Senior forward Mackenzie Thurston nets game-winning goal with 2:41 remaining for Beavers

Mackenzie Thurston scored the game-winning goal for the Beavers

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) - The Bemidji State University women's hockey team snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win Saturday afternoon against Ohio State University in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) contest at the Sanford Center. MacKenzie Thurston (Sr., F, Ottawa, Ontario) broke a 1-1 tie with 2:41 to play with a power-play goal.

The Beavers earned their first win since Jan. 11 to improve to 6-18-2 with a 5-16-1-0 WCHA record. The Buckeyes, which previously defeat BSU by scores of 4-1, 10-1, and 2-1 in overtime this season, fell to 16-10-2 with a 11-9-2-2 mark in conference games.

As was the case in Friday's 2-1 OSU overtime victory, the teams played a tighly-defended first period that produced 13 shots and no goals.

Both teams got on the board early in the second period.

Natasha Kostenko (So, F, Fannystelle, Manitoba) banged home her rebound 18 seconds into the frame after her linemates, Thurston and sophomore forward Alex Citrowske (Savage, Minn.), worked to get her the puck. The goal gave Kostenko a point in her ninth out of 11 games. She leads the Beavers with nine goals on the season and surpassed her freshman point total of 13 on the play.

The Buckeyes, who erased a 1-0 deficit before winning Friday, did the same just 66 seconds later when Julia McKinnon slipped a shot past Bemidji State goaltender Abby Ryplanski (So., Winnipeg, Manitoba).

Late in the third period, Ohio State almost pulled ahead when Sara Schmitt rang a power-play shot off the pipe with 5:56 remaining.

Minutes later, after Kayla Sullivan took a hooking penalty with 4:52 to give the Beavers an advantage, Thurston scored her first goal since Nov. 18 to put the Beavers in front. The power-play tally was BSU's first since Dec. 2, ending an 0-for-37 power-play drought. Abby Williams (Sr., F, Alexandria, Minn.) recorded an assist, her fourth point in seven games (after going scoreless through the first 18 games of the season), on the play.

Thurston notched the fourth three-point game of her career while Ryplanski made 22 saves for her second win as Beaver.

The Beavers will then complete the regular season with trips to the University of North Dakota and the University of Minnesota before hosting the University of Wisconsin. Their first-round WCHA playoff series will take place on the road March 1-3.