ERIE, Pa. - The Bemidji State University women's hockey team was held off the scoreboard for the sixth time this season after falling to Mercyhurst College, 3-0, Friday night in Erie, Pa. The Beavers (4-13-1, 4-7-1-0 WCHA) and Lakers (8-6-2, 6-2-0 CHA) were tied 0-0 heading into the third period but three unanswered goals in the final frame by the Lakers lead them to the game one victory.
Redshirt sophomore Lauren Bench stopped 23-of-26 shots by the Lakers including 20-of-20 in the first 40 minutes but falls to 2-6-1 on the season. After keeping the Lakers scoreless through the first 41:42 minutes, Bench set a new school record for the longest shutout streak in school history at 161:32. Bench held opponents off the scoresheet for eight consecutive periods and breaks BSU all-time great Zuzana Tomcikova's shutout streak of 149:30 set in 2010-11 by 12 minutes.
Mercyhurst began the scoring early into the third period when Summer-Rae Dobson scored an even-strength goal just 1:42 into the final frame. The Lakers didn't waste time to take a two-goal lead when Sarah Hine found the back of the net at 5:31. The Lakers then sealed the game with an empty-net goal by Dobson at 19:25 for the 3-0 victory.
After being outshot 16-4 in the first period, Bemidji State fired off for 26 shots on net in the next two periods to outshoot the Lakers 26-10 and 30-26 in the game. Bemidji State earned five power plays in the game including a 5-on-3 in the second period but came up empty on all five attempts. Its penalty kill remains one of the best parts of BSU's game and held Mercyhurst 0-for-3 on their three attempts and have now killed off 19 consecutive power plays and is now sixth in the nation with a penalty kill percentage of .896 (43-of-48).
The Beavers will look to even the non-conference series tomorrow with puck drop between the Lakers and Beavers slated for Noon CST.