Beavers set for playoff rematch against No. 5 North Dakota
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Beavers set for playoff rematch against No. 5 North Dakota

BEMIDJI, Minn. -

Bemidji State (17-15-3; 11-13-1 WCHA) at
(5) North Dakota (20-10-3; 16-9-3 WCHA)
Feb. 24, 2:37 p.m. (Ralph Engelstad Arena, Grand Forks, N.D.)
Feb. 25, 2:37 p.m. (Ralph Engelstad Arena, Grand Forks, N.D.)
(if necessary) Feb. 26, 2:37 p.m. (Ralph Engelstad Arena, Grand Forks, N.D.)

Local Radio: The River 92.1 FM
Play by Play: Kelly Schultz
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Twitter: @BSUBeavers
Player to Watch:
Sr., D 25 Montana Vichorek (Moose Lake, Minn.)

Last Time Out for the Beavers
• Bemidji State picked up its first sweep since Dec. 30-31 with two victories over St. Cloud State University at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud last weekend. The Beavers were led by their potent power play which set a school record with five goals on the man advantage last Saturday. BSU was led by Montana Vichorek and Emily Erickson, each of who tallied five points in BSU’s 6-1 win over the Huskies.

Quick Take - North Dakota
• UND is led by the nation’s leading scorer Jocelyne Lamoureux, who paces the nation’s fourth-best scoring offense. North Dakota is hard to defend with three of the best offensive players in the nation with J. Lamoureux, Monique Lamoureux-Kolls and Michelle Karvinen. UND is coming off a series split at No. 2 Minnesota last weekend in Minneapolis. North Dakota leads the season series 3-1-0 against the Beavers with a loss coming earlier this season at Sanford Center.

The Minnesota Five
• After going 0-for-26 on the power play over the previous five games, BSU broke out of its funk in convincing fashion against St. Cloud State University. Saturday, the Beavers set a school record with five power-play goals all of which came from its top power-play unit consisting of all Northern Minnesota goals; Emily Erickson, Sadie Lundquist, Montana Vichorek, Erika Wheelhouse and Marlee Wheelhouse. The group went 5-for-6 overall on the man advantage led by M. Wheelhouse’s two goals and Vichorek’s four assists. Vichorek returned to the squad Saturday after missing Friday due to a graduate school interview and was the main facilitator or goal scorer on four of the five power-play neters.

Redemption Song
• The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team will look to redeem itself against UND this weekend as they open the WCHA Playoffs. BSU lost a heart-wrenching series against North Dakota last season as Monique Lamoureux-Kolls tallied an overtime goal to end the Beavers’ season. BSU is 1-3-0 against UND this season but is ready to redeem itself against North Dakota in a rematch against their rivals this weekend.

The Road to the FINAL FACEOFF
• BSU will look to get back to the WCHA FINAL FACEOFF for the second time in program history as they open up WCHA Playoffs this weekend. The Beavers only appearance in four-team tournament came following the 2009-10 season. The Beavers made it to the semifinals where they were knocked out by University of Minnesota Duluth, 7-3.

Leave it to Lundquist

• It might be a coincidence but the Beavers are 13-3-2 this season when their leading scorer, Sadie Lundquist, picks up an assist or a goal on the game. Lundquist was held scoreless in five-straight games from Jan. 27 to Feb. 10 during which BSU went 0-5. The BSU junior has scored in the last three games helping the Beavers to three straight victories.

Snapping the Skid
• The Beavers snapped an 11-game WCHA losing streak in first games of the series last Friday as they upended St. Cloud State 3-2 at the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. BSU hadn’t won a game in the first game of a series in conference since Oct. 21 against the Huskies prior to Friday’s victory.

Winningest Season
• The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team achieved its winningest season ever during the 2011-12 regular season as they finished 17-15-3. The team finished over .500 for the first time in program history. The accomplishment highlights an already stellar season from the Beavers in which they set several program records and achieved their first-ever program ranking before ascending to a program-best No. 7 ranking nationally.

Vichorek Named WCHA Defensive Player of the Week
• Bemidji State University defenseman Montana Vichorek (Sr., D, Moose Lake, Minn.) earned Western Collegiate Hockey Association Defensive Player of the Week laurels after playing a part in a BSU record five power-play goals (1g, 4a) in a 6-1 victory Saturday over St. Cloud State University. The weekly award is the second of her career for Vichorek who was selected WCHA Rookie of the Week Jan. 28, 2009. Vichorek only played in one game last weekend as she returned to the team Satuday after visiting University of Colorado-Denver’s campus Friday for an interview for pharmacy school. Vichorek has been the anchor of BSU’s top power-play unit for the entire season.

Patty Kaz
• BSU goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova was selected as one of 30 nominees for the 2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, given out to the top NCAA Division I women’s hockey player. Tomcikova joins 12 other WCHA players on the ballot. She is one of only four goaltenders nominated for the award including WCHA counterparts Alex Rigsby (Wisconsin) and Noora Raty (Minnesota).

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 third all-time in saves in Division I history with 3,462.  She moved past Molly Schaus of Boston College for third last weekend. She needs only 129 saves to surpass Shari Vogt of Minnesota State for second and to become the all-time leader in the WCHA for saves. Tomcikova also currently leads the NCAA and WCHA in saves this season with 889 saves. She moved past Jessie Vetter of Wisconsin last weekend for second in the WCHA for games played.

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 49 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.

Season Records
• 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. Last weekend, Lundquist and Vichorek moved into the top two spots for season assists with Vichorek in first and Lundquist in second. The duo surpasses their assist coach Amber Fryklund’s mark. Vichorek’s five-point performance last Saturday also moved her into the lead for most points in a season by a defenseman, surpassing Lisa Peters’ mark of 27.

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 4-12-2 (2-11-1 WCHA) in the first game of series. The Beavers snapped an 11-game WCHA skid with a win over St. Cloud State last Friday. However you do not want to catch the Beavers in the second game, or even moreso after they have suffered a loss. BSU is 12-4-1 in second games of series this season and 9-3-1 after suffering a loss.

More Power
• The BSU power play is currently ranked sixth in the nation with 36 goals on 153 attempts. BSU set a school record last weekend with five power-play goals against St. Cloud State.

Moving Forward
• The Bemidji State defense has done a great job of helping score goals this season. The Beaver defensemen have accounted for 99 of 266 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 31 goals and tallied 68 assists this season led by Vichorek’s eight goals and 23 assists.

Chart Toppers
• 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 (6). Sadie Lundquist is ranked in a tie for 10th for power-play goals In addition, Zuzana Tomcikova is ranked in the top 10 for for save percentage (6). As a team the Beavers are in the top 10 for power play (6).

Next Week For BSU
• The Beavers will either be done next week or in the semifinals of the WCHA FINAL FACEOFF at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minn.