A week ago, Maine completed a sweep of Quinnipiac, thanks to pulling the goaltender in favor of an extra skater to tie with 30 seconds remaining before winning in overtime. This time, the Black Bears had the deed done to them. Bemidji State trailed, 2-1, after Maine’s Danielle Ward converted a penalty shot, no less. The Beavers pulled their goalie while on a power play and capitalized 24 seconds later on the two-skater advantage to tie the game at two. BSU won with another power-play goal in overtime and turned that momentum into a 7-0 win and a series sweep on Saturday.
The third period of the second game is where events became a bit peculiar. Trailing 5-0 after allowing Bemidji five goals on 20 shots, Maine elected to yank starting goalie Kylie Smith and play without a tender. After a minute and 12 seconds, BSU scored into the empty net. The Bears inserted Brittany Ott in goal; she came off for an extra attacker 50 seconds later. For much of the remainder of the game, Ott yo-yoed in and out, skating to the bench for stretches of 1:13, 1:46, and 1:56, and reentering for segments of seven and 81 seconds. During that sequence, the Beavers successfully killed off a pair of penalties. Finally with 4:04 remaining, BSU found the open net once more, Ott returned, and Maine played out the rest of the contest in conventional fashion. Whether that would still have been the case had the Black Bears not been whistled for a couple of infractions of their own, or if coach Maria Lewis would have opted for additional extra-attacker practice is open to conjecture.
No. 1 Wisconsin ran their unbeaten streak to 32 games on Friday with a 3-2 win over Minnesota, tying the NCAA mark set by a previous Badgers squad from Nov. 25, 2006 to Oct. 14, 2007. When Wisconsin fell to the Gophers by the same 3-2 score on Sunday, its first loss since a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Minnesota-Duluth on Nov. 28, 2010, it snapped that string, but a more obscure streak still lives. With Mark Johnson at the helm, Wisconsin hasn’t been defeated by anyone other than Minnesota-Duluth or Minnesota since falling 2-1 to New Hampshire on Nov. 18, 2007. That excludes the entire 2009-10 season, when the Badgers went 18-15-3 and lost to everyone from the WCHA as well as Robert Morris, but Johnson wasn’t part of that equation, as he took a year’s sabbatical to coach the United States Olympic team. Since being stopped by UNH, Wisconsin with Johnson behind the bench has lost seven times to Minnesota-Duluth and three times to Minnesota, but has not been bested in its last 82 contests against the rest of the NCAA. Boston University gets the next opportunity to end that run on October 28 in Madison.
Until the Ivy League teams begin play, Northeastern stands as the only team to retain a perfect mark on the season. The Huskies survived Union 2-1 and came from behind to add to Quinnipiac’s struggles. The only other unbeaten teams are Ohio State, moving to 3-0-1 and sitting atop the WCHA with a sweep of St. Cloud State, and St. Lawrence (2-0-1), idle until a Tuesday tilt at Niagara. Look for the unbeaten ranks to increase as the Ivies enter the fray in the coming week.