Bemidji State (0-9-1) vs. No. 8 Minnesota Duluth (6-2)
The first win of the season counties to elude Bemidji State, but the Beavers may have found the formula to stay with the nation’s best over the weekend.
The Beavers took No. 8 Minnesota Duluth to the brink in game one of last weekend’s series, with Taylor Nelson’s second goal of the season giving BSU a 1-0 advantage late in the third period. Unfortunately (at least for the Beavers), UMD’s Carl Van Wieren tied the game at the 14:49 mark of the third, and three minutes later, Reece Hunt potted the game-winner for the Bulldogs.
Van Wieren scored twice more in game two of the series, while Olivia Wallin, Mannon McMahon, Jenna Lawry, and Dani Brunette added one goal apiece for a 6-0 win.
As for the formula, it seems to allow Abbie Thompson to stop a bunch of pucks and then pray for a lucky bounce. Thompson stopped 42 of 44 shots in game one but burnt out early in the second tilt, bowing out after allowing six goals on 22 shots. Backup Eva Filippova stopped all 14 shots she faced after replacing Thompson early in 27:58 of action.
Up next, the Beavers will host No. 2 Ohio State for a pair of games, and the Bulldogs will welcome St. Thomas to Amsoil Arena.
Skylar Vetter stopped 40 of 46 shots on goal in Minnesota's 6-5 loss to Ohio State last weekend.
No. 4 Minnesota vs. No. 2 Ohio State
Thankfully Valentine’s Day is still months away, because there may have been a lot of broken hearts as the Golden Gophers trekked back to Minneapolis from Columbus.
Trailing 3-2 with under five minutes to play in game one, Abbey Murphy tied the score for the Golden Gophers, sending the game into extra innings where OSU’s Jennifer Gardiner netted her second of the game for the win.
A four-goal second period for the Buckeyes in game two erased a 2-0 Golden Gopher advantage and sent the game into a battle of one-upswomanship (working on getting that letter salad into Merriam-Webster) that included two goals from each team in the third period. Peyton Hemp managed to pull Minnesota within one at the 18:24 mark of the third, but the Buckeyes held off the late charge and escaped with the 6-5 victory.
The loss in game two spoiled a 40-save performance for Minnesota’s Skylar Vetter and a solid performance for the Golden Gopher penalty kill, which allowed OSU just one power-play goal in six tries.
The Golden Gophers will host Minnesota State on Friday in Minneapolis, then travel to Mankato for a 4:00 PM Saturday game.
No. 20 Minnesota State vs. No. 11 St. Cloud State
Those two season-opening wins over Sacred Heart feel like mere memories at this point of the season, as Minnesota dropped its fifth and sixth consecutive games over the weekend against St. Cloud State.
St. Cloud State took a 2-1 lead over the Mavericks in the first period and held on from there, adding a second-period tally and holding the Mavericks to four shots in the second period and three in the third. Grace Wolfe, Taylor Lind, and Emma Gentry were the goal-scorers for the Huskies. Kennedy Bobyck scored the lone goal for Minnesota State.
SCSU’s Wolfe scored her second goal of the series 34 seconds into the third period to game two to cement a 2-0 win for the Huskies. The third period again posed offensive problems for the Mavericks, as the hosts managed just six shots on the goal in the final frame.
Grace Wolfe registered goals in both games of St. Cloud State's sweep of Minnesota State.
St. Thomas (4-6)
The gauntlet continued for St. Thomas over the weekend, where top-ranked Wisconsin swept the Tommies after UST suffered similar fates against No. 2 Ohio State and No. 4 Minnesota.
After one period against the Badgers in Mendota Heights, the Tommies found themselves knotted at 2-2 with the top team in the country. Wisconsin would take a one-goal into the third period and get an insurance goal from Britta Curl to hang on for a 5-3 win, converting on three of five power play chances in the game.
Lacey Eden, Curl, and Casey O’Brien scored once each in the first, second, and third periods of game two to give the Badgers a 3-0 win and the sweep. Goaltender Calla Frank was a bright spot for the Tommies, stopping 39 of 42 shots in game two.
Thankfully, the St. Thomas will get a reprieve from going up against the country’s best next weekend.
Just kidding, the Tommies will head north on I-35 to face No. 8 Minnesota Duluth.
Abby Promersberger, St. Thomas