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Senior Brittni Mowat made 33 saves to keep her Bemidji State career going with a 2-1 victory over Minnesota in the second game of a WCHA quarterfinal series.
“It’s kind of hard not to think about it at the start of the day, but we knew we could pull through,” Mowat said. “We had a big goal in the third period, and spirits were high, and we lived to see another day.”
That goal came off of the stick of Bemidji State (12-19-3, 7-18-3-1 WCHA) senior forward Cisceley Nelson when she took a shot from an extreme angle that handcuffed goalie Sidney Peters and wound up in the net at 11:09 of the third.
“Last weekend, we had to beat Mankato, and I kind of let a goal in like that, so I know how it feels,” Mowat said. “You’ve just got to shake it off.”
Minnesota (24-6-5, 19-4-5-3 WCHA) was unable to mount much in the way of a rally.
“Disappointed in the result,” coach Brad Frost said. “Took too many penalties; couldn’t put the puck in the net. Credit Bemidji — they did a great job blocking shots, making it really tough.”
Unable to accomplish much on Saturday, the Gophers will have to return to work on Sunday for a deciding game.
“We’ll have to be much better tomorrow, as our season probably hangs in the balance,” Frost said.
As for what Peters, who was coming off the best series of her career last weekend versus Wisconsin, needs to do, Frost simply said, “Stop the puck.”
The Beavers struck first when Summer Thibodeau buried a centering pass from Nelson at 6:15 of the first period.
Minnesota was assessed three penalties over the final 4:34 of the second period, but Sarah Potomak’s short-handed goal off a Cara Piazza rebound knotted the score in the midst of that stretch.
“I’m just really proud of the group,” coach Jim Scanlan said. “Gritty — to give up that short-handed goal that we did in the manner we did. Once we had the lead, I thought we did a great job.”
Potomak’s goal was all Minnesota could muster.
“Knowing it could be your last day, you’ve got to do everything you can to keep the puck out of the net,” Mowat said.
The winner of Sunday’s game at 4:07 p.m. CST advances to a conference semifinal on Saturday; the loser goes home.
“They probably have more to lose than we do; they’re ranked a lot higher than us, so we’re just going to give it our all, empty the tanks, and see how it goes,” Mowat said.