Ohio State rallied late to tie the Bemidji State women’s hockey team 1-1 and went on to win the shootout Saturday afternoon at The Sanford Center in the final regular season game for both teams.
“It was hard-fought game,” Bemidji State head coach Steve Sertich said. “It would have been nice to send our seniors off with a victory today. It sure wasn’t for a lack of effort. We just couldn’t get that next goal in the third period.”
Emily Erickson scored in the first period for the Beavers and Natalie Spooner scored her team-leading 26th goal of the season in the third period for the Buckeyes to force overtime.
Spooner went on to beat BSU goalie Zuzana Tomcikova for the only goal of the shootout. Erin Cody, Erin Johnson and Annie Bauerfeld were stopped by Ohio State goalie Lisa Steffes.
“I think we played well as a team and Z(uzana) gave us an opportunity,” Johnson said. “We needed to bury the chances and the opportunities we had. We didn’t do that.”
The Beavers end the regular season with a 13-15-4 overall record (11-13-4-2 WCHA) and fifth place in the eight-team WCHA standings. It marks the best regular season finish for the team in the 11-year history of WCHA competition.
The Beavers will open the first round of the WCHA playoffs next weekend on the road against North Dakota at Purpur Arena in Grand Forks. Games are Friday and Saturday at 7:37 p.m. Sunday’s game is7:07 p.m. (if necessary).
The winner of the best-of-three series advances to the WCHA Final Face-Off in Minneapolis the following week.
Erickson’s goal 7:30 into the first period came on the power play. She put back a rebound from Cody’s shot to score her second goal of the weekend and 15th of the season.
Unlike Friday’s 4-1 BSU victory, the Buckeyes were a more formidable opponent Saturday and both teams played well defensively. Ice in front of the net and second-chance opportunities were hard to come by.
Tomcikova pitched a shutout into the third period and it was broken when Spooner converted a 2-on-1 Buckeye break with 13:10 to play in the game.
BSU held a 18-7 shot advantage in the third period, but could not break Steffes and the scoreless overtime the game went to the shootout.
It was the fourth shootout for the Beavers this season. BSU finished 2-2 in shootouts this season.
Steffes finished with 37 saves and Tomcikova finished with 24 saves.
Ohio State 0 0 1 0 – 1
Bemidji State 1 0 0 0 – 1
OSU wins shootout 1-0.
First period – 1, BSU, Erickson 15 (Cody, Vichorek), 7:30, (pp).
Second period – No scoring.
Third period – 2, OSU, Spooner 26(Tarr), 6:50.
Shootout goals – OSU, (Spooner,). BSU, (none)
Shots on goal – OSU, 9-8-7-1-25. BSU, 11-8-18-1-38.
Goalies – OSU, Steffes (38-37). BSU, Tomcikova (25-24).
Power Plays- OSU, 0-for-3. BSU, 1-for-4.