Jacqueline Kaasa scored twice as Bemidji State upset the No. 6 Gophers 4-2 on Saturday afternoon at Ridder Arena for a split of their WCHA series. The loss ended a nine-game winning streak for Minnesota (14-5-1, 9-4-1 WCHA), which won 3-2 in overtime the night before.
Kaasa’s second goal, at 5 minutes, 14 seconds of the third period, broke a 2-all tie and proved to be her second game-winner of the season. She has seven goals total.
Teammate Emily Bergland made it 4-2 Beavers just 46 seconds later on a breakaway. Kaasa, a 5-2 sophomore forward who played for Hill-Murray High School, got the lone assist on that goal.
“For one reason or another, we were not at out best today,” Gophers coach Brad Frost said. “When you get up 2-1 against a team like Bemidji, a good team, you got to try to get up by two. Unfortunately, we gave one up there to make it 2-2.
“It kind of looked like we were going through the motions at times, which is disappointing to see but that’s on me.”
Minnesota increased its offensive pressure during the second half of the period and with 2:40 left, pulled goaltender Sidney Peters for the extra attacker.
The Gophers would eventually get a 6-4 advantage after a Beaver penalty but goalie Lauren Bench and the BSU defense remained strong.
Bemidji State, as it did Friday, took a 1-0 lead in the first period. Kaasa scored at 3:15. But just 23 seconds later, Alex Woken tied the score with her seventh goal of the season — and sixth in seven games.
Freshman forward Grace Zumwinkle. who had the overtime goal in the series opener, put Minnesota ahead 2-1 at 2:17 of the second with her eighth goal of the season.
Bemidji State (6-10-2, 4-7-1-1), which had a four-game losing streak, tied the score at 2-all on Bailey Wright’s goal at 13:17 of the second period.
Peters of the Gophers and Bench of the Beavers both finished with 24 saves. Both teams were 0-for-2 on the power play.