BEMIDJI, Minn. - The Bemidji State University women's hockey team dropped a 3-1 exhibition game to the Minnesota Whitecaps on Friday in Eveleth, Minn. at the Hippodrome as part of the USA Hockey Hall of Fame game.
The Whitecaps, which is made up of former-collegiate and Olympic players, out-shot the Beavers 32-30 in the contest. Russian Olympian Iya Gavrilova scored the game-winner in the second period while on the penalty kill. Gavrilova's shot hit a defender on its way and was deflected into the upper corner of the net. The Whitecaps scored three minutes later behind a goal from U.S. Olympian Jenny Potter.
Down 3-0 the Beavers didn't relent and kept pushing looking to get on the board. With under a minute remaining in the period, Molly Arolla (So., Fwd., Walker, Minn.) dug the puck out of the corner in the offensive zone and found Jamie Hatheway (So., Fwd., Trenton, Ontario) sitting in front of the net. Arolla gave passed the puck to Hatheway who put the puck in the lower left-hand corner of the net to get the first Beaver goal of the game.
After the Beavers led the shots in the second period 13-6, the Whitecaps came out stronger in the third determined to hold onto their lead. The period turned into a stalemate as both teams failed to score another goal. BSU tender Alana McElhinney (Jr., Calgary, Alberta) stopped all 16 shots in the period to help her the Beavers stay in the game. Unfortunately, Bemidji State was only able to muster six shot son goal in the period.
McElhinney stopped a total of 29 shots in the game, giving her a .906 save percentage for the contest.
Bemidji State defender Montana Vichorek (Jr., Moose Lake, Minn.) led the team in blocked shots with four.
The BSU women's hockey team returns to the Bemidji Regional Event Center tomorrow night for the second game of the weekend series against the Whitecaps. Game time is set for 4 p.m.