GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- On her final night with North Dakota before taking off for the 2014 Olympic Winter games, sophomore defenseman Tanja Eisenschmid scored the game-winning goal to propel her squad to a 2-1 win over Bemidji State on Saturday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
“It feels pretty good, it’s always nice to score the game-winning goal,” Eisenschmid said. “Because I leave on Monday, it feels even better since I won’t be here for a couple of weeks.”
North Dakota improves to 16-5-3 (13-4-3-2 WCHA) with the win, and remains in third place in the WCHA standings with 44 points. BSU is now 9-14-3 (6-12-2-1 WCHA) and remains in fifth place in the WCHA standings with 21 points.
“We’ll take the win and run, but that was a classic, old-school, UND-Bemidji State game; who can dump the puck more and chase it,” head coach Brian Idalski said. “We’ll take it; those are big points for us.
“It’s not always going to be a pretty play out there; it’s going to be a lot of heart, grit and battles. I was proud of the kids and the effort to pull the win out; that was a tough game.”
After a back-and-forth start to the game, the Beavers took a 1-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game. Rachael Kelly created a turnover at the UND blue line and entered unopposed on goalie Shelby Amsley-Benzie and beat her high glove.
UND picked up the pace after conceding the goal, getting more and more comfortable as the period went on. North Dakota really started to pressure BSU in the second period and it paid off three minutes in with a tying goal. Josefine Jakobsen collected a pass and fired a shot over the shoulder of Bemidji State’s goalie Brittni Mowat.
Despite controlling things for much of the game afterwards, UND would not crack Mowat until midway through the third period, when Eisenschmid snapped the tie to give North Dakota a 2-1 lead. Eisenschmid’s shot from the point got through traffic and beat Mowat short side.
Down a player with less than a minute left in the game, the Beavers drew a penalty and earned a few late chances with their goaltender pulled. But UND shook off the pressure thanks to some key saves from Amsley-Benzie and came away with the victory.
Amsley-Benzie made 13 saves for her tenth win of the season, while Mowat recorded 26 saves for Bemidji State.
UND hosts Minnesota at Ralph Engelstad Arena next weekend, Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Both games will start at 7:07 p.m.