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Women's Hockey: White tops Green 5-3 in scrimmage

Bemidji State’s Abby Williams, right, dumps the puck as Lauren Merkley (74) chases her into the zone during the BSU women’s hockey team’s Green and White Game Friday night at the Sanford Center. The White team won the scrimmage 5-3; Mackenzie Thurston led the White with a hat trick while Sadie Lundquist scored twice for the Green. Jack Hittinger | Bemidji Pioneer

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 captain MacKenzie 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 alumni Marlee Wheelhouse and Lauren Williams, seniors on the 2011-12 squad.

Beaver captain Sadie 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 teammate Tess Dusik serving a tripping penalty. Team White went into the intermission with a 2-1 lead.

Wheelhouse, whose sister Erika Wheelhouse did not play, got the scoring started in the second stanza 2:31 in. Wheelhouse buried a rebound off a Danielle 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 transfer Stephanie Anderson and Lunquist scored 10 seconds apart.

Team Green pulled its goalie in the last two minutes of the contest, allowing freshman Kaitlyn Tougas to seal the win with an empty-net goal.

On the night, senior netminder Jessica Havel stopped 13 of the 14 shots that came her way and sophomore transfer Abby Ryplanski came up with 20 saves on 24 shots. Freshman Alexane Rodrigue made 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.