WOMEN’S HOCKEY: DeGeorge nets OT winner to deliver BSU’s 1st win
Clair DeGeorge netted two goals, including the overtime winner, to help the Bemidji State women’s hockey team reel in its first victory of the season.
BEMIDJI -- Clair DeGeorge netted two goals, including the overtime winner, to help the Bemidji State women’s hockey team reel in its first victory of the season. After conceding the tying goal late in the third period, BSU rebounded in the extra frame to capture a 3-2 win over St. Cloud State at the Sanford Center on Friday afternoon.
Following her second-period tally, DeGeorge redirected a Kara Werth shot 50 seconds into 3-on-3 overtime to secure two points in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings for the Beavers (1-1-0). The Huskies (2-4-0) were unable to capture their second overtime victory in as many days, and came away with three points from the series.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy one,” DeGeorge said. “We’ve got to get in front of posts. (Emma Polusny) is a good goalie. If she sees it, it’s likely going to be a save. We knew what we had to do and we executed.”
The 3-on-3 overtime win marked BSU’s first under that format since its introduction in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association prior to the 2019-20 season. Unlike last year, the format is now used across the NCAA, and no longer follows an initial 5-on-5 overtime period.
“It’s a different kind of hockey, but it’s exciting,” head coach Jim Scanlan said. “Obviously there’s going to be chances both ways.”
Before a goal had been scored, Bemidji State needed to kill a five-minute major, and lost one of their top forwards in the process.
Lydia Passolt was assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct for contact to the head on SCSU forward Klara Hymlarova with about six minutes remaining in the first period. A Husky penalty cut short the power play by 1 minute, 15 seconds, and BSU preserved the goose eggs on the scoreboard through the opening frame.
Jenniina Nylund netted her second goal of the series to put St. Cloud State on the board four minutes into the second. The junior from Finland skated into the zone on a 2-on-1 and pulled the trigger for an unassisted tally.
The Huskies’ lead didn’t last long.
Beaver sophomore Mya Neugent sent a pass to the slot for DeGeorge to deposit with her snap shot that tied the game at 1-1. The assist was Neugent’s first point in her collegiate career.
Later in the period, Ellie Moser’s breakaway attempt was stifled by Polusny, though she’d get another chance one period later.
With 11:57 to play in regulation, Moser fired a shot into the back of the net from the right circle. Werth picked up her first of two assists by connecting with Moser in the neutral zone.
Just as BSU had answered one period prior, so did the Huskies in the third period.
Taylor Lind played the puck toward the goal mouth for Emma Gentry to bat in from point-blank range, tying the game at 2-all with 7:23 to play.
As the game entered overtime for the second day in a row, DeGeorge put herself in position for the tip-in goal off of Werth’s shot that clinched the win.
After only two games, DeGeorge is already tied for fifth in the WCHA with three goals.
“She’s just a really driven, really focused player,” Scanlan said. “I’m just happy for her to see her get rewarded individually. Obviously, we need her to produce for us. She’s generally someone who gets assists because she moves the puck so much. We’ve always encouraged her to shoot more. … She’s our go-to player and she proved that again tonight.”
Kerigan Dowhy made 23 stops to earn the win in net, while Polusny finished with 25.
Bemidji State ended 0-for-2 on the power play, while St. Cloud State went 0-for-1.
The Beavers are set to face Minnesota State on the road in a Thursday/Friday series Dec. 17-18 before entering the holiday break.
Bemidji State 3, St. Cloud State 2 (OT)
SCSU 0 1 1 0 -- 2
BSU 0 1 1 1 -- 3
First period -- No scoring.
Second period -- 1, SCSU, Nylund (unassisted), 4:24; 2, BSU, DeGeorge (Neugent, Ecker), 6:11.
Third period -- 3, BSU, Moser (Werth, Featherstone), 8:03; 4, SCSU, Gentry (Lind, Cvar), 12:37.
Overtime -- 5, BSU, DeGeorge (Werth, Hunt), 0:50.
Goalies (saves-shots) -- BSU, Dowhy (23-25); SCSU, Polusny (25-28).