WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Beavers concede three late in 5-2 loss
BEMIDJI -- A trio of third-period goals doomed the Bemidji State women’s hockey team in a 5-2 loss Saturday afternoon to split the Western Collegiate Hockey Association series with Minnesota Duluth at the Sanford Center.
The win moved the Bulldogs (8-10-2, 5-7-2-2 WCHA) back ahead of the Beavers (8-14-1, 5-8-1-0 WCHA) for fourth place in the league, regaining a three-point edge on BSU for the final home playoff spot.
“Doesn’t matter who you’re playing, that second game is always going to be a challenge,” said BSU head coach Jim Scanlan. “But we certainly had our opportunities.”
With the game tied at 2-2 entering the third period, Anna Klein put UMD on top 8 minutes, 12 seconds into the frame. Momentum on their side, the Bulldogs scored twice more by the end of the game with goals by Anneke Linser and Ashton Bell.
“The third goal was a tough one,” Scanlan said. “It felt like our bench got deflated, and then they tack on a couple more. But the game was right there. It was a good, hard-fought battle between two good teams.”
Briana Jorde kicked off the contest with her goal just 2 minutes, 30 seconds in. The junior defenseman flung a shot from near the blue line that snaked through traffic and past goalie Emma Soderberg for the opening goal.
Late in the period, Gabbie Hughes collected a loose puck and leveled the score with under two minutes to go.
Early in the second period, Ryleigh Houston poked a puck through a scrum in front of the crease for the go-ahead goal.
The Beavers knotted the game up again with under five minutes to play in the frame.
Clair DeGeorge eluded a defender and buried a wrister into the back of the net at 15:21 of the period. The sophomore has recorded two points in each of her last three games.
BSU successfully killed a pair of penalties in the second to hold the Bulldogs to one goal for the frame.
“I thought our penalty kill did a tremendous job in the second period,” Scanlan said. “That really gave us momentum. We scored a goal after we killed two penalties off. So you’re going into the third period 2-2 in your rink on a Saturday. That’s something our group takes pride in.”
UMD took the lead for good when Klein skated into the zone and fired a shot top shelf for the go-ahead goal in the third period. The Bulldogs tallied twice more to put the game out of reach for the Beavers.
Lauren Bench made 22 saves on 27 shots in the loss as she fell to 4-7-1. Soderberg stopped 23 of 25 shots to improve to 3-0-0 with the win.
Bemidji State will be headed outdoors for its next contest.
The Beavers will host Minnesota State in a nonconference game as part of Hockey Day Minnesota. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19.
“It’s going to be the memory of a lifetime for all of our players,” Scanlan said. “We’re going to embrace the uniqueness of it. Obviously, you want to win the hockey game but we want to make sure everybody gets involved and everybody gets to experience it.”
Minnesota Duluth 5, Bemidji State 2
UMD 1 1 3 -- 5
BSU 1 1 0 -- 2
First period -- 1, BSU, Jorde (Passolt, DeGeorge), 2:30; 2, UMD, Hughes (Klein, Elmes), 18:15.
Second period -- 3, UMD, Houston (Hanley, Hewett), 2:39; 4, BSU, DeGeorge (Hunt), 15:21.
Third period -- 5, UMD, Klein (Linser, Norton), 8:12; 6, UMD, Linser (Hughes, Elmes), 10:42; 7, UMD, Bell (Linser), 16:52.
Goalies (saves-shots) -- BSU, Bench (22-27); UMD, Soderberg (23-25).