Rookie netminder going for gold
Monday, November 10, 2008
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Bemidji State University women’s hockey goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova (Fr., Bratislava, Slovakia) will go down in history as just the second Olympian to ever walk the halls here at BSU.

This past weekend in Bad Tölz, Germany, she was a force in the net as the Slovakian National Team pulled two gigantic upsets over some of the best teams in the world and earned a spot in the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver 2010.

Slovakia entered the November 6-9 qualifying tournament as the 17th-ranked team world, which was the lowest of the eight womens’ teams that participated in the qualifier. The rankings are selected by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

Tomcikova played in the first two games and posted shutouts over both Germany (ranked 7th in the world) Thursday and Kazakhstan (10th) Saturday. Slovakia won the two contests by scores of 1-0 and 2-0, respectively, and Tomcikova sat out Sunday’s 3-1 victory over France (11th) because the team had already qualified.

The Slovakians qualifying for the Olympics was the biggest upset in the modern history of Olympic ice hockey qualifications. The team became the lowest ranked women’s team ever to earn its spot in an Olympic ice hockey tournament. Slovakia also previously won a pre-qualifier in early September.

Tomcikova turned away all 62 shots faced in the games against Germany and Kazakhstan. She becomes just the second Olympian in Bemidji State history, and the first since Nina Ziegenhals played for Team Germany in the 2002 games in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ziegenhals recorded two assists in those games, and came to BSU the following year. She was also a first alternate for the German team in the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy. Tomcikova will become the first-ever play to suit up in the Olympics while also attending Bemidji State.

So far during her rookie campaign, Tomcikova has played in seven games and has logged 422:37 of ice time. She owns a 2.56 goals against average and a .924 save percentage, while recording a 1-5-1 record to start the season. She also has one shutout this year.

This is how the two Olympic women’s groups will look in Vancouver:

Women’s Olympic ice hockey tournament in Vancouver, Canada, February 13-25, 2010:
Group A: Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia.
Group B: United States, Finland, Russia, China.

Next up for the Slovaks will be the Division I World Women’s Championship in April, which will be hosted by France.

Tomcikova has returned to Bemidji and will continue preparation for this weekend’s series against the No. 2-ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. UM will travel to John Glas Fieldhouse Nov. 14-15 for games that will begin at 7:07 p.m. and 2:07 p.m., respectively.

Some information provided by www.iihf.com.

About Bemidji State University
Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a beautiful campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling approximately 5,000 students annually, the university offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and 13 graduate programs encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. The university is a member of the Minnesota State College and Universities System and has a faculty and staff of nearly 600. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global/multicultural understanding.

For further information about the university, visit our Web site at: http://www.bemidjistate.edu.

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