Wickham OT goal hands MSU women’s hockey 6-5 win over Colorado
Put on the ice as a makeshift defender, Minot State sophomore forward Haley Wickham collected a loose puck at the blue line. Without hesistation, Wickham skated to the front of the net and sniped a shot over the right shoulder of Colorado goaltender Lexi Hartmann. Game over.
Wickham waved her arms up and down in celebration. The rest of the Beavers jumped off the bench and joined Wickham in the northeast corner of Maysa Arena.
After trailing 4-1 through the first 20 minutes, the No. 4-ranked Beavers (9-3-0) stormed back Saturday evening to beat the No. 11-ranked University of Colorado Buffaloes (10-4-1), 6-5 in overtime.
“We had a slow start,” MSU head coach Ryan Miner said. “We were doing things right, but we weren’t moving our feet and winning those battles. So, we ended up getting down.”
Down, but not out. Camryn Clyne added to her first goal of the game with a second goal coming on the power play three minutes into the second period.
Story Navrot then came through with a pair of goals for the Beavers. She poached the first one in front of the net, and the second came via a shorthanded breakaway.
“(Navrot) is finally starting to find herself,” Miner said. “She started to bear down in the middle part of the game. And once she gets the puck on her stick, there is no stopping her.”
Cassidy Entz put Minot State in the lead, 5-4, with a timely goal coming a minute left in the second period. But Colorado managed to force overtime with the lone goal in the third period.
With plenty of room to maneuver in the 3-on-3 overtime, MSU assistant coach Tony Swearingen suggested moving Wickham back to defense for a shift.
“I got a little nervous there because I’m not a defender,” Wickham said. “I saw the puck come loose out of a scrabble and I took it in. I saw a corner, and I went for it.”
Miner added: “Give Tony (Swearingen) credit. He said, ‘Let’s throw Haley Wickham back there and see what happens.’ You know what? It worked. She went out there and said she was nervous. But she got the job done.”
The Beavers closed out of the fall semester with a 10-game winning streak. MSU is now off until the new year. The next game being a road contest Jan. 16 against Adrian College (Mich.).
Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.