BEMIDJI, Minn. — The No. 1 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs had their hands full Saturday, but scored two goals in the final half of the third period to get past Bemidji State, 4-1, Saturday at John Glas Fieldhouse.
Maria Rooth picked up her 14th goal of the season just 27 seconds into the game and gave early indication that the Bulldogs — who had outscored BSU 71-14 all-time coming into the game — could turn the matchup into another rout.
But the Beavers held the Bulldogs scoreless for the next 37:36 until Joanne Eustace chipped in her fourth goal of the season, the eventual game-winner, at 18:13 of the second period.
The Bulldogs pumped their lead up to 3-0 with Rooth’s 15th goal of the season at 11:33 of the third period before BSU finally got on the board with 27 seconds to play in regulation as Lisa Peters scored her fifth goal of the season with an assist from Caesare Stimson and Amber Fryklund.
The Bulldogs finished matters off as Larissa Luther scored unassisted with seven seconds to play.
“Duluth is a very talented team. They have size, speed and shooting accuracy; all facets of the game.” BSU head coach Jason Lesteberg said. “They will take advantage of your mistakes, and we made some costly ones. We played extremely well in the first period. We outshot them, we did a good job moving the puck but couldn’t capitalize on mistakes.
“We need to study this game tape and see the things we did and didn’t do well. Our kids played well. We were right with them.”
Bre Dedrickson took the loss in goal for BSU. She saved 24 of 28 UMD shots on the evening and fell to 5-4-4 on the year. Patricia Sautter picked up the win for UMD. She saved all 14 shots she faced to earn the shutout and remained unbeaten on the year at 5-0-3.
UMD and BSU came into Saturday ranked 1-2 in the WCHA in penalty-killing, and both units performed to their rankings. The Beavers were 0-for-5 on power-play opportunities while the Bulldogs went 0-for-4 with an extra man. The game featured 17 penalties, including a five-minute checking from behind call on UMD’s Jessica Smith with a game misconduct. Seven of the 17 penalties in the contest came during the second period, including Smith’s ejection.
Duluth remains undefeated all-time against BSU, improving to 9-0-0 in the series. Bemidji State falls to 6-5-4 with the loss, 4-4-3 in WCHA play, while the Bulldogs remain undefeated at 12-0-3 overall and 7-0-2 in WCHA action.
The Bulldogs picked up two points in the WCHA standings tonight and moved into a first-place tie with Minnesota, which is idle this weekend. The Bulldogs will look to move into sole possession of first place Sunday, when UMD and BSU wrap up their two-game series. Opening faceoff from John Glas Fieldhouse is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. Central time.