BEMIDJI, Minn. - After dominating Ohio State 4-1 the previous day, the Bemidji State University women's hockey team was unable to get a decision on Saturday afternoon at the Sanford Center as the Beavers and Buckeyes skated to a 1-1 tie. Ohio State went on to win the shootout 1-0 in three rounds.
The Buckeyes started the game determined to make up for their effort the day before. Out of the gate, Ohio State took the puck into the BSU zone and started looking to generate some offense. Despite their best efforts, however, the Buckeyes found nothing but the padding of BSU netminder Zuzana Tomcikova (Jr., Bratislava, Slovakia). Tomcikova would turn away all nine attempts OSU threw at her in the opening period.
With the help of Tomcikova between the pipes, Bemidji State would be the first to strike, netting a power-play goal at the 7:30 mark of the first period. Montana Vichorek (Jr., Def., Moose Lake, Minn.) took a low shot from the point, which rebounded out to the top of the crease. Erin Cody (Sr., Fwd., Roseville, Minn.) picked up the loose puck and shot it back on net, but OSU tender Lisa Steffes made the second save, but also coughed up another rebound. Emily Erickson (R-So., Fwd., Coleraine, Minn.) had crashed the net after Vichorek's shot and picked up the second rebound, putting it home for her 15th goal of the season.
After the opening goal by the Beavers, the Buckeyes clamped down on defense and skated the rest of the game without giving up a goal. Looking for a two-goal lead in the third period, Bemidji State turned up the offensive pressure recording 18 shots on goal. However, Steffes, the nation's leader in total saves, didn't falter and stood strong in net denying the Beavers every step of the way. She would end up totaling 37 saves in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Beavers, the Buckeyes would find the back of the net to tie the game in the third period on a broken play. Ally Tarr took advanced the puck on net for Ohio State, but her shot got broken up by the Beaver defense. However, a scramble ensued in front of the net and with Tomcikova sprawling looking for the loose puck, Natalie Spooner found it first and tapped it in for her 26th time this season.
With regulation ending in a tie, the Beavers entered overtime looking for a final win at home. In the extra five minutes of play neither team could muster more than one shot on goal and the game ended with a 1-1 draw.
In the shootout the Buckeyes went shot first, leading off with their leading scorer Spooner. Her attempt split the five-hole of Tomcikova to give the Buckeyes an early lead in the shootout. Cody shot first for the Beavers, but her attempt went wide of the net. The final two rounds saw neither team score as both Steffes and Tomcikova made two saves, and the Buckeyes would claim the best-of-three shootout 1-0.
The Beavers finished the regular season with a 13-15-4 (11-13-4-2 WCHA) record, finishing in fifth place in the conference. Bemidji State will now travel to Grand Forks, N.D. next weekend for the first round of playoffs to face-off against the Fighting Sioux. The series will be played at Purpur Arena in Grand Forks due to the North Dakota State High School Hockey Tournament and the UND men's series against Bemidji State at the Ralph Engelstad Arena on the same weekend.
Games one and two will begin at 7:37 p.m., and game three (if necessary) will begin at 7:07 p.m.
Ticket prices for the series, held Feb. 25, 26 and 27 (if necessary):
- Adult - $7 single, $14 series
- Student - $5 single, $10 series
- Youth - $5 single, $10 series
All ticket packages and single game tickets can be purchased at the UND Box Office at the Ralph Engelstad Arena, at any Ticketmaster location and online at Ticketmaster.com.