BEMIDJI, Minn. - Sophomore Hannah Brandt (Vadnais Heights, Minn.) scored the game-winning goal with 7:19 remaining in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and give the No. 1 Minnesota women's hockey team a 4-3 win and a series sweep over Bemidji State at the Sanford Center Saturday evening.
Brandt led the Gophers with three points on two goals and one assist, and junior Rachael Bona (Coon Rapids, Minn.) had one goal and one assist as the Gophers earned their NCAA-record 57th consecutive win.
Minnesota (8-0-0, 6-0-0 WCHA) and Bemidji State (3-4-1, 0-2-0 WCHA) were tied three times in the game, and BSU led 2-1 in the first. The Gophers outshot the Beavers, 31-21, after being outshot 11-7 in the opening frame.
"It was a tough game, as always when we play Bemidji and we play up here," head coach Brad Frost said. "Credit to them, they did everything that they could to win the hockey game tonight. Fortunately for us, we found a way to win. We're certainly not pleased with the effort or the execution tonight in all three zones, but hopefully it's something that we learn from and take with us back to the Cities and correct for this coming weekend."
Minnesota took an early 1-0 lead as Brandt scored her second goal of the season just 29 seconds into the game. She beat BSU goaltender Brittni Mowat glove side and sent the puck just under the crossbar. However, Bemidji State took a 2-1 lead with goals by Jenessa Phillipczyk at 2:47 and Lauren Miller at 15:04 in the first period. Senior Kelly Terry (Whitby, Ont.) scored with eight seconds remaining in the opening frame to send the teams into the first intermission tied 2-2.
Bona scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season at the 3:30 mark of the second period to give the Gophers the 3-2 lead, but the Beavers responded early in the third. Hanna Moher tied the game at 3-3 at the 4:08 mark of the third period before Brandt tallied the game-winner. Senior Baylee Gillanders (Kyle, Sask.) and Bona picked up assists, and the Gophers hung on for the victory.
Sophomore goaltender Amanda Leveille (Kingston, Ont.) made 18 saves for the Gophers, while Mowat stopped 27 pucks for the Beavers.
Minnesota held Bemidji State scoreless on two power-play opportunities. The Gophers have not allowed a power-play goal since the 9:20 mark of the first period against Wisconsin on Oct. 11, killing their last 15 penalties.
Next weekend, the Gophers return to Ridder Arena for a Friday night game against Minnesota State. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m., and the Gophers are pleased to welcome University of Minnesota faculty and staff for Faculty/Staff Appreciation Night. The home-and-home series concludes at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2 in Mankato, Minn.