Bemidji, Minn. – Sophomore forward Cara Piazza’s power-play goal early in the third period was the game-winner as the No. 3 Gophers edged No. 7 Bemidji State 2-1 on Friday night in a WCHA women’s hockey game at the Sanford Center.
Piazza scored her 10th goal of the season at 49 seconds, breaking a 1-all tie. It was the only power-play opportunity the Gophers had. It came after Ivana Bilic of the Beavers was penalized for roughing with 16 seconds left in the second period.
“We got out to the early lead there, and they answered right back,” Gophers coach Brad Frost said. “That power-play goal was big in the third as it held up. I thought our players made some big blocks down the stretch, made some plays, and did what they needed to do to get the win.”
The Gophers (23-3, 18-3) came into the series averaging an NCAA-best 5.4 goals per game and with the nation’s top power play at 47.2 percent.
They faced one of the best Division I goalies in Brittni Mowat, who had a 1.57 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage for the Beavers (17-8-2, 12-8-1. And she played well, stopping 25 shots.
Sydney Baldwin gave the Gophers a 1-0 lead midway through the first period on an unassisted goal. The Beavers tied the score about five minutes later on Ciscely Nelson’s goal.