Junior forward Amanda Kessel nets hat trick for Golden Gophers

Amanda Kessel scored a hat trick for the Golden Gophers

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) - The Bemidji State University women's hockey team was swept by top-ranked University of Minnesota as a result of a 5-0 defeat at the Sanford Center Saturday afternoon in the final game of the first half of the 2012-13 season for both teams. The loss dropped the Beavers' home record to 0-9-1 on the season with an 0-8-0 mark against conference teams.

The win was Minnesota's 28th in a row dating back to its national championship 2011-12 season the shutout was the team's 10th of the year. Senior goaltender Noora Ršty has eight shutouts and now has 34 in her career. BSU netminder Jessica Havel (Sr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) turned aside a career-high 35 Gopher shots to keep the Beavers in the game. UM remained undefeated at 20-0-0 with a perfect 14-0-0 mark in the WCHA, while Bemidji State slipped to 3-13-2 with a 2-11-1-0 league record.

The Beavers came out strong initially and posted the first three shots of the game, but Minnesota took control and unleashed the period's final 10 shots and didn't allow BSU to test Ršty for over 20 minutes of game time.

Senior defenseman Mira Jalosuo ended the 0-0 stalemate with a power-play goal at the 17:12 mark of the first by redirecting a Rachel Ramsey shot from the point past Havel. Gopher junior Amanda Kessel, the NCAA's leading scorer, doubled her team's lead just 2:08 later by sneaking a backhander into the net from in tight.

The Gophers ratcheted up the offense in the middle stanza, but Havel stood on her head and stopped 14 of 15 Minnesota offerings in the frame. Kessel's second goal of the afternoon, a power-play marker, was the only goal Havel conceded and BSU trailed 3-0 after 40 minutes.

The three-goal margin held until the final five minutes of the third period when Becky Kortum potted UM's fourth goal of the night and Kessel completed a hat trick, the fourth three-goal performance by a Beaver opponent this season, with 2:27 to play.

BSU finished the game with 15 shots on goal, its lowest total since it registered just 13 in falling 5-1 at Providence College Oct. 6 in the second game of the season. Lundquist led Bemidji State with four shots, while Kessel piled up 11. The Beavers are now 2-7-1 on the year against teams with recognition in the national rankings at the time of the game.

Currently on a five-game losing skid, Bemidji State will not get the chance to get back in the win column until it plays at St. Cloud State University Jan. 4-5 to open the second half of the season. The Beavers will return home the following weekend when they host Minnesota State University, Mankato.