PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Providence College women's ice hockey team opened its season with a 3-2 loss to the Bemidji State Beavers at Schneider Arena in Providence on Friday, October 5.
Last season, the two teams met for the first time ever when the Friars travelled to Bemidji for two games in which the Beavers earned a win (3-1) and a tie (0-0) on September 30 and October 1, 2011. The Friars were looking to change their luck versus the Beavers and were off to a good start when they tallied the first goal of the game just 5:28 into the opening stanza. Freshman Molly Illikainen (Grand Rapids, Mich.) redirected a wrist shot from Rebecca Morse (Westfield, N.J.) for the tally.
The game went back and forth for half of the second period before the Friars increased their lead on a shorthanded goal by Nicole Anderson (Jordan, Minn.) at the 9:24 mark. Anderson took a feed from Morse in the neutral zone and broke down the left side before firing a shot through the five hole. The Beavers then had three powerplays, including a five on three, but were not able to convert. However, with 1:26 remaining in the period Bemidji cut the Friar lead in half when Kayleigh Chapman one timed a shot from the slot which found the back of the net.
The Beavers evened the game at 2-2 at the 7:35 mark of the third period on a wrist shot from the right point by Alex Ehlert. Ehlert took a feed from Kaitlyn Tougas and rifled a shot high into the top of the net that beat Friar netminder Nina Riley (Lexington, Mass.) on the glove side. Natasha Kostenko completed the Bemidji comeback when she put the Beavers ahead at the 14:05 mark of the third. Mackenzie Thurston fired a shot off the chest of Riley and Kostenko pounced on the rebound to give the Beavers their first lead of the game.
The two teams will return to action on Saturday at Schneider Arena at 4:00 p.m.