BEMIDJI, Minn. - The Bemidji State University women's hockey team came up short in its home opener against St. Cloud State University at the Sanford Center on Friday night, falling to the Huskies 3-1. Whitney Wivoda (So., F, Fairbanks, Ak.) scored the Beavers' lone goal and goaltender Jessica Havel (Sr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) made 26 saves in her first career home start.
The loss also came in BSU's first WCHA contest of the season. With the win, SCSU improved to 1-2-0-0 after being swept on the road against No. 1 University of Minnesota in its first weekend of play.
After the Beavers came out of the gate slow and allowed St. Cloud to tally nine of the game's first 12 shots, they conceded the game's first goal.
At the 9:15 mark of the first period while working on the power play, senior winger Alex Nelson collected an Audrey Hanmer pass and wristed a shot upstairs on Havel after cutting across the ice into the slot.
The goal was the first on the man advantage Bemidji State conceded on the season after killing off all eight of Providence College's opportunities last weekend in a series split.
BSU finished the first period with the final seven shots on goal, but SCSU netminder Katie Fitzgerald stood tall and led her team into the intermission up by one. At the beginning of the middle frame, Bemidji State got into turnover trouble and the Huskies made sure to capitalize.
Junior defenseman Cari Coen was the first to strike for St. Cloud, intercepting a Beaver pass and taking the puck in on a breakaway. Coen unleashed a snapshot from between the hash marks that got past Havel inside the post. Just 1:09 later, the Huskies made it 3-0 when Kalli Funk controlled and errant BSU breakout pass high in the zone and buried a quick shot to notch her first career point.
The teams played even for the rest of the period and finished the stanza, posting 10 shots a piece. Bemidji State came out faster in the third, but still had trouble solving Fitzgerald.
Finally, with 11:44 left in regulation, the Beavers finally got on the scoreboard when Wivoda buried a rebound chance on the power play after Sadie Lunquist (Sr., F, Cloquet, Minn.) took the initial shot. Erika Wheelhouse (Sr., D, Crookston, Minn.) got the play started to earn an assist and her first point of the season. Wivoda took the team's scoring lead with her third point of 2012-13. The Fairbanks, Ak. native now has a point in every game this year.
The third period comeback effort from BSU, which ended with a 15-10 shot advantage and another man-up opportunity in the final 1:25 when Havel was pulled, came up short and allowed SCSU to escape with three points in the league standings.
The win was St. Cloud's first against the Beavers in 11 meetings dating back to Feb. 26, 2010.
Bemidji State will look to salvage a split tomorrow when the teams meet again at 3:07 p.m. Next week, the Beavers travel to the No. 3/4 -ranked University of Wisconsin for a Friday-Sunday series where the Badgers will open their brand new LaBahn Arena.