BSU runs with the Bulldogs, come up just short
Friday, February 6, 2009
BEMIDJI, Minn. - The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team allowed two early goals to the No. 3-ranked University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, but then the Beavers hunkered down and showed they can hang with any team in the country, losing just 3-2 to UMD Friday afternoon at John Glas Fieldhouse.

This game marked the first time since Jan. 14, 2006, that BSU (6-19-4, 3-18-2-1 WCHA) has scored multiple goals against Minnesota Duluth (18-7-4, 13-6-4-1 WCHA) at the Glas. This was also the first time since Dec. 2, 2006, that Bemidji State scored multiple goals against a ranked opponent at home.

The Beavers were outshot 44-28 by the defending national champions, and the shots by the home team were the third-most in the 43-game series history (35 shots Jan. 13, 2006 and 29 shots Feb. 20, 2000).

BSU began the game a little too overzealous, and it would prove costly as both Kimberly Lieder (Fr., RW, Eagan, Minn.) and Jackie Robertson (Jr., D, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) would find their respective ways to the penalty box in the first two minutes.

UMD took advantage of the early 5-on-3 when Haley Irwin scored off assists by Sara O’Toole and Jocelyne Larocque 2:14 into the game.

O’Toole would notch a marker 7:19 into the first with an assist to Irwin, and the Beavers quickly found themselves down 2-0.

A dejected bunch this team did not become, however, as Franny Dorr (Jr., C, Roseville, Minn.) would later make sure the home crowd would have something to cheer about before the end of the opening frame.

Erin Cody (So., RW, Roseville, Minn.) tapped the puck into the zone and it was collected behind the net by Dorr. She sent a pass over to the half wall to Erin Johnson (So., LW, Farmington, Minn.), who knocked it out into the faceoff circle. A UMD forward tried to skate off with the puck but she couldn’t get her stick on it. Dorr stole it, turned towards the net and ripped a wrister far post past a sprawling Johanna Ellison.

Dorr scored her second goal of the season and Bemidji State entered the first intermission down 2-1.

Laura Fridfinnson gave UMD another two-goal advantage at the 5:22 mark off assists by Saara Tuominen and Heidi Pelttari, but Montana Vichorek (Fr., D, Moose Lake, Minn.) scored an almost impossible goal 54 seconds later.

After a save went into the corner in BSU’s zone, Ashley Leopold (Jr., D, Afton, Minn.) sent a pass to Vichorek, who beat a UMD forward and proceeded to skate the length of the ice.

Just before she approached UMD’s blue line, she played the puck off the glass in an attempt to dump it into the opposing territory. The disk took a weird bounce and it went straight towards the net. Vichorek followed suit as she skated past a baffled defender, and she sent the bouncing puck over the blocker of Ellison for her third tally of the season.

Even with the renewed vigor of the one-goal deficit, Bemidji State was unable to notch an equalizer and the two teams skated out the final period and a half with the road squad taking the win.

BSU netminder Zuzana Tomcikova (Fr., Bratislava, Slovakia) had another fine performance, saving shots from every angle. She stopped 41 shots and allowed three goals in 59:15 of action, falling to 5-16-3 on the year. Ellison allowed two Bemidji State goals and saved 26 en route to improving her record 6-1-1.

Cody’s assist gives her 21 points in her last 22 games (12g-9a), and she improves her team lead in all three categories (12g-12a=24p). She is just the third player since 2003-04 to record double-digit goals and assists, and of those three players she has the most points. She’s also the first to do so since 2005-06.

Cody also has 11 goals and nine assists in conference play this year, and if she were to record one more assist in any of the five remaining regular-season games, she will become just the third player in school history to have earned double-digit goals and assists in the same season in conference play (Amber Fryklund 2000-01 and 2001-02 - Kerri McEwen 1999-00)

Johnson has 10 points in her last 10 games, and she is second on the team in all three categories (7g-11a=18p). Leopold notched her fifth assist of the season.

Vichorek now has three goals this season, and she is the first defenseman since 2004-05 to record at least three goals in a season (Jenny Schnickel, 6 goals in 2004-05).

The series finale will be held Saturday at the Glas, with the first faceoff set for 2:07 p.m.