Bemidji State completes 3-2 comeback win over Minnesota Whitecaps in overtime
Emily Erickson nets game-winning goal for Beavers

Emily Erickson scored the game-winner for the Beavers

EVELETH, Minn. -- The Bemidji State University women's hockey team erased a 2-1 third-period deficit en route to a 3-2 overtime win over the Western Women's Hockey League's Minnesota Whitecaps in exhibition play in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Face Off Classic at the Eveleth Hippodrome in Eveleth, Minn.

The contest, which marked the second consecutive Face Off Classic win for BSU after the Beavers trounced Lindenwood Univeristy 11-0 last season, was the final competition for the Beavers before they welcome the University of Maine of Hockey East to town for a nonconference series on Nov. 9-10.

Sadie Lunquist (Sr., F, Cloquet, Minn.), Alex Citrowske (So., F, Savage, Minn.), and Emily Erickson (Sr., F, Coleraine, Minn.) potted goals for Bemidji State, which defeated the Whitecaps for the second time in three all-time exhibition attempts. The two teams split a pair of meetings on Oct. 22-23, 2010. Minnesota won that year's Face Off Classic in the first encounter with a 3-1 win and BSU rebounded with a 5-1 victory the following day.

"I thought it was a really good game with good tempo and pace," said Bemidji State head coach Steve Sertich. "We knew they would be talented and it was fun to watch them, but our players did a nice job in all areas. We had some breakdowns, but for the most part, I was really pleased with the game."

Lundquist's tally was the only one scored in the first period and gave the Beavers a 1-0 lead after one. Lunquist corralled a pass from Abby Williams (R-Sr., F, Alexandria, Minn.) after Williams created a turnover at the blueline and beat Whitecaps goaltender Sanya Sandahl with 5:52 to go in the period.

The Whitecaps tied the score at the 5:41 mark of the second period on a goal by former Beaver Jessica Tyra, minutes before Sertich made a planned switch between the pipes, taking out Abby Ryplanski (So., G, Winnipeg, Man.) to put in Jessica Havel (Sr., G, Grand Rapids, Minn.).

In the third period, three-time United States Olympian Jenny Potter zipped a shot past Havel to make it 2-1 Whitecaps, but Citrowske answered just past the midway point in the frame by finding the puck in the middle of a scrum in front of the Minnesota crease and burying her first goal as a Beaver.

Less than a minute later, the Whitecaps had a glorious opportunity to regain the lead when Meaghan Pezon was awarded a penalty shot after being tripped on a breakaway after blocking a BSU shot, but Havel turned Pezon's snapshot aside.

After finishing regulation in a 2-2 deadlock, BSU received two power-play chances in overtime and made sure to capitalize on the second one. Lundquist found Erickson in the slot and the Coleraine, Minn. native deposited a one-time blast into the back of the net to give BSU the win.

The Beavers outshot the undermanned Whitecaps 52-29 on the night, including 6-0 in overtime. Ryplanski finished with 14 saves and Havel made 13 stops on the night. Each netminder conceded one goal.

"We have resilient players," said Sertich, whose team was coming off being swept on the road against Ohio State University. "They came back and worked hard this week. We did a lot of things well tonight and I think the best part was being able to stay at that pace for three periods."

After picking up play against Maine next Friday, Bemidji State will jump back into WCHA play with a home series against the University of North Dakota. Four of the Beavers' final five series heading into Winter Break will be played at the Sanford Center.