Two down-to-the-wire performances yield 5 points

Both games with Bemidji State were tightly contested.

Minnesota forward Sarah Davis fights for the puck against Bemidji State on Friday at Ridder Arena.

Image by Erin Westover

Minnesota forward Sarah Davis fights for the puck against Bemidji State on Friday at Ridder Arena.

by Samuel Gordon

The Gophers showed a flair for the dramatics over the weekend in picking up a win and a tie with Bemidji State.

No. 2 Minnesota (20-4-2, 14-4-2 WCHA) won Friday nightâÄôs affair 3-2 but squandered two leads on Saturday before tying at 3-3.

The Gophers found themselves in an unfamiliar position Friday âÄî down two goals at home âÄî but gritted out a 3-2 victory, the first time since Jan. 26, 2008 that  they overcame a two-goal deficit and won.

Emily West scored two goals on Friday, including the game-winner 13:05 into the third period.

âÄúIt feels good, and everyone can say it feels good to score,âÄù West said after FridayâÄôs game, âÄúbut overall itâÄôs having a team at our backs like we do that makes it feel even better.âÄù

The Beavers (14-10-3, 8-10-2 WCHA) took a 1-0 lead 14:13 into the first period when Kristin Huber scored from point-blank range, fed by Mackenzie Thurston.

Barely a minute into the second stanza, Kimberly Lieder doubled the lead on a slap shot from just inside the blue line, but the Gophers responded.

Minnesota freshman Rachael Bona scored on a 2-on-1 via a nice feed from Sarah Davis to cut into BSUâÄôs lead, and the score stood at 2-1 heading into the third. Then, West went to work.

The fifth-year senior, who played on the third line Friday, scored a power-play goal on a wrap-around 9:05 into the third period. Exactly four minutes later, West stole the puck near center ice to set up a 2-on-1 before beating Beavers goalie Zuzan Tomcíková for the go-ahead goal.

âÄúShe had a couple chances early there in the game, where IâÄôm not sure how it stayed out [of the net],âÄù Minnesota head coach Brad Frost said. âÄúThereâÄôs no questioning her heart. I think we saw that tonight.âÄù

On Saturday, it was BSU that cooked up a comeback.

Jen Schoullis scored twice in a 39-second span to put the Gophers up 2-0 midway through the second period.

âÄúWe needed a goal âÄî we were playing against a really good goalie this weekend,âÄù Schoullis said. âÄúBoth of my goals were just getting her moving laterally.âÄù

But the Beavers clawed back.

Sadie Lundquist scored a power-play goal from point-blank range with a little more than three minutes left in the second period. The teams were tied again 4:55 into the third period when Huber scored a power play goal of her own.

Then, with the score tied 2-2, West put her team in a position to win the game again. Kelly Terry stole the puck near center ice and set West up with a short-handed breakaway opportunity. West beat Tomcíková to give the Gophers a 3-2 lead with 5:13 left in the third period.

BSU pulled Tomcíková with a little more than a minute left to gain an extra attacker, and Erika Wheelhouse tied the game with 49 seconds left.

Neither team scored in overtime, and the game resulted in a 3-3 tie. However, the Gophers won a shootout, 2-0, on goals from West and Amanda Kessel, to secure an additional point in the WCHA standings.

âÄúIt hurts to give one up there in the last minute, to let them tie it,âÄù Frost said, âÄúbut IâÄôm proud of the way our kids responded to get the shootout win.âÄù

Minnesota will travel to Mankato for a series with Minnesota State next weekend.