MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The University of Minnesota women's hockey team earned a 3-2 victory over Bemidji State, coming back from a two-goal deficit. Senior Emily West had the game-tying and game-winning goals for the Gophers.
Bemidji State took a 1-0 lead in the first period as Kristin Huber got a goal 14 minutes into the game, assisted by Mackenzie Thurston. The Beavers had a slight lead in shot in the opening period with 12 to Minnesota's 10.
The Beavers extended their lead to two when Kimberly Lieder found the net just one minute and three seconds into the second period. Mackenzie Thurston got her second assist of the game on Lieder's goal. Minnesota responded with a goal by freshman Rachael Bona seven minutes into the period, assisted by linemates Sarah Davis and Kelly Terry. The goal was Bona's fourth of the season and first since Minnesota's win over Ohio State on Dec. 10. The Gophers had two power play chances in the second period and outshot Bemidji State 20-6 in the period, but the score remained at 2-1 going into the second intermission.
Senior Emily West got the equalizer nine minutes into the third period, getting a power play goal with assists from Sarah Davis and Rachel Ramsey. Exactly four minutes later, West struck again, getting an unassisted goal. The goal marked West's 10th goal of the season, and second game-winning goal this season. It marked the eighth multiple-goal game in West's Gopher career and tied her personal record for goals in a game.
Despite giving the Beavers two power play chances in the third period, the Gophers did not give up a goal in the final period. Bemidji State pulled goalie Zuzana Tomcikova with a minute and 47 seconds remaining in the game in favor of an extra skater, but the Gophers held on for the 3-2 win. Minnesota had a 16-6 advantage in shots in the third period.
Minnesota had not come back to win a game after getting behind by two or more goals since Jan. 26, 2008 when the Gophers earned a 4-3 victory over Minnesota State after giving up the first two goals of the game.
With all three of the Gophers' goals coming from the second and third lines, tonight's game marked only the fourth win of the season without a goal from the first line.
With the win, Minnesota improves to 20-4-1 overall and 14-4-1 in WCHA games, while Bemidji State moves to 14-10-2 overall and 8-10-1 in league play.
The same teams play again tomorrow at Ridder Arena, with a start time of 4:07 p.m. The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.