Bemidji State (15-15-3; 9-13-1 WCHA) at
St. Cloud State (5-25-2; 4-22-0 WCHA)
Feb. 17, 2:07 p.m. (National Hockey Center, St. Cloud, Minn.)
Feb. 18, 2:07 p.m. (National Hockey Center, St. Cloud, Minn.)
Local Radio: The River 92.1 FM
Play by Play: Kelly Schultz
Online Radio: BeaverRadioNetwork.com
Live Stats: http://stcloudstate.edu/athletics/sports/livestats/sportsstats4/xlive.htm
Live Video: http://www.b2livetv.com/partner_members.asp?id=28
Players to Watch:
Sr. D 15 Marlee Wheelhouse (Crookston, Minn.)
R-Jr. F 10 Emily Erickson (Coleraine, Minn.)
So. F 19 Tess Dusik (Oak Bluff, Manitoba)
Fr. F 64 Natasha Kostenko (Fannystelle, Manitoba)
Last Time Out for the Beavers
• Bemidji State University is coming off a split with No. 9 University of Minnesota Duluth. The Beavers shutout the Bulldogs 2-0 Saturday to pick up their third-ever win over UMD. Zuzana Tomcikova (Sr., G, Bratislava, Slovakia) picked up her 18th career shutout and her fourth shutout of the season with the blank sheet Saturday. Tomcikova also surpassed Allison Rutledge of Niagara for fourth in career saves in the NCAA with 3,410.
Quick Take - St. Cloud State
• St. Cloud State University is coming off a pair of losses to No. 1 University of Wisconsin last weekend. The Huskies are paced by Brittany Toor’s seven goals and eight assists and Abby Ness’ two goals and 11 assists. In net, Julie Friend and Taylor VanDenakker have split time with Friend leading the way with a 4.57 goals against average. The Beavers swept St. Cloud State (8-1, 5-2) on Oct. 21 and 22 at Sanford Center in Bemidji.
• Bemidji State is on the verge of its winningest season in the program’s history as the 2011-12 squad needs only one more win this season to surpass the previous mark of 15 wins set by the 1999-00 squad.
• Zuzana Tomcikova has now set every major career goaltender record for Bemidji State as she is now the all-time leader in saves, wins, games played, minutes played, shutouts, goals against average and saves percentage. Tomcikova is also moving her way up in the NCAA record books. The senior is currently slotted fourth all-time in saves in Division I history with 3,410. She moved past Allison Rutledge of Niagara for fourth last weekend. She needs only 19 saves to surpass former Boston College goalie and current USA national team goalie Molly Schaus in third place. Tomcikova needs 41 saves to surpass Allison Rutledge of Niagara in fourth place. Tomcikova also currently leads the NCAA and WCHA in saves this season with 889 saves. Tomcikova is one game away from tying Jessie Vetter of Wisconsin for second for most games played in WCHA history at 115. She needs 212:54 minutes played to surpass Vetter for the most minutes played in between the pipes in WCHA history.
Sensational Senior Class
• The BSU senior class consisting of Kimberly Lieder, Alana McElhinney, Zuzana Tomcikova, Montana Vichorek, Marlee Wheelhouse and Lauren Williams became the all-time winningest class in program history with a 5-3 victory over Ohio State University. The group has 47 wins in its four years which surpassed the 45 wins of the 2002-03 senior class which included current assistant coach Amber Fryklund. The senior class will play its final home game at Sanford Center this Saturday against UMD. The group of six has set numerous records. Tomcikova holds almost all the goaltending records while M. Wheelhouse, Vichorek and Lieder are ranked in the top 10 in the majority of BSU’s career categories for scoring by defensemen.
