PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Tess Dusik's (So., F, Oak Bluff, Manitoba) tip of a shot off a blue-line blast from Marlee Wheelhouse (Sr., D, Crookston, Minn.) propelled the No. 8 Bemidji State University women's hockey team to a nonconference victory over Robert Morris University at the RMU Island Sports Center. The Beavers end 2011 with a 12-7-2 mark, the most wins Bemidji State has ever had before the turn of a calendar year. BSU finished their nonconference slate with a 6-0-1 mark. Robert Morris is 11-4-2 on the season after the loss.
The Beavers outshot the Colonials 27-18 on the night with a host of BSU players leading the team with three shots on goal. BSU was 1-for-4 on the power play while Robert Morris was 1-of-5 on the man advantage. Alana McElhinney (Sr., G, Calgary, Alberta) added to her unblemished record as she is now 4-0-0 on the season. McElhinney made 16 saves in the win and allowed two Colonial goals.
Kristin Huber (Fr., F, Kelowna, British Columbia) broke the lid off the net when she tallied her second goal of the season at the 11:14 mark in the first period. The goal wa unassisted as Huber stole the puck from a Colonial defender and wrapped the puck around the net putting it past Robert Morris goaltender Kristen DiCiocco.
The Colonials had prime opportunities at the end of the first period as back-to-back-to-back penalities from Rachael Kelly (Fr., F, Rosemount, Minn.), Marlee Wheelhouse (Sr., D, Crookston, Minn.) and Molly Arola (Jr., F, Walker, Minn.) gave Robert Morris nearly five minutes of power plays including to five-on-three opportunities. The Beaver penalty kill squad which came into the game killing off 84.2 percent of opponent power-play opportunities.
Bemidji State extended their lead to 2-0 when a Sadie Lundquist (Jr., F, Cloquet, Minn.) found Natasha Kostenko (Fr., F, Fannystelle, Manitoba) who's shot trickled in underneath the legs of DiCiocco for Kostenko's fourth goal of the season and her third point (two goals,m one assist) on the weekend. The assist for Lundquist added to her team-leading mark, she now stands at 18 assists on the season.
Robert Morris looked to bounce back early in the second period but a Thea Imbrogno shot bounced off the puck and ended up behind McElhinney. Kristi King (So., F, Stillwater, Minn.) was able to clear out the puck to keep the Colonials out of the Beaver net.
The Colonials did in fact find the net late in the second period when Kelsey Thomas found the net off assists from Jamie Joslin and Rebecca Vint. Thomas' goal came on a power play marking the 13th goal this season the Beaver penalty kill unit has given up.
The momentum from late in the second period created by Thomas' goal continued into the third period as Thomas connected once again at the 3:29 mark off an assist from Cobina Delaney.
The Beavers gained a power-play opportunity late in the third period. Near the end of the power play a M. Wheelhouse blast found its way into the kill zone where Dusik tipped the puck and put it past DiCiocco. The goal marks the fifth goal of the season for Dusik. M. Wheelhouse and her sister Erika Wheelhouse (Jr., D, Crookston, Minn.) had assists on the goal. The netter was the 26th power-play goal of the season for the Beavers. The assist was the 13th of the season for M. Wheelhouse and the 15th of the year for E. Wheelhouse.
The New Years Eve win marks the first victory for BSU ever on the day. BSU came into Saturday's game with an 0-2-0 mark.
Bemidji State will return home next weekend for a Western Collegiate Hockey Association game against Minnesota State University, Mankato on Jan. 6 and 7. The Beavers split with the Mavericks earlier this season as they lost in overtime 2-1 in the Friday game in Mankato and picked up a 1-0 victory over Minnesota State in the Saturday contest.