BSU Women's Hockey hosts Thunder Bay Queens in exhibition tilt
Thursday, September 22, 2011
BSU Women's Hockey hosts Thunder Bay Queens in exhibition tilt

Thunder Bay Queens at Bemidji State

Exhibition Game 1
Location: Bemidji, Minn. (Sanford Center)
Date & Time: Sept. 23, 7 p.m.
Live Stats:
Local Radio: The River 92.1 FM
Play by Play: Kelly Schultz
Online Radio:


BSU Top Returners
R-Jr., F, Emily Erickson (16g, 11a)
Jr., F, Sadie Lundquist (8g, 14a)
Sr., D, Montana Vichorek (2g, 14a)
Sr., D/F, Marlee Wheelhouse (2g, 8a)
Sr., G, Zuzana Tomcikova (1.84 gaa, 692 saves)

Up next for the Beavers
• The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team will open the 2011-12 season on Friday with an exhibition against the Thunder Bay Queens. The Queens are a Midget AA team from Thunder Bay, Ontario. They have sent several players on to play collegiate women’s hockey in the United States and Canada. Former Bemidji State players Kelly McEwen (1999-01), Kerri McEwen (1999-03) and Melissa Valiant (1999-00) were all products of the Thunder Bay Queens program.

Scouting Thunder Bay
• The Thunder Bay Queens went 43-16-4 during the 2010-11 season en route to a silver medal at the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association Provincial Championships. The Queens captured two tournament titles, four silver medals and one bronze medal last season under head coach Denis LaVoie. Thunder Bay is 8-0 so far this season after capturing the title at the Stoney Creek Showcase in Hamilton, Ontario Sept. 11.
• Senior forward Michela Cava has led the Queens thus far this season. Cava was named the Most Valuable Player at the Stoney Creek Showcase picking up eight points on six goals and two assists including a game-winner.

BSU Women’s Hockey Season Outlook
• The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team is coming off a historic season in 2010-11. The Beavers accomplished firsts last season including beating a No. 1 team for the first time in program history, recording the program’s first-ever win over University of Minnesota Duluth and snapping a 17-game losing streak to University of Minnesota on its way to a 14-17-4 (11-13-4-2 WCHA) mark and a fifth-place WCHA finish.

Bemidji State will look to build off its historic season heading into 2011-12 despite the loss of seniors Annie Bauerfeld, Erin Cody and Erin Johnson. Cody and Bauerfeld both ended their careers as Top 10 scorers in the BSU record books.

With the loss of much of its scoring, BSU will turn to a strong defensive core in All-WCHA goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova (Sr., Bratislava, Slovakia) along with seniors Kimberly Lieder (D, Eagan, Minn.), Montana Vichorek (D, Moose Lake, Minn.) and Marlee Wheelhouse (D, Crookston, Minn.) and sophomore Erika Wheelhouse (D, Crookston, Minn.). Tomcikova posted a 1.84 goals against average and 692 saves last season. The senior is on the verge of capturing career records in both wins and saves.

On the offensive side, the Beavers will need strong seasons from Emily Erickson (Jr., F, Coleraine, Minn.) and Sadie Lundquist (Jr., F, Cloquet, Minn.). They will also turn to several other returnees and newcomers to step up as they look to fill the void of their trio of departed seniors.

• Bemidji State will have to replace nearly 40 percent of its scoring with the loss of Bauerfeld, All-WCHA selection Cody and Johnson.

“We have some big shoes to fill scoring-wise with those three graduating,” said head coach Steve Sertich. “Sadie and Emily both had good years last year and we are expecting good things from them this year.”

The pair was the second and third-leading scorers for the Beavers behind Cody last season. Lundquist had a breakthrough sophomore year scoring eight goals and tallying 14 assists while Erickson had 16 goals and 11 assists and led the team with six power-play scores.

Other key contributors last season were senior Lauren Williams (Eagan, Minn.), juniors Abby Williams (Alexandria, Minn.) and Mackenzie Thurston (Ottawa, Ontario) and sophomore Tess Dusik (Oak Bluff, Manitoba). Lauren tallied five points last season (3g-2a). Abby had two goals in her first season playing for the Beavers after sitting out 2009-10 after transferring from Minnesota State University. Thurston had two assists during her sophomore season.

“I believe Mackenzie is ready to take her game to the next level,” Sertich said. “Offensively I think she has some confidence coming into the season. We are also looking for some scoring out of Tess, Abby and Lauren.”

