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WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Bemidji State falls to St. Cloud State 3-1 in home opener

Bemidji State’s Kaitlyn Tougas, center, is shoved into St. Cloud State goaltender Katie Fitzgerald, right, by the Huskies’ Kylie Lane, left, during the second period of their WCHA matchup Friday night at the Sanford Center. The Huskies defeated the Beavers 3-1 in BSU’s home opener. Jack Hittinger | Bemidji Pioneer1 / 3
Bemidji State’s Tess Dusik takes a shot from the blue line during the second period of BSU's 3-1 loss to St. Cloud State Friday night at the Sanford Center. Jack Hittinger | Bemidji Pioneer2 / 3
Bemidji State’s Alex Ehlert (24) and Erika Wheelhouse (14) try to corrall the puck in front of the St. Cloud State net during the second period of the Beavers' 3-1 loss to the Huskies Friday night at the Sanford Center. Jack Hittinger | Bemidji Pioneer3 / 3

BEMIDJI – St. Cloud State spoiled Bemidji State’s home opener Friday night.

Behind 34 saves from goaltender Katie Fitzgerald, the Huskies topped the Beavers 3-1 in WCHA action at the Sanford Center. It was St. Cloud State’s first win against Bemidji since 2010, and the Huskies’ first win in Bemidji since Sept. 14, 2009.

The Huskies (1-2-0, 1-2-0 WCHA) got on the board with help from the Beavers (1-2-0, 0-1-0 WCHA). Emily McKnight went to the penalty box for tripping and St. Cloud State’s Alex Nelson took advantage.

Her goal at the 9:15 mark – after a feed from Audrey Hanmer – put the Huskies up 1-0.

In the second period, back-to-back St. Cloud State goals put the Beavers away.

Cari Coen scored the first goal just 2:17 into the period, picking up a loose puck at center ice then beating BSU goalie Jessica Havel with a wrist shot on a breakaway to make it 2-0.

Just minutes later, Kalli Funk made it 3-0 with another unassisted goal at the 3:26 mark.

The Beavers kept fighting.

Despite trailing 3-0 after two periods, BSU was outshooting the Huskies 20-19.

Their persistence paid off in the third period.

After a holding penalty on SCSU’s Katie Allen, the Beavers cashed in on the power play. Whitney Wivoda cleaned up the rebound after a shot by Sadie Lundquist and punched the puck past Fitzgerald at the 8:16 mark.

That cut St. Cloud State’s lead to 3-1, but Bemidji State couldn’t find any more daylight past Fitzgerald despite outshooting the Huskies 15-10 in the third period and 35-29 in the game.

Fitzgerald was the game’s No. 1 star with her 34-save performance. She improves to 1-1-0.

Havel, getting her first start at the Sanford Center, made 26 saves but was tagged with the loss. She is now 1-1-0 on the year after picking up the win at Providence last weekend.

The Beavers return to action this afternoon for the second game of the series. The puck is scheduled to drop at 3:07 p.m.

St. Cloud State 3, Bemidji State 1

SCSU    1      2      0 – 3

BSU    0      0      1 – 1

First Period – 1, SCSU, Nelson (Hanmer), 9:15

Second Period – 2, SCSU, Coen, 2:17. 3, SCSU, Funk, 3:26.

Third Period – 4, BSU, Wivoda (Lundquist, Wheelhouse), 8:16.

Shots On Goal – SCSU 9-10-10-29. BSU 10-10-15-25.

Goaltenders – SCSU, Fitzgerald (35-34). BSU, Havel (29-26).

Penalties-Minutes – SCSU, 4-8. BSU, 2-4.

Power Plays – SCSU 1-for-2. BSU 1-for-4.

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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