The wait is over for the Bemidji State University Women’s Hockey team as it prepares to drop the puck on the 2023-24 season this weekend. The Beavers open the new season with a 760-mile road trip to Maryland Heights, Mo., to face Lindenwood University for a two-game series.
The Beavers (0-0-0) and Lions (0-0-0) will each play the first games of the new 2023-24 season for the non-conference series beginning Saturday, Sept. 23 and ending Sunday. The puck will officially drop on the new season Saturday at 7 p.m., followed by game two at 3 p.m.
Tune into our pregame coverage today beginning at 6:30 p.m. CST on 94.3 FM The Legends in Bemidji or online at www.beaverradionetwork.com.
The Bemidji State University Women’s Hockey team surged late against Lindenwood University but fell just short of the game-tying goal and lost 4-2 to the Lions in its 2023-24 season-opening game in Maryland Heights, Mo., Saturday night.
The Beavers (0-1-0) pulled within one of the Lions (1-0-0) at 3-2 with 7:34 to play but couldn’t muster the game-tying goal before Lindenwood sealed the game with an empty-net goal to earn the 4-2 victory.
Special teams play was the deciding factor as Bemidji State failed to score on six power-play chances and surrendered two short-handed goals while also allowing two power-play goals to the Lions on their seven chances.
Lindenwood got off to a quick start in its home opener when Morgan Neitzke scored a short-handed goal just 3:15 into the opening frame. The Lions would add to their lead just before the period’s end when Gigi Pora scored a power-play goal with 3:57 left in the period.
The Lions took the two-goal lead into the first intermission but the Beavers responded early in the middle frame when senior captain Taylor Nelson converted a 2-on-0 rush with freshman Kate Johnson 5:50 into the second period to score the Beavers’ first goal of the season and pull BSU within one.
However, just 3:06 later, Lindenwood’s Quinn McLaren scored a power-play goal to put the Lions back up by two.
The second period would end with the Beavers trailing 3-1 and the team’s played 12:56 before the game’s next goal when Nelson forced a turnover behind the Lions’ net and found a wide-open Gabbie Smith who buried the opportunity while the Beavers were short-handed.
The short-handed tally would be the Beavers’ first short-handed goal since Nov. 27, 2021 when Lindsey Featherstone scored a short-handed goal also against Lindenwood.
The Beavers continued to attack looking for the game-tying goal and with 2:19 to play, they earned a power play and pulled goaltender Abbie Smith for the 6-on-4 advantage. Lindenwood’s Sena Takenaka would take advantage of the empty net and send the puck 180 feet from her defensive zone and into the back of the net to seal the Lions’ victory.
After being out-shot 15-6 after the first period, the Beavers out-shot the Lions 24-22 through the final two periods. LU finished the game out-shooting BSU 37-30.
Thompson recorded a career-high 33 saves to keep the Beavers in the game but she earns her first loss of the season. Her counterpart Natalie Ferenc was made key saves for the Lions late in the game and earned the victory after stopping 28-of-30 shots.
Bemidji State will attempt to salvage the series split tomorrow afternoon when the two teams play game two at 3 p.m.
Jim Scanlan Postgame Jim Scanlan Postgame
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Box Score Courtesy of College Hockey News
|HighlightLindenwood||SH||Morgan Neitzke (1)||Sena Takenaka||3:15|
|HighlightLindenwood||PP||Gigi Pora (1)||Rachel Goff, Morgan Neitzke||16:03|
|HighlightBSU||Taylor Nelson (1)||Kate Johnson, Gabbie Smith||5:50|
|HighlightLindenwood||PP||Quinn McLaren (1)||Sarah Davies, Rachel Goff||8:56|
|HighlightBSU||SH||Gabbie Smith (1)||Taylor Nelson||12:26|
|HighlightLindenwood||SH, EN||Sena Takenaka (1)||19:00|
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