BSU Women's Hockey picked sixth in WCHA Coaches' Poll
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
BSU Women's Hockey picked sixth in WCHA Coaches' Poll

MADISON, Wis. – The Bemidji State University women’s hockey team was picked sixth in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association Preseason Coaches’ Poll released Wednesday afternoon by the league office. Bemidji State received 20 points in the poll. Defending national champion University of Wisconsin was selected first by the WCHA coaches with 47 points including six first-place votes. The University of Minnesota received the other two first-place votes.

The Bemidji State 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.

The Beavers return 19 players from last year’s roster with the team’s only losses being the three seniors. In addition, BSU adds eight freshmen and Maine transfer Kristi King (So., Stillwater, Minn.) to the fray for the 2011-12 season.

Bemidji State will get its first test against an opponent in an exhibition Friday at 7:07 p.m., at Sanford Center 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.

The Beavers will open the regular-season with a nonconference series against Providence College out of Hockey East Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at Sanford Center.

Rank Team
1  Wisconsin (6)
2  Minnesota (2)
3  Minnesota Duluth
4  North Dakota
5  Ohio State
6  Bemidji State
7  Minnesota State
8  St. Cloud State