MINNEAPOLIS –No. 2 Minnesota claimed the weekend sweep over the Bemidji State women’s hockey team on Saturday at Ridder Arena. The Gophers scored a pair of power-play goals to defeat the Beavers 3-1.
“I think we did a better job going toe-to-toe with them tonight,” said head coach Steve Sertich. “Last night we didn’t win as many battles in the first two periods and tonight we won just as many if not more as the game went on.”
Looking to carry the momentum from the end of Friday night’s game into Saturday, the Beavers jumped out to an early lead. Emily Erickson (R-Fr., Coleraine, Minn.) stole the puck away from the Gophers and dangled a Gopher defender at the blue line for a breakaway. Erickson’s shot trickled past UM tender Noora Räty for her second goal of the season.
However, Minnesota’s power play unit would take advantage of two BSU penalties to take back the lead. Goals by Megan Bozek at 13:27 into the first period and Emily West at 05:23 into the second period would put the Gophers up 2-1 heading into the third period.
“When you play a team of this caliber they’re going to put some good people out there on the power play.” Sertich said. “I was hoping that we were going to get one on our power play and we have to if we’re going to win on the road against a team like this. We really thought we could come down here and steal a couple points away from these guys even though they are one of top teams in the country.”
Bemidji State’s penalty kill turned it up a notch in the third period successfully killing off a five-on-three penalty with 7:23 left in the game. Unlike the Gopher power-play unit, the Beavers were unable to convert on any chances during the game. Minnesota would later score on a back-door redirection to clinch the victory with 1:21 left in the game.
Zuzana Tomcikova (So., Bratislava, Slovakia) kept the Beavers in the game every step of the way. She made a hug break-away save on Emily West. West deked to Tomcikova’s left, but found nothing but the leather of her leg pad. Tomcikova made 34 saves in the game, recording a .919 save percentage.
Tomcikova was also helped out in front of the net as several unselfish BSU players sacrificed their bodies to block shots. Bemidji State blocked a total of 12 shots in the game.
Bemidji State will be on hiatus during the Thanksgiving break and will return Dec. 5 as they travel to North Dakota before playing UND in Bemidji on Dec. 6.