BEMIDJI, Minn. - Senior Zuzana Tomcikova (G, Bratslava, Slovakia) turned away 41 of 42 shots to lead the Bemidji State University women's hockey team to a 2-1 victory over No. 2 University of Minnesota Saturday in a "Pink the Rink" game at Sanford Center. BSU got goals from Rachael Kelly (Fr., F, Rosemount, Minn.) and Sadie Lundquist (Jr., F, Cloquet, Minn.). Bemidji State improves to 6-2-2 (3-2-1-1 WCHA). Minnesota falls to 9-2-0 (6-2-0). No. 1 Wisconsin, the defending National Champion, is the only other team to defeat the Golden Gophers this season.
The victory marks the fourth time BSU has ever beaten the University of Minnesota and the third time BSU has beaten the Golden Gophers under head coach Steve Sertich. Saturday's win is the third time BSU has picked up a victory over a Top 5 opponent under Sertich. All three victories have come within the last two years as BSU defeated No. 1 Mercyhurst College and No. 3 University of Minnesota Duluth last season.
BSU got on the scoreboard first as freshmen Kristin Huber (F, Kelowna, British Columbia) and Rachael Kelly (F, Rosemount, Minn.) made the connection with Kelly netting her fourth goal of her young career. The assist was the third of the season for Huber. Huber played the puck off the boards to Kelly who put it past Minnesota goaltender Noora Raty.
The Beavers entered intermission with a 1-0 lead marking the first time a team has shut out the Golden Gophers in two periods during the season.
BSU added to their lead when Sadie Lundquist (Jr., F, Cloquet, Minn.) tallied BSU's 13th power-play goal of the season off assists from Erika Wheelhouse (Jr., D, Crookston, Minn.) and Emily Erickson (R-Jr., F, Coleraine, Minn.). Wheelhouse originally shot the puck toward the net where Lundquist got a piece of it and put it past Raty. BSU came into the weekend ranked No. 3 in the nation for power play. The Beavers are 13-for-39 this season on the power play for 33.3 percent.
The Beavers were able to stave off Minnesota again in the second period as they headed into the third period with a shutout, marking the third period the Beavers had held the Golden Gophers scoreless in the series.
Minnesota turned the pressure on in the third period as they out shot Bemidji State 19-2 and put Tomcikova's skills to the test. Tomcikova continued to make great save after great save but finally allowed a shot past her at the 16:51 mark of the third period. Emily West tallied the goal for Minnesota off assists from Kelly Terry and Rachael Bona.
The Golden Gophers continued to keep it on full throttle until the final buzzer sounded signaling a BSU victory, 2-1 over their WCHA rivals.
The Beavers were led by five shots on goal from junior Mackenzie Thurston (F, Ottawa, Ontario). Kelly and Tess Dusik (So., F, Oak Bluff, Manitoba) each chipped in four shots.
Sertich changed up the lines Saturday, deciding to match-up the line of Abby Williams (R-Jr., F, Alexandria, Minn.), Lauren Williams (Sr., F, Eagan, Minn.) and Kristi King (So., F, Stillwater, Minn.) against the Golden Gophers top line of Amanda Kessel, Jen Schoullis and Sarah Erickson. Minnesota's top line was responsible for all four goals for the Golden Gophers Friday night. The line which has dubbed themselves as "the Smurf line" because of their diminutive stature responded keeping the top line for the Gophers off the scoreboard.
The win continues the hot start for Bemidji State as they now have 10 points and are currently fourth in the WCHA standings. BSU's 6-2-2 record marks the most wins the team has had through 10 games since they started 6-4-0 in the second season of the program in 1999-00.
Tomcikova picks up the win in goal and is now one win away from tying Bre Dedrickson's record for most wins.
Minnesota was paced by Bemidji-native Sarah Erickson's seven shots on net. Noora Raty suffers the loss on the night after giving up two goals and making 25 saves.
The Beavers will look to gain further momentum in the WCHA as they head to Mankato, Minn. for a two-game series with Minnesota State University, Mankato.