BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State women’s hockey team was kept off the scoreboard in a 4-0 loss to Minnesota State on Saturday afternoon at the Sanford Center. Goaltender Calla Frank totaled 23 saves to help the Mavericks (4-7-1) seal the Western Collegiate Hockey Association series sweep.
Kelsey King scored twice and Jessica Kondas and Madison Mashuga tallied one goal apiece.
Coupled with Friday’s 2-1 win, MSU swept BSU for the first time since Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 2008, in Mankato, and for the first time in Bemidji since Nov. 12-13, 2004.
“I thought they were outstanding all weekend long,” BSU head coach Jim Scanlan said of Minnesota State. “Obviously, they came in with a lot of confidence and they played extremely well.”
The Beavers (1-6-1) have now lost five straight games. Goals have been elusive as of late as BSU has been held to one goal or less in each of its last four contests.
The solution is for attackers to keep hammering away down low while avoiding turnovers, Scanlan said.
“We had a tendency to turn pucks over between the offensive blue line at the top of the circle, trying to stick handle and trying to make a move, and they’re going the other way,” he said. “We did a better job of getting pucks past their defensemen and that allowed us to generate more offense, and that’s what we need to do.”
The Beavers outshot MSU 9-7 in a scoreless first period before the game began to get away from them.
A bit of bad luck resulted in the game’s first goal. Kondas scored on a shot that deflected off a BSU defender during a power-play opportunity at the 2:46 mark of the second period.
Another deflection up front produced a second goal for Minnesota State late in the frame when King tipped in Taylor Wemple’s initial shot.
The score remained 2-0 for the next 23 minutes of game time until a pair of successive goals late in the third period.
King scored her second goal on a breakaway as goaltender Kerigan Dowhy was about to vacate the net for the extra skater with 2:21 to go. Only 13 seconds later, Mashuga collected a rebound after Kondas’s initial shot to bring the game to its final score.
“We came out in the third and we gave ourselves a chance,” Scanlan said. “We had good push, and got as many pucks to the net as we could. We just couldn’t get one by Frank.”
Frank earned her first shutout of the season, while Dowhy posted 23 saves on 27 shots in the loss.
The Mavericks have gone 3-0-1 in four league games against the Beavers this season. The teams will meet again in a WCHA series Jan. 29-30 in Mankato.
But first, Bemidji State hits the road next weekend to meet St. Cloud State for a set of games Jan. 15-16. BSU will hope to snap its skid against the Huskies, whom the Beavers defeated 3-2 in overtime Dec. 11 for their lone win this season.
“We’ve got people who can score goals in the locker room,” Scanlan said “It’s just a matter of them getting that confidence. Obviously, everybody is squeezing the stick a little tight right now, so we’ve just got to stay with it.”
Minnesota State 4, Bemidji State 0
MSU 0 2 2 -- 4
BSU 0 0 0 -- 0
First period -- No scoring.
Second period -- 1, MSU, Kondas (Wilgren, Nelson), 2:46, PP; 2, MSU, King (Wemple, Truax), 14:31.
Third period -- 3, MSU, King (Mashuga), 17:39; 4, MSU, Mashuga (Kondas, Gardner), 17:52.
Goalies (saves-shots) -- BSU, Dowhy (23-27); MSU, Frank (23-23).