BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) - The No. 9 Bemidji State University women's hockey team came away with a 4-2 victory over Ohio State University despite a late comeback attempt from the Buckeyes. The Beavers improve to 14-9-2 (8-9-1) with the victory. Ohio State falls to 11-9-4 (8-9-1 WCHA) with the loss. With Saturday's victory the BSU senior class of Kimberly Lieder (D, Eagan, Minn.), Alana McElhinney (G, Calgary, Alberta), Zuzana Tomcikova (G, Bratislava, Slovakia), Montana Vichorek (D, Moose Lake, Minn.), Marlee Wheelhouse (D, Crookston, Minn.) and Lauren Williams (F, Eagan, Minn.) picked up its 46th victory to garner the most win by a four-year class in program history. The win also continues BSU's streak of bouncing back in the second game of the series as the Beavers are now 10-2-0 in game two.
Bemidji State came out with energy from the onset Saturday night as a L. Williams snipe found the net 2:58 into the first period. Williams beat Ohio State goaltender Chelsea Knapp after M. Wheelhouse played the puck up the boards to Tess Dusik (So., F, Oak Bluff, Manitoba) who found L. Williams for the goal. The netter was the fourth of the season for the senior. The assists were Dusik's fifth of the year and M. Wheelhouse's 15th of the season.
BSU extended its lead to 2-0 just over two minutes later when BSU's Molly Arola (Jr., F, Walker, Minn.) stole the puck from the Buckeyes and found Dusik for the goal. The score was Dusik's sixth of the year. Arola tallied her fourth assist of the year on the goal.
Both goals came from Bemidji State's fourth line going up against the top unit for Ohio State.
The Beavers had two other prime opportunities in the first period as a Lieder pass went tape to tape as she found Mackenzie Thurston (Jr., F, Ottawa, Ontario) who was unable to put away the one-on-one opportunity against Knapp.
Later on in the period, BSU stole the puck creating a great chance from Emily Erickson (R-Jr., F, Coleraine, Minn.). Her snipe hit the pipe over the shoulder of Knapp squashing an opportunity for the Beavers.
Ohio State made the game 2-1 10:24 into the second period when Ally Tarr found Paige Semenza in front of the net. Semenza played it across the goal to Natalie Spooner who tapped it past Tomcikova. The goal was Spooner's 21st of the year. Semenza notched her sixth assist while Tarr had her eighth assist of the year.
BSU responded later in the second period as they went up 3-1 on the Buckeyes after Erickson beat Lisa Steffes, who replaced Knapp to begin the second period. Erickson was found by Natasha Kostenko (Fr., F, Fannystelle, Manitoba) who played the puck from behind the net after Thurston won a battle on the boards. The goal was Erickson's team-leading 12th of the season. The assist was Kostenko's fifth while it was Thurston's 10th helper of the season.
The Beaver victory seemed imminent but Ohio State would not go down without swinging as they pulled Steffes from goalie late in the third period. With six skaters, the Buckeyes' Hokey Lagan found the net on an unassisted goal to put Ohio State down 3-2 with under a minute left.
The Buckeyes left their net empty again needing only a goal to tie the Beavers. Kostenko found the puck in the BSU zone and played it to Vichorek who put it around the boards eventually finding Erickson who found the empty net for her second goal of the night and her 13th of the season. The assist for Vichorek tied Lisa Peters' career mark for 52 assists by a defenseman. Kostenko's assist was her sixth of the year.
Erickson led the Beavers with two goals while Dusik added a goal and an assist. Kostenko had two assists on the night. Erickson led BSU with seven shots on goal while four players added four apiece for the Beavers. Ohio State outshot BSU 40-32. The Buckeyes were paced by Tarr's seven shots on net while Langan added six.
Tomcikova picks up the win in net with 38 saves while allowing two goals. Steffes suffers the loss after relieving Knapp in the second period. She had 19 saves in two periods while allowing the game-winner from Erickson.
Bemidji State will return to action next weekend as they head to No. 1 University of Minnesota for a WCHA road series Jan. 21 and 22 in Minneapolis, Minn.