BEMIDJI, Minn. - Zuzana Tomcikova (Jr., G., Bratislava, Slovakia) picked up her fifth shutout of the season stopping 22 shots as the Bemidji State University women's hockey team defeated Minnesota State 2-0 on Friday afternoon at the Sanford Center.
"We got better as the game went on," commented head coach Steve Sertich. "(Erin) Johnson scored a big goal for us, five on five, and we gave up some good scoring chances, but Tomcikova came through for us."
The story of the new year has been the play of seniors Erin Johnson (Fwd., Farmington, Minn.) and Annie Bauerfeld (Fwd., Woodbury, Minn.) who have combined for six goals and ten assists in the past five games. The two connected to open the scoring in the second period. Bauerfeld intercepted a MSU pass in the defensive zone and chipped the puck up to Johnson who was making a break up the ice. Entering the offensive zone with two players on her heels, Johnson fought-off the two defenders and kept possession of the puck long enough to make a move around Maverick goalie Alli Altmann for score her fourth goal of the season. The Beavers finished the second period out-shooting the Mavericks 13-7 after being out-shot in the first 5-3.
With Bemidji State up 1-0 heading into the final 20 minutes of the game, Minnesota State looked to come out firing hoping to find some offense. In the third period the Mavericks went on to out-shoot the Beavers 10-8, including three shots on their lone power play of the game. However, Tomcikova wasn't going to allow anything past her picking up her 13th career shutout, rebounding from last weekend that saw the Bratislava, Slovakia native concede nine goals against North Dakota.
In the final minute of play the Mavericks pulled Altmann to gain an extra attacker in hopes of tying the game, but Emily Erickson (R-So., Fwd., Coleraine, Minn.) scored on the empty to secure the Beavers' 11th victory of the season. Sadie Lundquist (So., Fwd., Cloquet, Minn.) and Lauren Williams (Jr., Fwd., Eagan, Minn.) were credited with assists on the play. Erickson finished the game leading the team in shots with five, and Williams led the team in plus/minus with a rating of +2.
Special teams played a very minor role in the game as there were a total of three penalties called in the game, all in the third period. The Beavers went 0-2 on the power play, getting four shots on net during the man advantages. With the one failed power-play chance for MSU, Bemidji State has now killed 25-consecutive penalties.
Bemidji State now improves to 11-9-3 (9-7-3-2 WCHA) on the season. The Beavers are one conference win shy of tying the mark for the most in a season. The 2005-06 squad tallied 10 conference wins. Minnesota State drops to 6-16-3 (5-13-1-0 WCHA). BSU is now 6-0-3 in the past nine meetings with the Mavericks.
The Beavers and the Mavericks will return to the Sanford Center tomorrow afternoon for another 2:07 p.m. game. A reminder that tomorrow the women's team is hosting Youth Hockey Night and area youth hockey players wearing their team jerseys can purchase single-game tickets for just $3. After the game, the team will be available for autographs and youth hockey players are also invited to bring their skates to "Skate with the Beavers".