PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Alex Ehlert (Jr., F, Portage, Wis.) recorded a goal and an assist in the third period on Friday, leading the Bemidji State University women's ice hockey team to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory at Providence College. The season-opening win was the program's fifth all-time and third under seventh-year head coach Steve Sertich.
The victory also improved BSU's all-time record against the Friars to 2-0-1 after the teams opened the 2011-12 season with a pair of contests at the Sanford Center. The teams played to a scoreless tie that was capped with a PC shootout win before the Beavers captured a 3-1 win the following night. Friday's win was also Bemidji State's first that came after facing a deficit entering the third period since Nov. 5, 2005 when the team beat Minnesota State 2-1 after falling behind 1-0 heading into the final frame.
In this Friday's game, the scoreless tie didn't last very long as Providence's Molly Illikainen broke the deadlock on her team's third shot on goal on the game, deflecting a Rebecca Morse wrist shot past BSU netminder Jessica Havel (G, Sr., Grand Rapids, Minn.), who made her first career start in the game. The tally came at the game's 5:28 mark.
Providence built on its lead just before the midway point of regulation when Nicole Anderson beat Havel through the five-hole on a shorthanded opportunity and that's when the rally began.
Trailing 2-0 with 1:26 to play in the second period, converted forward Kayleigh Chapman (So., D/F, Virden, Manitoba) scored to get the Beavers on the scoreboard, one-timing a Megan Lushanko (Fr., F, Chisago City, Minn.) feed past Friar goaltender Nina Riley. The score marked Chapman's first collegiate goal and Lushanko's first point. Emily McKnight (Jr., D, Carman, Manitoba) picked up her fourth career assist on the play, as well.
More firsts would come in the third, when Ehlert potted the first goal of her career. Just under eight minutes into the third period while working off a pass from Kaitlyn Tougas (Fr. F, Thunder Bay, Ontario), Ehlert unleashed a wrist shot that beat Riley upstairs. Tougas, playing in her first game, earned her first collegiate point on the play.
With just under six minutes to play, the Beavers made the comeback complete when Natasha Kostenko (F, So., Fannystelle, Manitoba) collected the game-winning goal by burying a MacKenzie Thurston (Sr., F, Ottawa, Ontario) rebound. Ehlert picked up an assist on the play for her second point of the night. Ehlert entered the game with just one career point.
Between the pipes, Havel earned the first win of her career by turning away 24 Friar shots, including all six offerings in the final stanza. Also in the game, sophomore Whitney Wivoda (F, Fairbanks, Ak.) notched an assist on the game-tying goal and Kostenko scored her first goal in six games played dating back to 2011-12.
BSU, now 1-0-0 overall, wraps up its nonconference, season-opening series at Providence tomorrow at 3 p.m. CT. The Beavers will return home to kickoff WCHA action next week with a series against St. Cloud State University. The following week, Bemidji State will open the University of Wisconsin's brand new LaBahn Arena with a Friday-Sunday series.