1.

UMD 1 1 2 - 4

BSU 1 0 2 - 3

First Period - 1, UMD, Mari Pehkonen (unassisted), 3:27. 2, BSU, Nikki Eckebrecht (Sarah Zuelke), 13:16. Penalties - Juliane Jubinville (high sticking), 15:49

Second Period - 3, UMD, Noemie Marin (unassisted), 1:53. Penalties - Brooke Collins, BSU (hooking), 8:05

Third Period - 4, UMD, Rachel Drazan (Allison Lehrke, Jessica Koizumi), 15:16. 5, BSU, Aimee Collins (unassisted), 17:35. 6, UMD, Sara O'Toole (unassisted), 18:36. 7, BSU, Tara Hiscock (Kelly Hart), 19:59. Penalties - Tageson, BSU (hooking), 13:14, Jill Sales, UMD (cross-checking), 18:49.

Shots UMD 19-12-17 48, BSU 7-9-9 25. Saves UMD-Riita Schaublin (22-25), BSU-Emily Brookshaw (44-47)(empty net-:10). Referee - Evonne Young, assistant referees - Tom Jerome, Ron Storey A - 200