At it again, the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team defeated a nationally ranked team for the third time at home this season as the Beavers took down the No. 8 Fighting Sioux 2-1 on Friday afternoon at the Sanford Center.
“We had a great first period, as far as shots, but you have to give credit to North Dakota, they came back and took it to us in the second,” said head coach Steve Sertich. “The challenge was for us to take the game back from them and I thought we did for the most part.”
The turning point of the game came with Beaver special teams in the third period. BSU successfully killed four UND power-play opportunities, including a span of almost four minutes that included a five-on-three, and netted the game-winner on the power play.
“Our top players had to kill penalties and that takes a lot out of them, but once we got past that point, and our power play got that one back, that was key.”
In the first period the Beavers dominated the flow of the game. Bemidji State out-shot the Fighting Sioux 16-4 and won 14 of 20 faceoffs in the period. The hard work payed off for the Beavers as Erin Cody (Sr., Fwd., Roseville, Minn.) netted a breakaway goal with 1:11 left in the period. It all started when tender Zuzana Tomcikova (Jr., Bratislava, Slovakia) played the puck behind her goal to defenseman Marlee Wheelhouse (Jr., Crookston, Minn.). Wheelhouse then rolled out from behind the net and saw Cody breaking free through the neutral zone. Making a long-distance saucer pass, Marlee hit the tape of Cody’s stick. Cody skated into the zone unopposed and put the puck over UND’s Jorid Dagfinrud’s trapper to net her ninth goal of the season.
While the first period belonged to the Beavers, it would be all Sioux in the second. In the second frame UND out-shot BSU 14-2. At the 5:45 mark of the period, North Dakota tied the game after scoring on a scramble in front of the net. Tomcikova made an initial save off a shot from Sara Dagenais in front of the net. However, the UND’s Margot Miller found the puck first and tapped it back in for the Sioux goal.
The Beavers looked to rally back in the third period. Just over three minutes into the start of the final period UND’s Candace Molle went to the sin bin after getting called for checking. On the power play, Emily Erickson (R-So., Fwd., Coleraine, Minn.) scored the goal-ahead goal for the Beavers. Like UND’s goal, Erickson scored on a rebound from the front of the net. Cody had the initial shot and Erickson was there to finish the play for BSU. Montana Vichorek (Jr., Def., Moose Lake, Minn.) picked up an assist on the play.
With the lead in hand the Beavers looked to finish off the win over a nationally ranked team for the third time in the past seven games. However, the win road to victory wouldn’t get any easier as the Beavers had to kill off almost four minutes of penalty time. Just ten seconds after scoring the goal, the Beavers were assessed two minutes for interference. While one player short, Marlee Wheelhouse was then given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for checking from behind. After succesfully killing the first penalty, the Beavers caught a break as UND’s Kelsey Ketcher went to the box for interference making if four-on-four for the remainder of the BSU major penalty.
Tomcikova made a total of 22 saves in her fifth win of the season. Her assist on the first goal of the night was her first collegiate-point.
The Beavers (6-5-0; 4-3-0-0 WCHA) now have 12 points in the WCHA standings and sits in remains in fourth place, right behind North Dakota (6-4-1; 5-3-1-0 WCHA) in third place with 16 points.
Bemidji State will finish the weekend against the No. 8 Fighting Sioux with another 2:07 p.m. start time tomorrow at the Sanford Center.