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Bemidji State women's hockey: Season comes to close for Beavers

Bemidji State goalie Alanna McElhinney makes a save during Saturday's WCHA FInal Face-Off Semifinal game against Minnesota-Duluth at Ridder Arena. BSU Photo Services

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Bemidji State women's hockey team's historic playoff run came to an end Saturday.

The Beavers lost to No. 2 ranked Minnesota-Duluth 7-3 in the WCHA Final Face-Off semifinal at Ridder Arena. The loss ended Bemidji State's season with a record of 12-19-7 (9-12-7-3 WCHA).

"We're really proud of our team and the season we had," said head coach Steve Sertich. "We didn't quit after we got done to a heck-of-a hockey team. I've seen players and teams give up and our kids didn't, and I'm proud of the fact that they battled back."

The number-two team in the country overpowered the Beavers as the Bulldogs' top line of Laura Fridfinnson, Katie Wilson, and Emmanuelle Blais had a combined 14 points in the game.

Duluth advanced to Sunday's championship game against Minnesota, which defeated Ohio State 5-4 in double overtime in Saturday's other semifinal.

Minnesota-Duluth came out firing, scoring 24 seconds into the game on Fridfinnson's goal. UMD pushed that lead to 3-0 after one period and led 5-0 three minutes into the second period.

The first five goals scored by UMD came on that top line of Fridfinnson, Wildson and Rasmussen.

When Wilson scored the fifth goal for the Bulldogs, Bemidji State starting goalie Zuzana Tomcikova was pulled in favor of Alanna McElhinney.

Emily Erickson scored BSU's lone goal of the second period at the 5:00 mark. UMD led 6-1 after two periods.

BSU's Erin Cody and Erickson scored two minutes apart early on in the third period to cut Minnesota-Duluth's lead to 6-3. But it was as close as the Beavers were able to get as Blais scored an empty-net goal with 1:40 remaining to close out the scoring.

"We were expecting them to come out hard and we wanted to come after that too," said Erickson, who also assisted on Cody's goal. "We got behind early, but like coach said, we didn't give up and I think that shows the true character of our team."

The seven goals allowed were the most given up by the Beavers this season. McElhinney stopped 12 of 13 shots in relief of Tomcikova, who stopped nine of 14.

Erin Cody's goal was the 20th of the season. The 2009-10 campaign was the best of her career as she totaled 33 points (20G, 13A). She is now tied for third all-time at BSU with 36 career goals.

BSU defenseman Jackie Robertson ended her career tied for games played with 144. She shares the record with former teammate Brooke Collins.