BEMIDJI, Minn. (Sanford Center) -- Montana Vichorek (Sr., D, Moose Lake, Minn.) and Rachel Kelly (Fr., F, Rosemount, Minn.) each accounted for two goals and MacKenzie Thurston (Jr., F, Ottawa, Ontario) chipped in three assists as the Bemidji State University women's ice hockey team defeated the Thunder Bay Queens 10-3 in its exhibition opener Friday at Sanford Center.
The Beavers pushed the pedal to the metal from the onset of Friday's match offensively. Bemidji State netted three goals in the first seven minutes allowing their foes from Ontario very few opportunities on their offensive half of the ice to open the night. Vichorek got things started as she tallied a first minute score off an assist from Thurston. Five minutes later junior forward Lauren Williams (Eagan, Minn.) added to the early onslaught putting BSU ahead 2-0 off assists from defensemen Erika Wheelhouse (Jr., Crookston, Minn.) and Kimberly Lieder (Sr., Eagan, Minn.). Not even a minute passed before the scoreboard read 3-0 in favor of the hometown Beavers as newcomer Kelly was the first of six newcomers who played to find the net in her collegiate career. Kelly got the puck from fellow freshman Whitney Wivoda (F, Fairbanks, Alaska).
The Queens finally got on the board 10 minutes into the first period with a goal from Michela Cava on a Jessica Gazzola assist.
The Beavers finished up the first period with two more goals to go ahead 5-1 heading into the first break. Vichorek scored on a power-play set up by a Jessie Schedlosky tripping call in the 12th minute. Emily Erickson (R-Jr., Coleraine, Minn.) and Erika Wheelhouse were credited with assists. Danielle Williams (So., D/F, Waconia, Minn.) tallied an unassisted goal on a strong shot from the right wing for the Beavers' final score of the opening period.
Bemidji State struggled early in the second period as they gave up two power-play goals to the Thunder Bay Queens. Jillian Langtry scored on assists from Kaitlyn Tougas and Cava 27 seconds into the period. Tougas added a goal for the Queens with two minutes past in the second frame off assists from Cava and Langtry.
Tougas' goal would prove to be the last for Thunder Bay as Bemidji State scored three goals to finish off the second period and two goals in the third. Marlee Wheelhouse (Sr., D, Crookston, Minn.) put the Beavers ahead 6-3 off Thurston's second assist of the game. 10 minutes into the second period Kelly put her second puck in the net as she knocked the water bottle off the goal behind the Thunder Bay goaltender. Allie Duellman (So., D, Maplewood, Minn.) picked up the assist on the goal. Tess Dusik (So., F, Oak Bluff, Manitoba) gave the Beavers their final score of the second off assists from Sadie Lundquist (Jr., F, Cloquet, Minn.) and Erickson.
BSU wrapped up the game with two third period goals as Lieder found the net on Thurston's third helper of the night. Kristi King (So., Stillwater, Minn.), a transfer from University of Maine, finished up the scoring with an unassisted goal to give BSU the 10-3 win.
Eight different players found the net for the Beavers in their exhibition opener. Kelly, King and Wivoda were three freshman that scored points in their first games for Bemidji State.
Zuzana Tomcikova (Sr., G, Bratislava, Slovakia) split time with Alana McElhinney (Sr., G, Calgary, Alberta). Tomcikova picked up the win in 30 minutes of action. Tomcikova allowed three goals and had 10 saves on the game. McElhinney put up a blank slate for the Thunder Bay Queens in her 30 minutes in the crease. McElhinney picked up four saves.
The Beavers lift the lid on the 2011-12 regular season Sept. 30-Oct. 1 when it welcomes Providence College to Bemidji for a nonconference two-game set. Opening face off is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. Friday with the series finale set to open at 4:07 p.m. Saturday.