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Women’s Hockey Splits Weekend Series With Gophers

Alex Berg | Sports Editor | 10-31-2011

The women’s hockey team earned a split with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers last weekend at the Sanford Center. 

The Beavers scored first in both games but lost on Friday 4-1 and prevailed with a 2-1 win on Saturday.
Golden Gopher forward Jen Schouliss entered Friday with three goals. On Friday, she matched that total with a hat-trick.

The Beavers got on the board first with 12:38 remaining in the first period when Sadie Lundquist scored on a rebound.

“We emphasized getting in their zone and trying to turn the puck over,” Lundquist said. “Hopefully we can do more of it tomorrow.”

The goal was her fifth of the season.

Emily Erickson and Tess Dusik were credited with assists on the play.

With just under five minutes to play in the opening period, Schoullis scored her first goal to even the score.
Two minutes later, Schoullis scored again to give the Golden Gophers a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission.

The Gophers out-shot the Beavers 25-7 in the period.

“Most of those shots were from the outside,” Bemidji State goaltender Zuzana Tomcikova said. “It was a lot of shots but most of them were not in a high priority area.”

Although BSU controlled possession in the second half,  it was only able to get eight shots on goal in the second period.

The Beavers trailed the Gophers 2-1 heading to the final period.

With 11:32 remaining in the game Bemidji native Sarah Erickson scored her fifth goal of the season to give Minnesota a 3-1 lead.

Schoullis added an empty-net goal in the final seconds to complete her hat trick.

Amanda Kessel picked up her fourth assist of the night on the goal. She now has 12 on the year.

“They are elite players,” Sertich said of the Minnesota first line. “They play well as a group and play at a high pace. If you turn over the puck against them, they will make you pay for it.”

Tomcikova recorded 46 saves on the night.

“We all knew there were going to be a lot of shots,” Tomcikova said. “I tried to concentrate on every puck. It doesn’t matter if there are 40 of them or 20 of them, I want to stop every one of them.”

Minnesota goaltender Noora Raty finished with 23 saves.

Tomcikova recorded 41 saves on Saturday in a stellar effort to hold off the nationally ranked opponent.

The win was the 32nd on Tomcikova’s career, putting her one short of tying the school record for wins by a goaltender.  The record of 33 is held by Bre Dedrickson, who played from 1999-2003.
“I did not know if she could play back to back this early in the season,” Bemidji State head coach Steve Sertich said. “She was outstanding tonight. I think she plays better the night after a loss because she gets angry.”

After allowing 25 shots on goal in the first period on Friday, the Beaver defense stiffened up and only allowed 8 Golden Gopher shots.

“We started off a lot better today than we did yesterday,” Tomcikova said. “We did not give them near as much space in the first period as we did yesterday, that was the breaking point.”

Although the Beavers out-shot the Gophers, the game was scoreless after one period.

Early in the second period, freshman forward Rachel Kelly’s shot deflected off of Gopher goaltender Noora Raty’s chest and into the net. The goal was her fourth of the season.

“It was really exciting,” Kelly said. “I was waiting in the right spot at the right time and Huber got it to me. It got the crowd going, we were already at a great pace but that boosted it.”

Fellow freshman forward Kristin Huber was credited with her third assist on the play.

Four seconds into a power play, Lundquist scored her second goal in as many nights to make the score 2-0. The goal came off of a deflection on a shot from Erickson.

The Beavers 2-0 lead lasted late into the third period.

Tomcikova and the Beaver defense held off the feisty Gopher attack to hold on for the 2-1 upset win.

“They had some great chances,” Tomcikova said. “I have great teammates that made a lot of plays and deflections. It really was a team effort.”

“It was a great team-win over a top opponent,” Sertich said. “They are as good as any team in the country. The three points did not come easy, but it was a huge three points.”

The Beavers (6-2-2, 3-2-1 WCHA) return to the ice next Friday at 7 p.m. in Mankato against Minnesota State.