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WOMEN'S HOCKEY: Beavers tie Clarkson in back-and-forth home debut

No one likes to tie. But after two scoreless periods, an early third-period score gave the Bemidji State women’s hockey team a 1-0 lead and belief that it could pull out an excellent win in its home opener against a Clarkson team receiving votes in the national polls.

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Bemidji State goalie Hannah Hogenson (1) makes a save against Clarkson University on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, at the Sanford Center. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- No one likes to tie.

But after two scoreless periods, an early third-period score gave the Bemidji State women’s hockey team a 1-0 lead and belief that it could pull out an excellent win in its home opener against a Clarkson team receiving votes in the national polls.

Unfortunately for the Beavers, a late goal by the Golden Knights’ Gabrielle David ended those hopes. David tied the score at 1-1 and ensured neither team would leave the Sanford Center with the satisfaction of victory, even after a five-minute overtime period.

Still, BSU took many positives from the contest, a successful matchup against a talented team.

“I think there were a lot of improvements we saw from last weekend that we worked on this week in practice,” forward Graysen Myers said. “And so I think it's something to be proud of, and I think we can just take this game and kind of learn from it and work on it, and come back better tomorrow from it.”

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The Beavers celebrate after Bemidji State senior Graysen Myers (23) scored in the third period against Clarkson University on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, at the Sanford Center. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

Myers scored the Beavers’ lone goal of the game, a poke past the goal line at 3:31 in the third that gave Bemidji State (1-3-1) the lead.

“I just saw the puck in the crease, and I was like, ‘I'm getting this puck,’” Myers said. “And I just got my stick on it, and I saw it kind of trickle over her pad, and then it was just fun celebrating with my teammates.”

But it was not to be for the Beavers on this day, as the Golden Knights kept coming. A deflected Clarkson shot that spun in with just over two minutes remaining in the regulation knotted the two teams up. No one seemed to quite know how the puck it found its way in.

“I think it hit the player on their team on the shot,” Bemidji State head coach Jim Scanlan said.

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Bemidji State freshman Adriana Van De Leest (24) takes control of the puck against Clarkson University on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, at the Sanford Center. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

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Hannah Hogenson started in net for the Beavers in place of injured fifth-year senior Kerigan Dowhy and stopped 24 shots, but not the late-period spinner. What did she see on the play?

“Not much of anything, really,” Hogenson said. “I watched the replay, though, and I think it was a bounce that went off our girl or their girl. But I think it was initially going to go wide, and then just a crazy redirection, which happens.”

Hogenson and BSU kept battling down the stretch, preserving the tie despite a fierce forecheck from Clarkson (5-0-2) in the final minutes of overtime. It wasn’t a win, but the Beavers did pick up a hard-fought point as a tangible reward for the progress they made in practice.

“It was kind of, not necessarily a do or die situation, but we didn't want to let them get a goal,” Myers said. “And so it was kind of just keep getting pucks deep, and if you can get a shot on net, get a shot on net. But more than anything, it was defense first, just trying to get it deep, keep it away from our net.”

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Bemidji State freshman Kendra Fortin (26) passes the puck in front of the Clarkson University net on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, at the Sanford Center. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

The action was evenly matched throughout, with both teams consistently placing pucks on net and challenging the opposing goaltender to make stops. Both goalies were up to the task.

Clarkson’s Michelle Pasiechnyk prevented 19 pucks from reaching the back of the net, matching Hogenson shot for shot and ensuring Bemidji State would not leave its home rink with a win.

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“I thought their goaltender was outstanding, and that she was the player of the game,” Scanlan said. “Made some huge stops for them.”

Hogenson had the support of her family at the Sanford Center, a special occasion given their lack of proximity to Bemidji. Her grandparents drove from Montana and her father flew in from Alaska to see her start in net.

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Bemidji State freshman Taylor Larson (4) makes a drive with the puck against Clarkson University on Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, at the Sanford Center. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

“It was super exciting,” Hogenson said. “This was the first time my grandparents have seen me play in a long time. So it was great to be able to have a good game in front of them and then go and talk to them here after this.”

In addition to the joy of having her family in attendance, Hogenson and the Beavers also drew energy from the overall crowd. For Hogenson, who had never played in Sanford Center with no capacity restrictions, the unrestricted crowd gave her an inspiring sense of the magnitude of the stage.

“I think it just shows that Beaver hockey is not just our team, but it's also kind of bigger than us,” Hogenson said. “And having the little kids out there, and parents and fans in the stands, knowing that you're not only playing for yourselves and the girls around you, but you're also playing for each and every one of them in the stands.”

The Beavers will have one more chance this weekend to give the home crowd a win. Bemidji State faces Clarkson once again at 3:01 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Sanford Center.

Bemidji State 1, Clarkson 1 (OT)

CLR 0 0 1 0 -- 1

BSU 0 0 1 0 -- 1

First period -- No scoring.

Second period -- No scoring.

Third period -- 1, BSU GOAL, Myers (Beebe, Passolt), 3:31; 2, CLR GOAL, David (Winn, Lonergan), 17:48.

Overtime -- No scoring.

Saves -- Hogenson (BSU) 24; Pasiechnyk (CLR) 19.

Christian Babcock is a sports reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer. He trekked to Bemidji from his hometown of Campbell, Calif., after graduating from the Cronkite School at Arizona State University in 2021. Follow him on Twitter at @CB_Journalist for updates on the Lumberjacks and Beavers or to suggest your favorite local restaurant.
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