Beavers gain tie against No. 2 Gophers
Friday, January 15, 2010
Beavers gain tie against No. 2 Gophers
BSU forwards Erin Cody (Jr., Roseville, Minn.),13, and Annie Bauerfeld (Jr., Woodbury, Minn.), 9, celebrate after the Beavers scored the game-tying goal with 16 seconds left in the third period to for
BEMIDJI, Minn. — After starting the new year on a good start, the Bemidji State women’s hockey team looked to continue its momentum on Friday night hosting the No. 2 Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Beavers skated stride-for-stride with the Gophers forcing a 1-1 draw after netting a last minute goal.

The Gophers won the shootout 2-1 in four rounds and are now 17-3-3 (12-2-2-2 WCHA) still in first place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The Beavers are now 7-11-5 (6-6-5-3 WCHA) keeping a hold on the fourth place position in the conference.

“I thought that Minnesota picked it up in the second and we came back in the third, scoring late,” said head coach Steve Sertich. “I thought it was good that it gave us a chance to get a point out of the number-two team in the country.”

The game started off as a defensive battle with neither team gaining an edge over the other. There were only eight total shots on goal in the period with the Beavers out-shooting the Gophers 6-2. The period would play out to a 0-0 tie.

Heading into the second Minnesota seemed to find its edge, out-shooting Bemidji State 12-4 and netting one goal. Minnesota’s Kelli Blankenship scored the goal for the Gophers and has been on a recent hot-streak netting a hat trick against their exhibition game against the U.S. National Women’s Hockey Team on Tuesday night. However, the Beaver defense stepped-up helping kill off one penalty and blocking 15 shots in the period to keep the Gopher lead at one.

After the intermission, Bemidji State looked like a different team. The Beavers got back in the swing of things putting pressure on Minnesota tender Noora Räty. Emily Erickson (R-Fr., Coleraine, Minn.) had a string of four shots on goal during the period. However, Erickson would save her best for last. In the final minute and a half of the game, BSU goalie Zuzana Tomcikova (So., Bratislava, Slovakia) went to the bench for the extra attacker. With 16 seconds left in the game Montana Vichorek (So., Moose Lake, Minn.) took a slapper from the point into traffic. Erickson deflected the shot past Räty to force overtime.

“They just won the battles down low and even though it wasn’t an ESPN-type goal, but it was a beauty,” Sertich said.

The two sides would skate evenly during the overtime period and the Beavers would walk away with their fourth all-time tie against the Gophers. A shootout commenced to decide which side would gain the extra point in the WCHA standings.

Alexandra Zebro went first for the Gophers and put one past Tomcikova. Responding for the Beavers was Erin Cody (Jr., Roseville, Minn.) who put one top shelf over Räty’s shoulder. The next two shooters for both sides were denied in their attempts. Minnesota’s Emily West would end up scoring the shoot-out winner.

Tomcikova stopped 25 shots on the night. She now has 589 saves on the year.

The Bemidji State defense shutdown two Gopher power-play opportunities and blocked a total of 28 shots. Erika Wheelhouse (Fr., Crookston, Minn.) led the team in blocked shots with seven. She also assisted on the goal to tie the game.

The last time the Beavers held the Gophers to one goal was on Dec. 1, 2007 in a 1-0 loss.

BSU will return tomorrow at 4:07 p.m. to close out the regular-season series against the Gophers.

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