Overtime shocker derails UND’s unbeaten season

Bemidji State scores with 7.3 seconds left in overtime to send UND to a 4-1-1 season. 

UND goalie Lexie Shaw defends the puck against Bemidji State in Saturday’s loss to the Beavers. Photo by Nick Nelson/ The Dakota Student

A hard-fought weekend ended in disappointment for the Green and White as Bemidji State snapped UND’s undefeated streak when the Beavers took home the win during Saturday’s home opener.

During Friday’s game in Bemidji, UND was able to take the win in a shootout after a scoreless game over 65 minutes. This game is just the fifth scoreless tie in program history for North Dakota.

Shelby Amsley-Benzie shut down Bemidji in the shootout, while Becca Kohler slipped her shot past BSU goaltender Brittni Mowat. The Green and White were solid for the duration of the game with lockdown defense as UND blocked 20 shots and had its goalie shut out anything that made it to the net. Its offense also created pressure in the BSU zone with a strong penalty kill.

The win brought UND’s record to 4-0-1 and the Green and White gained the extra point for the shootout win. The win streak would not last much longer.

The game mimicked the previous day with a scoreless first period and the arena could feel the pressure coming from both sides. At the halfway point of the second period, the Green and White were able to get on the board as their power play line worked aggressively in the offensive zone. UND forward Amy Menke’s shot found the back of the net through a screen in front of the goalie,                                                  putting UND up 1-0.

There was no shortage of physical play as both teams fed off each other’s energy. The second period brought the most penalties for both teams. UND and BSU took penalties during a scuffle that brought on four-on-four play for two minutes.

UND, unable to settle down, took a penalty shortly after to bring on a four on three power play opportunity for the Beavers. The penalty kill line showed good patience and cleared the zone to stop BSU from producing shots and Lexie Shaw defended the lead, as Bemidji State was unable to find the back of the net during the power play.

Shaw brought her A-game, as she robbed Bemidji of crucial chances but the Beavers found the back of the net with 1:56 remaining in the third on an odd bounce that forced overtime.

The extra period showed the same physicality with great shot attempts from both ends and a turnover in the neutral zone that silenced the arena, as Bemidji made it to the net only to be shut down by Shaw.

The period seemed to be winding down, but with 7.3 seconds left, Bemidji took a reflection off a UND player’s skate and slipped the puck under Shaw to shock the Green and White and end their unbeaten streak.

UND is now 4-1-1 on the season and Bemidji remains undefeated in regulation, going 6-0-2 with their hard fought win.

“I thought for the most part, we executed well,” UND coach Brian Idalski said. “We did a lot of good things. This was the kind of games we have with Bemidji — a bounce here, a bounce there, and that’s the way it goes. Although it was a disappointing loss, the learning process is endless for the squad. We’re far from a finished product. We have room to grow. There are pieces there. We have to rely heavily on our older kids right now. It is what it is. I feel bad for Shaw because I thought she was really good and deserved a better fate.”

The Green and White are back in action this weekend on the road with a series against rival St. Cloud State. The puck drops at 7 p.m. Friday night.

Allyson Bento is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]