DULUTH, Minn. — Upset minded, the Bemidji State women’s hockey team paired off against the No. 5 Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs to finish off the weekend series on Sunday at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The Beavers scored two power-play goals to gain a 2-2 tie and an eventual shootout win over the Bulldogs, giving them two points out of the weekend.
“Our first period was good, but our second period was better, it was about as good of a period as we have played all year,” said head coach Steve Sertich. “We scored those two power-play goals in the second and scoring on the power play is a neccesity for us if we want to move up in the league.”
Bemidji State (6-11-3, 5-6-3-3 WCHA) keeps hold of fourth place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with 16 points, while Duluth (13-7-2, 9-5-2-1 WCHA) maintains second place now with 21 points.
After scoring the first goal of the game on Saturday, Minnesota Duluth again jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period behind an unassisted goal by Gina Dodge. BSU kept it close for the rest of the first period putting eight shots on UMD goalie Jennifer Harss.
Starting off the second period UMD’s Tara Gray was called for two separate interference penalties. Unlike on Saturday, Bemidji State would take advantage of the power-play opportunities netting two goals to take the lead 2-1.
Erin Cody (Jr., Roseville, Minn.) scored her second goal of the weekend to equalize the score at one-a-piece 1:22 into the second period. Annie Bauerfeld (Jr., Woodbury, Minn.) and Erin Johnson (Jr., Farmington, Minn.) picked up assists on the play. Johnson would then net her own goal of the game on the Gray’s second penalty to put the Beavers up by one. The goal came as Cody and Montana Vichorek (So., Moose Lake, Minn.) connected with Johnson at the backdoor of Harss. The Beavers would then kill off two of their own penalties to carry the 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
“A lot of the credit we’ve been having on the penalty kill has to go to [assistant coach] Heather Farrell,” Sertich said. “She works with our PK unit and she has them running a tough system. You also have to give credit to the outstanding goaltending we’ve had in net as well too.”
Duluth came out from the intermission fired-up looking to take back the lead. They controlled the play out-shooting Bemidji State 18-6 in the period. After relentless play by UMD, the Bulldogs finally got a game-tying goal off a power play. After Cody went to the box for hooking, Mariia Posa was able to score the first power-play goal against the Beavers in over three games. However, the power-play goal for the Bulldogs would be the last goal of the game that the Beavers would give up.
Regulation ended with a 2-2 score and overtime was needed to see if a victor would arise.
A late penalty by Johnson at the end of the third would mean that BSU would have to start overtime short-handed. Luckily, BSU’s special teams stepped up yet again, and killed off the remainder of Johnson’s penalty before riding out the overtime period to tie with the Bulldogs.
For the tie both teams picked up a point toward WCHA standings, but a shootout was needed to decide who would walk away with the pivotal second point.
Zuzana Tomcikova (So., Bratislava, Slovakia) played stellar all night including the shootout. After stopping a blistering 46 shots including three in overtime. Tomcikova went on to stop all three shooters in the shootout.
Scoring the only goal of the shoout was none other than Erin Cody putting the puck past Harss for the third time on the weekend. While the goal doesn’t count for Cody’s season totals it was good enough to give the Beavers two points for the shootout win.
The tie breaks a 34-game losing streak against the Bulldogs and is the second non-loss in history for the Beavers against Duluth.
On the weekend Erin Cody contributed on all three Beaver goals, tallying three assists (2G, 1A).
“We know what we’re going to get every day from [Erin] Cody,” Seritch said. “She works hard at practice and in the weightroom, and she brings that same level of intensity every day.”
The BSU penalty-kill unit has now killed off 17 of the last 18 penalties.
Tomcikova has stopped 14 of 16 shoout attempts she has face so far this season. Bemidji State has also won every shootout it has entered this year (3-3).
The Beavers will now be on hiatus over the holiday season until they return to the ice on Jan. 8-9 when the face-off against the Minnesota State Mavericks.