Also returning to the fray are juniors Molly Arola (Walker, Minn.) and Jamie Hatheway (Trenton, Ontario) and sophomore Emily McKnight (Carman, Manitoba). Arola scored her lone goal of the year on a power-play at University of Minnesota Duluth. Both Hatheway and McKnight contributed last season but neither player scored.

The Beavers add several newcomers for the 2011-12 season at the forward position. Joining the program are Maine transfer Kristi King (So., Stillwater, Minn.) along with freshmen Alex Citrowske (Prior Lake, Minn.), Kristin Huber (Kelwona, British Columbia), Rachael Kelly (Rosemount, Minn.), Natasha Kostenko (Fannystelle, Manitoba) and Whitney Wivoda (Fairbanks, Alaska), King had two goals and one assist for the Black Bears during her freshman campaign.

• Bemidji State will be anchored by a defensive unit that returns every member from a group that set the school record for fewest goals allowed (88) last season.

Anchoring the blue-line for the Beavers will be seniors Lieder, Marlee Wheelhouse and Vichorek and junior Erika Wheelhouse. Vichorek led all BSU defensemen in scoring last season with 16 points (2g-14a). The Wheelhouse sisters also had strong campaigns in 2010-11. Marlee had 10 points (2g-8a) while sister Erika posted eight points (1g-7 a). Lieder added four points (1g-3a), as a junior.

“Defensively we have a nucleus of Montana, the Wheelhouse sisters and Kim who are returners who played a lot last season,” Sertich said.

Also returning to the blue-line are sophomores Allie Duellman (Maplewood, Minn.), Alex Ehlert (Portage, Wis.) and Danielle Williams (Waconia, Minn.). Duellman and Williams both had two points last season (1g-1a) while Ehlert tallied one assist.
Joining the ranks of the defensive corps are freshmen Kayleigh Chapman (Virden, Manitoba) and Tegan Rose (Gibbons, Alberta).

“Hopefully some of the younger players can raise their game to another level and provide some support to the upperclassmen.,” Sertich said.

• Goaltending for Bemidji State continues to be one of the team’s strongest areas as they head into the 2011-12 season.
All-WCHA second team selection Tomcikova anchors the position for the Beavers heading into her senior season. Tomcikova already holds school records in goals against average and winning percentage. She will be chasing the program’s records for career wins and saves during her senior campaign. Her goals against average of 1.84 was good for the school record for lowest goals against average in a season. Tomcikova also set season records for most wins (13) and most shutouts (six) during her junior season.

Joining Tomcikova in the crease is Alana McElhinney (Sr., Calgary, Alberta). McElhinney started eight games last year including a win over No. 1 Mercyhurst. She grabbed 235 saves last season.

The pair of BSU goaltenders combined to set a school record with the fewest goals allowed (88) in one season.

“We have veteran goaltending with both Zuzana and Alana returning,” Sertich said. “Both players have played in the league and played against good teams. We look forward to having both of them back for their senior seasons.

Jessica Havel (Jr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) also returns at goaltender for the Beavers.

Z Watch

• Zuzana Tomcikova is on track to set several school records during her senior season. The Slovakian superstar in goal for the Beavers already owns school records for career shutouts (13), season shutouts (5) and season wins (12). Z is on track to capture career records in games appeared in by a goalie, career minutes played by a goalie, career wins and career saves.

Games Appeared In

110 Emily Brookshaw (2004-08) 83    
Zuzana Tomcikova

Minutes Played
6075:02 Emily Brookshaw (2004-08)
4783:11 Zuzana Tomcikova

Career Wins
33  Bre Dedrickson (1999-03)
27  Zuzana Tomcikova

Career Saves
3075    Emily Brookshaw (2004-08)
2440    Zuzana Tomcikova

Fryklund returns to old stomping grounds

• It is not very often that a program’s all-time leading scorer gets to return to the place she played her college hockey. Amber Fryklund breaks that mold as she became the new assistant coach for Steve Sertich heading into the 2011-12 season. Fryklund has spent the last eight years coaching high school hockey in the Duluth area.

U.S. National Team Invite
• Montana Vichorek (Sr., D, Moose Lake, Minn.) was invited to participate in the USA Women’s Hockey National Festival which allowed her the chance to tryout for the USA Women’s Hockey National Team. Vichorek was one of 79 players invited to participate in the camp.