BEMIDJI, Minn. - Redshirt sophomore Lauren Bench posted a 22-save shutout as the Bemidji State University women's hockey team blanked Union College 3-0 Friday night in game one of its series. The Beavers (6-13-1, 4-7-1-0 WCHA) got the game-winning goal from junior Jacqueline Kaasa in the second period while senior Emily Bergland extended BSU's lead to 2-0 with a short-handed goal in the third. Junior Kiki Radke scored on the empty net to seal the 3-0 victory.
Bemidji State is now unbeaten in six consecutive games played at the Sanford Center dating back to Oct. 27 against Minnesota State University and is 5-0-1 during that span. Bench earned her fourth shutout of the season and sixth of her career to tie for third most among Bemidji State goaltenders.
The Beavers and the Dutchwomen (2-15-2, 0-7-1 ECAC) played a scoreless first period with both teams trying to shake off some of the rust from the long Holiday break. Kaasa would eventually break the scoreless tie and score the Beavers' first goal of 2019 at 9:29 of the second period after Radke assisted on the play.
BSU would head into the locker room for the second intermission with just the one-goal lead but nine minutes into the final frame, Bergland corralled a rebounded shot from Paige Beebe that rung off the post while killing off a Union power play for the Beavers' first shorthanded-goal of the season. Bemidji State maintained the two-goal lead late into the period and when Union pulled goaltender Amelia Murray for the extra attacker, Radke found space behind the Dutchwomen's defense and scored into the empty net for her second goal of the season and give BSU the 3-0 win.
Bemidji State came up empty on its lone power play chance in the first period but killed off all three power plays by the Dutchwomen to continue its penalty kill streak at 25 consecutive kills without allowing a power-play goal.
Bemidji State outshot Union 28-22 in the game with Murray making 25 saves and two goals against while Bench stopped all 22 shots by the Dutchwomen to improve to 3-7-1 on the season and is 3-1-0 in her last four starts.
The Beavers will make an attempt for their third sweep of the season when they host the Dutchwomen again tomorrow at 3:07 p.m.