BSU earns first conference win of season
Friday, January 9, 2009
BEMIDJI, Minn. - It took two goals and one amazing save by goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova (Fr., Bratislava, Slovakia), but the breaks finally went the way of the home team as the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team earned its first win in Western Collegiate Hockey Association play. BSU never trailed in a 2-1 triumph over Minnesota State University Friday night at John Glas Fieldhouse.

After sweeping Robert Morris University last weekend, Bemidji State is now on a three-game win streak, its longest since winning three tilts from Dec. 16, 2006 - Jan. 5, 2007. The Beavers are now owners of a 4-15-2 overall record and a 1-14-0 mark in the WCHA. The Mavericks drop to 6-11-2 overall and 3-10-2 in the conference.

BSU won its first conference game since a 4-1 win over North Dakota Jan. 11, ending a school-record 25-game losing streak in the WCHA.

The Beavers looked like a rejuvenated squad coming off the sweep over the Colonials, and it took just 2:59 to get on the board.

Marlee Wheelhouse (Fr., Crookston, Minn.) had the puck behind the BSU net and sent a breakout pass in traffic at center ice to Annie Bauerfeld (So., Woodbury, Minn.). Bauerfeld poked the puck deep in the MSU zone, and there was a scrum behind the Maverick net before Kaylee Keys (Fr., St. Paul, Minn.) finally came out with it. She smartly wrapped it around the goal post and through the legs of the MSU netminder for her third goal of the 2008-09 campaign.

After entering the first intermission with the 1-0 advantage, the Beavers gave up a 5-on-3 power-play goal to Emilia Andersson 8:41 into the second frame. Christina Lee and Holly Snyder were credited with assists on the goal.

Bemidji State could’ve just went into the third period with the 1-1 tie, but these players had other ideas in mind.

An MSU defender had the puck near the Maverick net late in the second and she tried to skate out of her zone. Erin Johnson (So., Farmington, Minn.) was able to poke it away and had just enough time to send a centering pass to a streaking Bauerfeld. Bauerfeld looked at first as if she would try and go behind the net, but at the last instant she decided to skate through the crease. The move proved to be a wise one as she was able to send the puck under the diving goaltender with 2:53 left in the second period to give Bemidji State the final 2-1 score.

The two teams played to a scoreless third period and Bemidji State took home its first conference win of the season, but there couldn’t be a ‘W’ without a little drama.

In the sixth minute of the final frame with the Beavers on the power play, an MSU player cleared the puck and it went streaking rights towards BSU’s net.

Tomcikova went down to try and stop the bouncing puck, and it came up at the last second and deflected off her stick, hitting the left post. The puck stopped right on the goal line as Tomcikova fell to the ground, unable to crawl over to it.

She reached her stick out and was able to bring it into her body just as another Maverick came flying into the net. There was no goal and the Beavers carried the momentum of that play onward to the victory.

The Beavers were outshot in every period, and were outshot in the game 37-26. Minnesota State was 1-for-5 on the power play while Bemidji State went 0-for-4 with a man advantage.

Tomcikova, the conference record three-time defending WCHA Defensive Player of the Week, couldn’t be beat en route to her first-career conference victory. She stopped 36 shots and allowed just one goal to improve to 3-12-1 on the year. Tomcikova is now 2-0 in her last two starts.

Alli Altmann, MSU’s netminder, saved 24 shots and allowed two goals to fall to 4-7-1 on the season.

Bauerfeld netted her first-career game-winning goal, and also recorded her fourth-career multi-point game. She now has eight points on the season (4g-4a=8p).

Wheelhouse helped on her third goal of the year, and Johnson recorded her seventh assist and the 10th of her career. She joins Erin Cody (So., Roseville, Minn.) in the double-digit point category this season (3g-7a=10).

The win over Minnesota State ended a nine-game drought against the Mavericks dating back to a 5-2 win Dec. 8, 2006.

Bemidji State has gone 26 straight conference series’ without a sweep, and haven’t had a four-game win streak since late in the 2005-06 season. The Beavers will be looking to change both these marks at 2:07 p.m. Saturday when the two teams hit the ice for the series finale.