Comeback effort falls just short
Friday, December 12, 2008
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Kaylee Keys (Fr., St. Paul, Minn.) deflected in a rifle from the point for her second goal of the season with less than three minutes to play, but the Bemidji State women’s hockey team was unable to complete the comeback as the University of North Dakota escaped John Glas Fieldhouse with a 2-1 victory Friday night.

The Beavers dropped to 1-14-2 overall and 0-13 in Western Collegiate Hockey Assocation play, while North Dakota improved its record to 9-7-1 overall and 6-6-1 in the WCHA.

The two teams skated to a relative draw throughout the first period, with UND holding the shot advantage most of the way (14-7). Both teams went into the penalty box three times in the first, but the only difference in the opening frame was the power-play goal at the 18:12 mark by Casie Hanson. She tipped in a shot from the point by Stephanie Roy that sailed over BSU goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova (Fr., Bratislava, Slovakia), who was going into her butterfly to attempt to stop the initial shot. Susanne Fellner also assisted on the first goal of the game, and BSU entered the first intermission down 1-0.

The Beavers started the second on a 5-on-3 advantage, but were unable to capitalize. The period was similar to the first in that BSU was outshot (21-6) and neither team was able to find the back of the net until late in the stanza.

That’s when Alyssa Wiebe stole the puck from behind the BSU net and skated in front of the pipes untouched. Had she shot right when she squared up to Tomcikova, she would have been stifled, but she waited just an instant too late and had an open net for the unassisted goal at the 17:01 mark.

Bemidji State got outshot again in the third period, but only by a 13-6 margin, and this time the Beavers shut out the Fighting Sioux.

After scrambling to try and find the first goal of the game, BSU finally caught a break at the 17:43 mark when Brooke Collins (Sr., Pilot Mound, Manitoba) found herself with the puck on the left side of the point off a faceoff win in the UND zone. She passed D-to-D to Jackie Robertson (Jr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.), who fired a shot at the net. Keys was in perfect position and deflected the puck past the UND netminder.

Both teams went into the box following the goal, and Tomcikova was pulled for the final 18 seconds, but the home squad was unable to notch the equalizer.

Tomcikova, the reigning WCHA Defensive Player of the Week, was again sensational in net for the Beavers. She saved 46 shots, which was one off her career high, and she allowed just two goals with one coming on the power play. She kept Bemidji State in the game with her outstanding play, as she finished with a .958 save percentage.

Collins assisted on her second goal of the season, and also notched her 20th career assist. Roberton assisted on her first goal of the season and the second of her career, and Keys became the fourth player with at least two goals this season.

UND evened the all-time series with the Beavers at 12-12-1. This was just the second time in the all-time series that BSU allowed at least 40 shots, and the 48 shots attempted was the most by a Fighting Sioux squad against BSU in series history.

The Beavers ended the game with 19 shots, and were 0-for-4 on the power play while UND went 1-for-8 with a man advantage.

Bemidji State hits the ice in the series finale Saturday at 2:07 p.m. at the Glas.