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Bemidji State Tops Minnesota Duluth in US Hockey Hall of Fame Game

In front of a full house at the Isanti Ice Arena, Bemidji State got a three-point night from senior Emma Terres and captured a 3-2 victory over Minnesota Duluth to win the US Hockey Hall of Fame game.

Though Minnesota Duluth was the home team for the game played in Isanti, Minnesota, about 25 miles north of the Twin Cities, they looked like they were late off the bus against a Bemidji State team that came out flying. The Beavers controlled the game’s first 13 minutes, holding the Bulldogs without a shot on goal, but could only build a one goal lead on a beautiful pass from Terres to set-up linemate Clair DeGeorge.

The Bulldogs were able to answer back late in the period when Catherine Daoust blasted a shot over the shoulder of Bemidji State goalie Kerigan Dowhy to tie the game after one period.

Bemidji State came out strong in the second period, scoring on their first shift, this time with DeGeorge setting up Terres for a tip-in goal. But after the goal, Minnesota Duluth began to assert an advantage, and at 7:52 of the period, Allison Rodgers tied the game by deflecting in her first career goal.

The Bulldogs had multiple chances to take a lead in the second period, but it was Terres again, scoring against the run of play that gave Bemidji State a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.

The Beavers took control of the game again in the third period, outshooting the Bulldogs 14-8, and though they could not extend their lead, they spent significant time in the UMD zone, limiting any chance of the Bulldogs evening the game, and securing the victory.

Bemidji State’s Dowhy made 23 saves in her first collegiate start to pick up her first career win. Minnesota Duluth goalie Jessica Convery stopped 31 of 34 shots in the losing effort.

Notes and Thoughts:

-Credit to the WCHA, the US Hockey Hall of Fame, and the two teams involved for putting on a really cool event, which hopefully raised a good amount of money for Matt Olson, a former Cambridge-Isanti hockey player that was paralyzed playing Tier III hockey two years ago. I wasn’t sure what to expect driving up to the middle of nowhere on a Monday night, but the arena in Isanti was packed and it was a fun atmosphere for a game. It could be a great showcase for the women’s game if they can find similar small communities to go all-in on hosting a game like this in the way Cambridge-Isanti did.

-Bemidji State freshman Clair DeGeorge doesn’t draw quite the attention of some of the top freshmen at powerhouses like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Boston College, because the Beavers don’t score a lot, and they’re not winning a lot, but she belongs in the running for best freshman in the country.

With her size at 5’10” and strength, she brings an element that very few players have. Tonight, she was dominant along the boards winning pucks and setting up plays. Even during the stretches when Bemidji State was on their heels, DeGeorge’s line was controlling play. I really like her chances of being with the national team for the 2022 Olympics.

-In addition to DeGeorge, there’s some decent young talent on the Beavers’ roster. They’re not there yet, but in two years, when all of this year’s freshmen and sophomores are juniors and seniors, they might have a shot at being the league’s best, outside of the Big 2.

-Meanwhile, for Minnesota Duluth, that group comes in next year. The biggest area that I think they’re going to improve next year is that they’ll be a much better skating group on the blue line. There were long stretches tonight where they just could not get the puck out of their zone because the Beavers were first on every loose puck.

Final Scoring

First Period

7:55 Clair DeGeorge from Emma Terres and Paige Beebe 1-0 Bemidji State

Terres made a pretty behind-the-back pass from behind the net, and with Convery looking over the wrong shoulder, DeGeorge had a wide open net to shoot at.

17:17 Catherine Daoust from Naomi Rogge 1-1 tie

Daoust took a shot from the right circle that went over the shoulder over Dowhy into the top shelf of the net.

Second Period

1:06 Emma Terres from Clair DeGeorge 2-1 Bemidji State

DeGeorge cycled the puck out of the left corner and played it to the front of the net, where it was tipped in by Terres.

7:52 Allison Rodgers from Michelle Lowenheilm and Sydney Brodt 2-2 tie

Lowenheilm took a shot from the right point that was deflected in front of the net by Rodgers over Dowhy for Rodgers’ first career goal.

17:57 Emma Terres from Reilly Fawcett 3-2 Bemidji State

A puck popped free in the slot in the Minnesota Duluth and Terres was in the right place to unleash a big slap shot that beat Convery to the blocker side.

Third Period