Senior forward Ciscely Nelson scored the go-ahead goal at 11 minutes, 9 seconds of the third period, and Bemidji State upset the second-seeded Gophers 2-1 on Saturday at Ridder Arena, forcing a decisive third game in their best-of-three first-round WCHA playoff series.
Nelson also assisted on Summer Thibodeau's first-period goal for the Beavers (12-19-3, 7-18-3-1), who beat the Gophers 24-6-5, 19-4-5-3) for the second time this season.
The Gophers won the series opener 3-1 on Friday.
Sarah Potomak had tied it for the Gophers with a shorthanded score in the final minute of the second period, but the Gophers got nothing else past Bemidji State goalie Brittni Mowat, who made 33 saves. Mowat shut out the Gophers 2-0 in October. Gophers goalie Sidney Peters, who needed to make only eight saves in Friday's victory, made 21 Saturday.
The Gophers outshot the Beavers 34-23.
Game 3 is at 4 p.m. Sunday, for a berth in the WCHA Final Face-off. Top-seeded Wisconsin and No. 3 seed Minnesota Duluth already have secured their places with first-round sweeps of Minnesota State Mankato and St. Cloud State, respectively.
No. 4 seed North Dakota and No. 5 seed Ohio State will play the finale of their best-of-three series Sunday.