Bemidji State blanks No. 9 Minnesota-Duluth 2-0 in final home game of regular season

Bemidji State's Lauren Williams,left, steals the puck away from Minnesota-Duluth's Tea Villila during the second period of Saturday afternoon's game at the Sanford Center. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

Zuzana Tomcikova helped the Bemidji State women’s hockey team win Saturday afternoon in a way she’s done so many times during her career.

The Beavers defeated No. 9 Minnesota-Duluth 2-0 and Tomcikova had 20 saves to add shutout No. 18 to her school record in BSU’s final home game this season at the Sanford Center.

“It’s definitely special because it’s senior day and all of us seniors will remember it,” Tomcikova said. “It’s great but the shutout doesn’t matter. What matters is that we won.”

The Slovakian Olympian also moved into fourth place on the NCAA career saves list during the victory and now has 3,410 saves to pass Niagara’s Allison Rutledge.

“What a way to go out,” BSU head coach Steve Sertich said. “I thought our players did a good job blocking shots and keeping shots to the perimeter. She’s left a big mark here as an individual player and a goaltender.”

Emily Erickson and Tess Dusik scored for the Beavers, which put an end to a five-game losing streak and a seven-game winless streak.

The Beavers had been missing a scoring touch and an aggressive edge at certain points during the losing streak. Those things were found against the Bulldogs.

“I think we played with a sense of urgency and everyone on the ice won battles,” Erickson said. “We really wanted to get the puck and we were hard to play against. I think, all in all, through our entire lineup was like that.”

Bemidji State (17-12-1, 14-11-1 WCHA) split the weekend series with UMD (14-16-3, 8-15-2 WCHA) and concludes the regular season on the road next weekend at St. Cloud State. BSU will open the first round of the WCHA playoffs on the road in two weeks likely against North Dakota.

Erickson opened scoring in the second period by scoring 24 seconds after she exited the penalty box after serving a tripping penalty. She took a pass from Abby Williams, skated in untouched after the blue line and beat Harss with a wrist shot.

Dusik scored the insurance goal with 6:36 left in the third period by slapping at her own rebound at the edge of the crease over Harss.

Saturday’s game was the last home game for the six seniors: Kim Lieder, Alana McElhinney, Marlee Wheelhouse, Lauren Williams, Montana Vichorek, and Tomcikova.

“It feels really great, it’s what we really wanted to do for all of us seniors to send us off in style,” Tomcikova said. “It happened and we were really happy for that. We were definitely the better team today and deserved to win.”

Scoring Summary

UMD 0 0 0 – 0
BSU 0 1 1 – 2

First period – No scoring.
Second period – 1, BSU Erickson 15 (A. Williams) 10:49.
Third period – 2, BSU Dusik 7 (Lundquist), 13:24.
Shots on goal – UMD, 6-8-6-20. BSU, 8-16-8-32.
Goalies – UMD, Harss (32-20). BSU, Tomickova (20-20).
Power plays – UMD, 0-for-3. BSU, 0-for-3.

Photo Gallery

Zuzana Tomcikova

Jenna MacParland and Erika Wheelhouse

Marlee Wheelhouse

Montana Vichorek and Jenna MacParland

Sadie Lundquist and Jessica Wong

Bridgette LacQuette, Natasha Kostenko, Kristin Huber

Follow Eric Stromgren on Twitter at @estromgren and on Facebook.