GRAND FORKS, N.D. --- In a rare Friday afternoon game at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, the No. 5/6 University of North Dakota opened its best-of-three series against Bemidji State with a 3-1 win to move within one win of advancing to its second consecutive Final Face-Off appearance.
Seniors Kelsey Ketcher (Mound, Minn.) and Stephanie Ney (100 Mile House, British Columbia) led the Sioux in the win. Ketcher had a career-high 2-goal game while Ney stopped 14-of-15 shots faced.
UND had to play 40 minutes of today's game without the nation's leading scorer in Jocelyne Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) who received a checking from behind and game misconduct penalty at the conclusion of the first period.
With the win, UND improves to 21-10-3 on the season, setting a new program record for wins. The Sioux reached 20 wins for the first time last year.
The Fighting Sioux held Bemidji State to 15 shots on goal in the game while putting 28 on Beavers' netminder Zuzanna Tomcikova who finished with 25 saves.
Ketcher gave the Sioux their first lead of the game that it wouldn't relinquish at 10:55 of the first period. Crashing hard to the net, Ketcher received a cross-crease pass from Monique Lamoureux-Kolls (Grand Forks, N.D.) for a wide-open net that Tomcikova had no chance at. Lamoureux picked up the secondary assist on Ketcher's fifth goal of year.
Defenseman Candace Molle (Anchorage, Alaska) added her fifth goal of the season to open a 2-goal lead at 18:21 of the opening frame. Josefine Jakobsen (Aalborg, Denmark) picked up the lone assist on the goal for her 34 point of her freshman campaign.
Lamoureux's game would be cut short receiving the checking from behind penalty in the closing seconds of the first period attempting to forecheck a BSU defenseman behind the net.
UND opened the second period on a full 5-minute penalty-kill which they successfully killed allowing only one BSU shot on goal. The Beavers came into the game converting at 23.5 percent on the season but are now 0-for-23 in its last three games. BSU went 0-for-5 tonight while UND went scoreless in its one attempt in the game as the Sioux were called for 23 minutes of penalties to the Beavers two minutes.
After a scoreless second period and majority of the third period, BSU head coach Steve Sertich looked to jump start his offense, pulling Tomcikova with 3:44 remaining in regulation. The move backfired though as Ketcher scored her second of the game on the empty net only 18 seconds later.
BSU's Erika Wheelhouse broke Ney's shutout bid at 18:24 of the third period.
The Sioux will look for the series sweep tomorrow afternoon to avoid going to a third game against the Beavers like a season ago. Opening faceoff is set for 2:37 p.m. at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.