The eighth-ranked University of North Dakota women's hockey team is advancing to the WCHA Final Face-Off for the first time in program history after skating to a 3-2 overtime thriller over Bemidji State today in the rubber match of the first-round series.
Monique Lamoureux-Kolls scored the winner taking the puck in the zone near the boards and crashing the net before slipping it through BSU netminder Zuzanna Tomcikova's five-hole with a backhanded shot exactly 16 minutes into the extra stanza.
With the win the Sioux reach 20 on the season, another of many firsts for the Sioux on the year, with an overall 20-12-2 mark.
The Sioux knew the momentum of scoring the game's first goal and focused on a good start to tonight's game. The Sioux came into the game 16-3-2 when scoring first and 3-8-1 when the opponent notches the game's opening goal. You can add another win to the second.
After a scoreless first period, BSU's Marlee Wheelhouse opened the second period giving the Beavers their only lead of the game at 1:06.
Sophomore Roseau, Minn., native, Mary Loken evened the game shortly later as much like the game-winner Lamoureux-Kolls drove wide, crashed the net and put a shot on Tomcikova. Loken was able to find the rebound and find a way to put it into the net for her eighth goal of the season.
A game-time decision on whether or not she would be available to play because of an injury, Jocelyne Lamoureux (Grand Forks, N.D.) gave UND its first lead at 9:54 of the middle frame with her team-leading 28th.
Sadie Lundquist would even the game though before the second period would end with a shot that went off a UND defender and past Stephanie Ney (100 Mile House, British Columbia).
The goal would be the last Ney would allow though who was consistently UND's best player in the series. Ney finished the game making 32 saves and also picked up two assists (a UND single-game record by a goaltender). They were her second and third of the season and fourth of her three-year career with the Sioux.
That would be it for scoring until Lamoureux-Kolls series clincher.The Beavers celebrated what the thought was the game-winner early in overtime as a rebound nearly snuck by Ney but she was able to fall on the puck and the referees whistled it dead.
Tomcikova, named today's third star and yesterday's first star, was solid the entire weekend and finished tonight with 27 saves including a remarkable save on a slapshot from the slot by Lamoureux in the waning moments of the third period with multiple bodies in front of her.
Junior Alyssa Wiebe (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) also picked up an assist in the game.
The game became UND's longest of all-time when the five minute mark surpassed in overtime. The Sioux had never played in a playoff overtime game and regulation games end after five minutes.
The Sioux will open action on Friday against top-ranked and top-seeded Wisconsin.