• Bemidji State staged several comebacks earlier in the season and went back to its roots the last two weekends as the Beavers came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie No. 2 Minnesota 2-2 early in the third period. After a third goal put Minnesota ahead 3-2 late in the third period BSU looked to be down and out until an Erika Wheelhouse goal with 49 seconds left tied the teams at 3-3 and sent the Beavers and Golden Gophers to overtime. Minnesota eventually won the shootout but BSU still received a point from the valiant effort. Then again versus Wisconsin, as BSU crawled back after being down 2-2 to force an overtime with the Badgers with late goals from E. Wheelhouse and Whitney Wivoda. Wisconsin won the game in overtime on a Madison Packer goal.
Helping from the Blue Line
• Montana Vichorek (Sr., D, Moose Lake, Minn.) became the school’s all-time leader is assists by a defenseman with a helper on Erika Wheelhouse’s goal with 49 seconds left Saturday against No. 2 Minnesota. The senior has 55 assists in her career. which surpasses Lisa Peters’ mark She is also approaching records for points by a defenseman (needs 15 points to tie) and assists (needs 15 assists to tie). Vichorek is currently in 9th for points with 72 in her career. Vichorek tallied two assists against UND.
• In addition to a plethora of career records BSU is setting, members of the team have also been busy setting or inching closer to season records. Montana Vichorek and Erika Wheelhouse have already set the mark for assists by a defenseman in a season with 16 while Sadie Lundquist recently set the mark for power-play goals in a season with her seventh netter against Minnesota last Saturday. In addition, Lundquist needs two assists to tie the season mark for assists and Vichorek needs one point to tie the mark for points by a defenseman.
Falling out of the Polls
• After spending four straight weeks in the USCHO.com poll and five straight weeks in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll the Beavers fell out for the first time Jan. 16 after a split with Ohio State University at home. Bemidji State is still receving votes in both polls. BSU has been ranked or received votes every week since the start of the season following a victory over then-No. 9 Providence College Oct. 1.
Against Ranked Foes
• BSU is 5-11-2 against ranked opponents this season. The Beavers have beaten No. 2 University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Duluth twice, then-No. 6 University of North Dakota and then-No. 9 Providence College this season. BSU’s win against Minnesota Oct. 29 helped catapult them into the rankings for the first time in program history.
• Bemidji State has struggled in first games of series this season as they are only 3-12-2 (1-11-1 WCHA) in the first game of series. The Beavers have lost the last 10 first games they have played. However you do not want to catch the Beavers in the second game, or even moreso after they have suffered a loss. BSU is 11-4-1 in second games of series this season and 9-3-1 after suffering a loss.
• The BSU power play is currently ranked seventh in the nation with 30 goals on 143 attempts.
• The Bemidji State defense has done a great job of helping score goals this season. The Beaver defensemen have accounted for 84 of 241 points this season. Montana Vichorek ranks in the top 10 in the nation for defenseman scoring and is also among BSU’s top five scorers this season. The BSU blue liners have scored 25 goals and tallied 59 assists this season led by Vichorek’s seven goals and 19 assists.
Taking The Next Step
• With the program’s start this season the Beavers appear to be taking the next step in building BSU into a nationally respected program. This can be evidenced in the strides made by several players this season. 12 Beaver skaters have already established career-bests for points in a season. These players are; Molly Arola (6 points), Tess Dusik (12 points), Kimberly Lieder (9 points), Sadie Lundquist (30 points), Emily McKnight (3 points), Mackenzie Thurston (14 points), Montana Vichorek (26 points), Erika Wheelhouse (24 points), Marlee Wheelhouse (24 points); Danielle Williams (3 points), Lauren Williams (6 points) and Abby Williams (10 points).
• BSU currently has players in the top 10 in several categories nationally. The Beavers have one player ranked among the top 10 for points per game for defensemen; Montana Vichorek (T8). In addition, Zuzana Tomcikova is ranked in the top 10 for for save percentage (7). As a team the Beavers are in the top 10 for power play (9).
Next Week For BSU
• Bemidji State will head to Grand Forks for the first round of playoffs next week for a best-of-three series with University of North Dakota. The series will be a rematch of last year’s first round of playoffs in which UND defeated BSU in game three for a berth in the WCHA FINAL FACEOFF.