BEMIDJI – After a tie and a loss against Bemidji State earlier this season, the Gophers women’s hockey team found a way Friday to beat the Beavers. Not that it was easy.
Rachael Bona’s goal with 1 minute, 45 seconds left gave No. 2-ranked Minnesota a 3-2 victory over Bemidji State at the Sanford Center.
The Gophers (28-2-4, 21-2-4-2 WCHA) outshot the Beavers by more than a 2-1 margin, but Bemidji State goalie Brittni Mowat made 40 saves.
Overtime loomed until Bona, a senior forward from Coon Rapids, scored her third winner of the season. It was her 13th goal this season.
Sophomore Dani Cameranesi and junior Hannah Brandt each scored second-period goals to put the Gophers ahead 2-1. The puck got tied up in front of the BSU net before Cameranesi’s goal, and she scooped it up and put it past Mowat. It was her 20th goal of the season. Brandt, who also had one assist in the game, then gave the Gophers the lead with 11:07 to go in the middle period. Defenseman Rachel Ramsey fired a shot from just inside the blue line, and Brandt redirected it past Mowat from in front of the Beavers’ goal crease for her 27th goal.
Bemidji State (18-14-1, 13-13-1) tied the score at 2-all on Kaitlyn Tougas’ goal at 6:22 of the third period.
Junior netminder Amanda Leveille made 17 saves for Minnesota while junior Milica McMillen had two assists.
BSU took a 1-0 lead midway through the first period when Alex Citrowski flipped the puck past Leveille.
Neither team committed a penalty, marking the first time the Gophers have not had a penalty since Oct. 31, 2014 against BSU.
And it was the first time an opponent has not taken a penalty since Bemidji State stayed out of the box against Minnesota on Oct. 26, 2013.