Bemidji – Senior forward Cara Piazza’s first goal of the season early in the third period was the game-winner as the No. 9 Gophers women’s hockey team edged Bemidji State 3-1 on Friday afternoon in a WCHA game at the Sanford Center.
“It was a really good win here,” Gophers coach Brad Frost said. “A complete effort, a great team effort overall. Defensively, we played extremely strong and got some good goaltending and some timely goals.
“Just really proud of our team, especially after last weekend, to come out here and compete and battle and just lay it on the line the way they did was great against a very, very good team.”
Last weekend the Gophers went 0-1-1 at home against then unranked Ohio State.
“Certainly we are going to get a team that is pretty ornery, getting only one point of six in their opening series.” Beavers coach Jim Scanlan said, previewing the Gophers series. “So we know they are gong to be coming up here fired up.
“They are always a challenge to play against because of how talented they are, doesn’t matter what line or what groups of defensemen are on the ice.”
In this game, Piazza’s goal gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead at 2 minutes, 37 seconds of the third. The Beavers got within 2-1 about 10 minutes later when Abby Halluska scored on a 5-on-3 power play. The Gophers’ Taylor Wente added an unassisted, empty-net goal with three seconds to play.
Freshman forward Grace Zumwinkle gave the Gophers (2-2-1, 1-1-1) a 1-0 lead at 38 seconds of the second period on her fourth power-play goal of the season. Co-captain Sydney Baldwin, a senior defenseman, had assists on Minnesota’s first two goals.
Sidney Peters had 27 saves for the Gophers, Erin Deters 24 for the Beavers (1-3-1, 0-1-0).