What in the worlds!
Monday, April 13, 2009
BEMIDJI, Minn. - Zuzana Tomcikova (Fr., G, Bratislava, Slovakia) backstopped another impressive run for the Slovakian women’s national team, this time at the 2009 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Women’s Championships at Eishalle Liebenau in Graz, Austria, this past week.

The goalie for the Slovaks spent all 300 minutes between the pipes for her home nation, and finished 4-1 as Slovakia edged out Germany to win Division I and earn promotion to the top division for the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship.

The victory comes on the heels of the Slovaks taking down Germany again and qualifying for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, which was one of the biggest surprises in the history of women’s ice hockey. Germany lost its Olympic bid on home ice against Slovakia.

Tomcikova finished with a 2.80 goals against average and a .917 saves percentage. Her 156 saves led Division I, and she was named Best Goalkeeper of Division I (selected by the Directorate). She was also named the best Slovakian player during the two games against Czech Republic and Germany.

The tournament was played in a round robin format, with each team playing each other once and the team with the best record after the five games winning the division and earning promotion.

Slovakia opened competition Apr. 4 with a 9-4 victory over Norway with Tomcikova saving 28 shots. She again saved 28 shots two days later, but the Slovaks suffered their lone loss, a 5-1 defeat against the Czechs.

Slovakia defeated Austria 5-3 Apr. 7, with the No. 1 goalie saving 41 shots. Tomcikova recorded her best performance of the tournament Apr. 9, saving 46 shots against the Germans in a 2-1 triumph. Tomcikova only had to save 14 shots on the final day of competition, Apr. 10, and Slovakia defeated France 5-1.

The Slovaks and Germans both tied with a 4-1 record after the end of the round-robin tournament, but Slovakia won the head-to-head matchup and therefore won the tiebreaker to win the division.

Norway took home bronze and Austria finished in fourth place, while the Czech Republic and France were relegated to Division II for 2011.

Team USA won the World Women’s Championship in the top division after defeating Canada 4-1 in the finals, and Finland took down Sweden for the bronze. Those games were played in Hameenlinna, Finland.

Tomcikova has played one season for Bemidji State and has already etched her name deep into the record books.

She finished the 2008-09 campaign 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 entire country to notch quadruple-digit saves this season. Her 1805:29 on the ice was seventh in the nation, and she tied the school record for shutouts in a season with three.

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

Tomcikova put together a string of three consecutive weeks being named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week at one point during the season, making her the first-ever WCHA player to earn the honor three weeks in a row. The only other Beaver to earn a spot on a postseason team was Emily Brookshaw, who was named to the All-WCHA Third Team last season.

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.