BEMIDJI, Minn. -The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team, ranked 7th in the nation, fell 3-1 to No. 1 University of Wisconsin Friday afternoon at Sanford Center. The Beavers lifted the lid on the scoring but gave up three goals in the second and third periods as the Badgers skated to victory. BSU falls to 10-6-2 (6-6-1 WCHA). Wisconsin improves to 18-1-0 (12-1-0 WCHA) with Friday’s win.
Zuzana Tomcikova (Sr., G, Bratislava, Slovakia) did everything in her power to keep the Beavers in the fray against the defending National Champions who look to be on a crash course with the NCAA Tournament once again after winning their last 13 contests. The Badgers only loss came Oct. 16 to No. 2 University of Minnesota. Tomcikova made a career-high 51 saves while only giving up two goals on the afternoon. The mark surpasses her 49 saves which also came against Wisconsin Feb. 21, 2009 in a 5-2 loss to the Badgers.
The Beavers fall to 3-44-2 all-time against Wisconsin with Friday’s loss. BSU continues to struggle in the first game of a series as they are 2-5-2 in the opener. The Beavers have a history of rebounding in game two as they are 7-1-0 on the season in the second game of a series.
Emily Erickson (R-Jr., F, Coleraine, Minn.) stole the puck early in the second period and made a great move as she beat Wisconsin goaltender Alex Rigsby on a one-on-one to put the Beavers ahead 1-0 in the contest 4:12 into the second period. The goal was unassisted and was Erickson’s 10th of the season.
The Badgers evened the slate at 1-1 at the 10:04 when they tallied a power-play goal when Stefanie McKeough took passes from Brianna Decker and Hilary Knight and put it past Beaver netminder Tomcikova. The goal was McKeough’s second of the year. Decker added her 24th assist while Knight now has 13 assists on the campaign.
Late in the second period, Knight took a Brooke Ammerman pass across the goal and delivered it past Tomcikova. The goal was Knight’s 20th of the year. Ammerman improved her assist total to 23. The netter marks the 11th power-play goal of the year allowed by Bemidji State’s penalty kill unit which despite giving up only four power-play goals through the first 13 games has now allowed seven power-play goals in the last five games.
Bemidji State took control in the third period after Wisconsin outscored Bemidji State 2-1 in the second period while outshooting the Beavers 28-11. The Beavers bounced back outshooting the Badgers 20-10 in the final frame but were unable to find the net. The only goal of the third period came on a empty netter from Brittany Ammerman at the 19:10 mark after BSU had pulled Tomcikova. The goal was Ammerman’s fourth. Katerina Zgraja had her sixth assist on the goal while McKeough tallied her 10th helper of the season.
Erickson led Bemidji State with seven shots on goal on the night as she looked to be one of the top players on ice along with Wisconsin’s plethora of Olympians and top caliber players. Tess Dusik (So., F, Oak Bluff, Manitoba) added four shots on goal.
Wisconsin was paced by 2011 First Team All-America selection Knight’s 12 shots on goal. Brianna Decker, who came into the game leading the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in goals, added nine shots on frame.
Both teams had four penalties on the night.
Rigsby picks up the win in net for Wisconsin as she made 35 saves on the night.
The Beavers and Badgers will play the second game of the series Saturday at 2:07 p.m. at Sanford Center as they look to even the series.