Gophers Split at Bemidji State with 2-1 Loss
Provided by the University of Minnesota
No. 2 Minnesota falls to 8-2-0 and 6-2-0 with a 2-1 loss to Bemidji State at the Sanford Center. Bemidji State improved to 6-2-2 overall and 3-2-1 in WCHA games.
Both teams were scoreless in the first period, with Minnesota giving Bemidji State a power play opportunity when Sarah Erickson got called for interference midway through the period. After outshooting the Beavers 25-7 in the opening period last night, the Gophers were outshot 13-8 in the first period tonight.
Minnesota had a power play chance early in the second period, but couldn’t score. The Beavers took the lead on a goal by Rachael Kelly five minutes and 36 seconds into the second period. Kelly put in a soft shot the slid in behind Gopher goalie Noora Raty. Kristin Huber was credited with an assist. The Gophers tried to rebound, and had some close chances, but couldn’t find the net. Minnesota got another power play opportunity at 11:21, with Montana Vichorek called for interference. The advantage was short lived as Gopher senior Kelly Seeler was whistled for hooking just 21 seconds later.
Bemidji State’s Lauren Williams took a shot on a breakaway late with roughly five minutes left in the period, with Raty coming up with a big save. In a jostle at the net, junior Megan Bozek was called for roughing after shoving a Bemidji State player. Just four seconds into the power play, the Beavers got their second goal of the night. Sadie Lundquist found the net with an assist by Kristin Huber. It was just the second power play goal scored by a Minnesota opponent this season. The second intermission started with the Beavers ahead 2-0.
Minnesota came out looking much stronger in the final period, but had to make up some ground. The Gophers held Bemidji State without a shot in the first 12 minutes of the period. The Gophers put tremendous pressure on the Beavers’ goalie, but Tomcikova came up with save after save. Gopher senior Emily West finally got the Gophers on the board with a goal at 16:51. Sophomore Kelly Terry had an assist. Minnesota pulled Raty from the net for a sixth skater with one minute, 13 seconds remaining, but was not able to score a tying goal.
Bemidji State is the first opponent to hold the Gophers scoreless for two periods in a game. Previous to today, the Gophers had not been scoreless in multiple periods in a series. Minnesota also split its series in Bemidji last season, but swept two games in Minneapolis.
The Golden Gophers are next in action Nov. 4-5 against Minnesota Duluth at home in Ridder Arena. Friday’s game will start at 6 p.m. while Saturday’s game begins at 4 p.m. The Gophers are hosting a food drive for the series against the Bulldogs. All fans who bring a non-perishable food or monetary donation for Second Harvest Heartland will get free admission to the games.