Senior forward Erin Johnson registers two assists for Beavers

Erin Johnson had two assists for the Beavers

BEMIDJI, Minn. - The Bemidji State University women's hockey team defeated Minnesota State 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at the Sanford Center to complete the weekend sweep over the Mavericks.

After dropping two games to the University of North Dakota last weekend, in a series that saw the Beavers concede 11 goals, Bemidji State bounced back improving its unbeaten streak against MSU and only allowing one goal on the weekend. The Beavers are now 7-0-3 in the last ten meetings with the Mavericks.

The game started off quickly as Lauren Williams (Jr., Fwd., Eagan, Minn.) scored her first collegiate goal at the 3:27 mark of the first period. Danielle Williams (Fr., Fwd., Waconia, Minn.) and Erin Johnson (Sr., Fwd., Farmington, Minn.) connected to set up Lauren Williams on a quick transition play. Lauren Williams then played the puck off the boards to herself to get around a MSU defender. Carrying the puck down on net, she was tripped up and slid into the goal, but only after she slipped the puck past MSU's tender Alli Altmann.

Seven minutes later, Annie Bauerfeld (Sr., Fwd., Woodbury, Minn.) found the net for her sixth goal of the season, fifth since the start of the new year. The play all started on in the BSU defensive zone when Johnson gained control of the puck and played it back behind the net to Montana Vichorek (Jr., Def., Moose Lake, Minn.). Vichorek then skated up the zone and made a cross-ice pass to Bauerfeld who found herself with an open lane to the left side of the net. Bauerfeld took the puck in and fired a close-range shot on Altmann's right. Altmann got the first bit of the shot, but the puck deflected up and over her shoulder and landed in the back of the net.

The Beavers would end the first period with the two-goal lead and out-shooting the Mavericks 11-7. In the second period Minnesota State started to gain some steam and MSU's leading goal scorer Kathleen Rogan would score the Mavericks lone goal of the weekend at the 2:25 mark. Rogan intercepted a pass along the blue line in her defensive zone and found herself uncontested as she skated it out toward the BSU zone. Alone on the breakaway Rogan didn't falter and scored her 11th goal of the season. Luckily for the Beavers, Zuzana Tomcikova (Jr., G., Bratislava, Slovakia) wouldn't allow another MSU goal for the rest of the game. The Beavers finished the second period with their lead cut to one.

In the final stanza, Tomcikova turned away ten shots to keep the Mavericks from tying the game and sophomore forward Sadie Lundquist (Cloquet, Minn.) would add an empty-net goal with seven seconds remaining in the game to secure the weekend sweep.

The BSU defense had a total of 20 blocked shots in the contest with Marlee Wheelhouse (Jr., Crookston, Minn.) making six blocks. Additionally, fellow defensemen Erika Wheelhouse (So., Crookston, Minn.) and Vichorek had three blocks each.

Special teams was mostly a non-factor in today's game again as both teams only two power-play opportunities. BSU has now successfully killed off 27-straight penalties, however the Beavers were unable to score a man-advantage goal over the weekend.

So far this new year Bauerfeld has had a hand ten of the last 15 goals scored by the Beavers. Since the new year she has scored four goals and assisted on six. Johnson has also helped in nine of those past 15 goals, scoring three and assisting on six. The two have recorded at least one point in each of the past six games this new year.

With the win, the Beavers now end the weekend tied for third place in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association with an overall record of 12-9-3 (10-7-3-2 WCHA). The Beavers have now tied the school mark for most conference wins (10), previously set in 2005-06.

The BSU women's hockey team will travel to Duluth next weekend taking on nationally-ranked Minnesota Duluth. The games will be played over Jan. 28-29 and both will start at 7:07 p.m.