BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Ohio State women’s ice hockey team topped the Bemidji State Beavers 4-3 Friday evening in an overtime thriller. The Buckeyes scored first and fought back through two equalizing goals until Bemidji took its first lead of the night early in the third period. With time ticking down, Jincy Dunne fired off the game-tying goal to send the contest into overtime where junior Liz Schepers clinched the victory for Ohio State. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 6-3-2 (4-3-2 WCHA) and the Beavers dip to 3-5-1 (2-3-0 WCHA).
“Bemidji is a strong team and a very similar style to us where they don’t quit and they’re very relentless,” head coach Nadine Muzerall said. “Even though we took the lead a few times they always come back, so you can’t get comfortable with them. It was just a dire need to win and so they found a way and I’m proud they got it done.”
Ohio State 4, Bemidji 3
Ohio State tallied the first goal of the contest as freshman Jenn Gardiner found the back of the net in the fourth minute of play. Gardiner blocked a Beaver shot in the Buckeye’s defensive zone and picked up the puck for a long breakaway. Her goal was unassisted and was the second of her career. Just over three minutes later, Bemidji forward Haley Mack scored her seventh season goal on a no-angle shot to tie the game at 1-all. The Buckeyes held an early lead in shots but the Beavers finished the period with a 9-8 advantage.
Both teams once again had their chances come early in the period. Tatum Skaggs found herself on a breakaway just 30 second into second but Lauren Bench was there for the save and the rebound attempt by Liz Schepers. In the seventh minute, Elise Riemenschneider had a chance in front of the net but could not convert. With 8:45 gone, Gardiner struck again to put the Buckeyes on top, 2-1. The Bemidji equalizer came just 3:19 later by Clair Degeorge, her first of the season. Ohio State outshot the Beavers in the second period 10-4.
The Buckeyes opened the final period on a 46 second penalty kill as Brooke Bink was sent to the box for high sticking late in the second. Just 20 seconds into the period the Beavers converted and secured their first lead of the night with a goal from Heather Olson. Bemidji remained on top until Jincy Dunne fired off the equalizer with 5:45 left to play. The score held at 3-3 for the remainder of regulation with Ohio State outshooting Bemidji 33-16 after 60 minutes.
With Dunne’s equalizer, the game went into a five minute, sudden victory overtime period. Just over a minute in, Schepers called game and found the back of the net to give the Buckeyes their first overtime win of the season. Schepers’ goal was assisted by Sophie Jaques and Emma Maltais.