Tomcikova and Scofield named Beaver Pride Student-Athletes of the Year
Monday, April 20, 2009

BEMIDJI, Minn. - Bemidji State University women’s ice hockey standout Zuzana Tomcikova (Fr., Bratislava, Slovakia) and men's ice hockey playmaker Tyler Scofield (Sr., Prince George, British Columbia) were announced as the 2008-09 Beaver Pride Athletes of the Year, Sunday evening, at the BSU Student-Athlete Appreciation Banquet. The duo was selected from a pool of nominated student-athletes from BSU's 17 intercollegiate sport programs.

In addition, Courtney Bitter (Fr., Bemidji, Minn.) of the volleyball team and men’s ice hockey rookie Brad Hunt (Ridge Meadows, British Columbia) were selected 2008-09 Female and Male Newcomers of the Year.

In all, nearly 60 seniors were recognized with the presentation of the athletes and newcomers of the year serving as the culminating point of the program.

Zuzana Tomcikova, BSU's Female Student Athlete of the Year for 2008-09, finished her freshman season for the women's ice hockey team with a 3.09 goals against average and a .917 saves percentage after playing in all but five games against some of the toughest competition in the nation. She saved 1,025 shots and was one of just three netminders in the country to notch over 1,000 stops in 2008-09. Her 1805:29 minutes between the pipes ranked seventh in the nation, and she tied the school's single-season record for shutouts with three.

In just her first year donning the green and white, Tomcikova cracked the top three on multiple BSU single-season leader boards. These include shutouts (three, T-1st), saves (1,025, 2nd), save percentage (.917, 2nd), games played (31, 3rd) and minutes played (1805:29, 3rd).

Tomcikova put together a string of three consecutive weeks being named Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Defensive Player of the Week at one point during the season, making her the first WCHA player to earn the honor three weeks in a row. At the conclusion of the season, she was selected to the WCHA All-Rookie Team and became the first BSU player ever to be named Second Team All-WCHA to cap the season.

BSU's 2008-09 Male Athlete of the Year, Tyler Scofield, finished the season ranked second on the team in scoring with 22-17=39 points. His 22 goals was not only a career-high, it also led the team and marked the first time since 2003-04 (Brendan Cook) a BSU skater has lit the lamp at least 22 times in a single season. The Prince George, British Columbia native posted 10 multi-point efforts as a senior, which include a team-leading five multi-goal games.

Scofield seemed to save his best for last. He single-handedly led the Beavers down the stretch piling up 8-7=15 points in BSU's final seven games off the season, which included a four-point effort, and first career hat trick in the regular-season finale and game wining goals in each of the team's NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional match ups advancing the Beavers to the Frozen Four for the first time in school history.

Scofield averaged one-point per game in CHA play. His 4-5=9 points on the power play and four power-play goals were all good for fourth in the league while he posted a pair of game-winning goals to finish second among CHA scorers.

With 48-63=111 points in a green and white sweater, Scofield leaves third in scoring during Bemidji State’s Division I-era, his 63 helpers rank third at BSU since 1999-2000 and he is one of only three Division I-era players to record 40 goals and 60 assists.

Scofield, a Second Team All-CHA pick in 2009, was a two-time CHA Offensive Player of the Week during 2008-09 regular, was selected INCH National Player of the Week Honorable Mention Mar. 9 and earned NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Most Outstanding Player honors.

The Beaver Pride Female Newcomer of the Year, Courtney Bitter capped her freshman campaign ranked in the top five on the BSU volleyball team in several major statistical categories. In addition to leading the team in games played (103) and set assists (884), she sat second in digs (252), fourth in total blocks (24) and service aces (18) and was fifth in kills (120).

A natural leader on the court, her 8.58 assists per game this season rank as the highest average at BSU since Kristin Smith posted 10.00 assists per game in 2004. In addition, Bitter paced all Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) newcomers with four double-doubles.

Bitter, a Beaver Pride Athlete of the Week (Nov. 12), also earned Las Vegas Blast All-Tournament Team laurels in her first weekend of collegiate play.

After a stellar rookie season, 2008-09 CHA Rookie of the Year, Brad Hunt was named Beaver Pride Male Newcomer of the Year.

Hunt finished the 2008-09 campaign third on the team in scoring with 9-23=32 and ranked behind only BSU leading scorer Matt Read with 23 assists. Hunt’s 32 points match Riley Riddell (2001-02) and Luke Erickson (2003-04) for the best offensive season by a freshman in BSU’s Division I history and stands as the second-best single-season total by a defensemen since 1999 (Stephan Bjork, 15-19=34). In addition, his total of 23 assists puts him atop BSU’s Division I-era defensemen assists list.

Hunt tallied 4-15=19 points in CHA play to lead not only all rookies, but also all blueliners and situate him fifth among CHA scorers. Hunt also proved to be a vital cog on a BSU power-play unit that paced the conference converting over 21-percent (21-99) of its opportunities on the man advantage. The freshman finished the season perched atop the league’s power-play scoring list with 3-9=12 points.

Selected to the 2009 CHA All-Rookie Team and First Team All-CHA, Hunt, a three-time CHA Rookie of the Week and the league’s Defensive Player of the Week on three occasions during the 2008-09 regular-season, also garnered the 2009 CHA Rookie of the Year award.

Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., competes at the NCAA Division I and II levels and is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and College Hockey America (CHA).
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