BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) - The Bemidji State University women's hockey team rallied back from a 3-0 deficit in the final 12 minutes of regulation before being defeated 4-3 in overtime against Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) rival Minnesota State University, Mankato Saturday afternoon at the Sanford Center. With 10 games remaining in the regular season, the Bemidji State stands at 4-15-2 with a 3-14-1-0 mark on league play.
Lauren Zrust scored 2:35 into the extra session with a low shot after streaking up the left wing and cutting in on goal.
The regular-season series between BSU and Minnesota State finishes tied at 2-2-0 and the today's result evened up the all-time series at 24-24-10 and with a 11-11-7 split in Bemidji.
A day after allowing just 10 shots on goal in a 2-0 win, Bemidji State conceded 10 shots in the opening 20 minutes and Minnesota State went into the first intermission with a two-goal lead. Kari Lundberg and Emilia Andersson scored 4:26 on long shots that made it through traffic and in. Lundberg's goal snapped a 132:53 shutout streak for BSU goaltender Jessica Havel (Sr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) that dated back to Dec. 8.
The Beavers came out strong in the third period and outshot the Mavericks 16-12 in the stanza, but Lauren Barnes of MSU struck for the only goal of the frame to make it 3-0 after two.
In the third period, Bemidji State picked up its play yet again and was rewarded for its effort. After MacKenzie Thurston (Sr., F, Ottawa, Ont.) had a goal waived off because it was kicked in just over four minutes into the period, BSU's top offensive line of Emily Erickson (Sr., F, Coleraine, Minn.), Sadie Lundquist (Sr., F, Cloquet, Minn.), and Kaitlyn Tougas (Fr., F, Thunder Bay, Ont.) went to work.
Tougas finally broke through 8:53 into the frame and became the first Beaver to pot two goals in a game this season 5:32 later, scoring both times from just outside the blue paint. Lundquist earned a helper on both tallies.
With time dwindling down in the final minute with Havel pulled for an extra attacker, Erika Wheelhouse (Sr., D, Crookston, Minn.) pounced on a loose puck at the bottom of the right circle with 11.8 seconds left to knot the score at three with her first goal of the season. Wheelhouse's last goal came in the Beavers' final game on 2011-12, a 3-1 playoff loss to the University of North Dakota. Erickson added her second assist of the night on the play and now has 90 points in her career.
The elation of the comeback was short-lived as Zrust ended the game on MSU's second shot on goal of the extra session, seconds after transitioning off a Natasha Kostenko (So,. F, Fannystelle, Manitoba) chance for Bemidji State down the other end. Kostenko did post an assist on the night for her sixth point in her last seven games.
On the weekend, Bemidji State took just one penalty, an Erickson cross-check in the first period Saturday. BSU went 69:10 without being whistled down prior to the call and is now second in the nation behind Quinnipiac University in least penalty minutes per game at 6.7. Wheelhouse finished the weekend with 18 blocked shots and now has 102 on the season.
Next week, Bemidji State will travel to the University of Minnesota Duluth for two games before getting a week off.