No. 3 Minnesota Duluth power-play unit downs Bemidji State 3-1

After upsetting No. 3 Minnesota Duluth 1-0 on Friday night, penalties nipped the Beavers as the Bulldogs scored two power-play goals to down the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team in Saturday’s contest by a score of 3-1.

“It’s amazing how disappointed we were in not getting any points from UMD,” said head coach Steve Sertich. “It was a game of specialty teams, and their special teams were just better than ours tonight.”

In the previous contest BSU limited the Bulldog power-play opportunities to just three in the game and the Beavers were successful in keeping UMD from scoring. In Saturday’s game, however, the penalty situation would be a different story for Bemidji State. BSU was assessed for seven penalties in the game, two were coincidental, giving the No. 3 team in the nation five power-play opportunities on the night. After playing a scoreless first period, Minnesota Duluth started the second period with a man advantage and found their first goal of the weekend just 23 seconds in.

Undeterred by the goal, the Beavers looked to respond and respond quickly is what they did. Just 18 seconds after the UMD goal, the game was tied back up after Emily Erickson (R-So., Fwd., Coleraine, Minn.) scored her second goal of the weekend. They play started when Erika Wheelhouse (So., Def., Crookston, Minn.) made a tremendous diving save at the blue line to keep the puck in the offensive zone for the Beavers. After getting back on her skates, Wheelhouse then promptly dished the puck off to Erin Cody (Sr., Fwd., Roseville, Minn.) who was waiting up high along the left side of the zone. Cody skated the puck in toward the net and saw Erickson waiting back door. WIth the tape-to-tape pass, Erickson didn’t falter and slammed the puck home.

Unfortunately for the Beavers, halfway through the second period, the Bulldog’s Brienna Gillanders would net the game-winner during a scramble in front of the net on just the third power play for UMD in the game. BSU tender, Zuzana Tomcikova (Jr., Bratislava, Slovakia) made the first two saves, but after a pile up occurred right in front of the crease, Gillanders snuck the puck into the back of the net. The Bulldogs would score their third and final goal with seven and a half minutes remaining in the game to secure the win.

In the game, Tomickova made 34 saves as the Beavers were out-shot 37-28. Tomcikova tallied 72 saves on the weekend. Her work was made easier as the BSU defensive corps blocked 26 shots in the game, including seven by both Marlee Wheelhouse (Jr., Def., Crookston, Minn.) and Montana Vichorek (Jr., Def., Moose Lake, Minn.).

“We have to do that, especially against a highly-skilled offensive team like Minnesota Duluth we have to block shots and that has to be part of our defensive game,” Sertich said.

The Beavers (5-5-0; 3-3-0-0 WCHA) currently sit in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with  nine points. The Bulldogs (8-2-0; 6-2-0-0 WCHA) pick up 18 points and currently sit in second place in the league.