The Bemidji High girls hockey team struggled to score through two periods but closed strong Friday night to beat Thief River Falls 5-1 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Three goals in the final 7:08 broke open a 2-1 contest and allowed Bemidji to breathe easily.
The close score was no true story of the contest which found Bemidji out shooting the home team 43-10.
Kaylee Koop, who kicked aside 41 shots in the Prowlers recent 3-2 loss at East Grand Forks, had 40 more Friday. Maria Thompson had only nine, just three of them quality shots.
Shelby Sauer led the attack with two goals while Emily Larson, Annie Swartz and Caitlin Blotske each had one.
Three of the five goals c40e from the defense. Sauer added a pair of assists for a four point night.
The game was the final warm up for the team's first term examination Tuesday when it hosts Roseau at 7 at Nymore Gardens in its home debut
The game could have proved costly with Larson going down with a knee injury in the third period after being struck by a puck. Her condition was not known.
But for the second straight game, Blotske stepped into the breach and scored a goal.
Bemidji totally controlled the opening period yet led only 1-0.
Sauer completed a flurry in front of the Prowler net at 1:51 putting the puck past goalie Koop. Becca Gregg gained the assist.
After that, Bemidji kept bombarding the net with as many near misses as shots that reached Koop.
But despite a wide 14-5 shots bulge, it was not able to score again.
Bemidji had two power play attempts but was unable to connect, their eighth and ninth straight power play chances that failed to connect.
More of the same
It was more of the same in the second period as Bemidji again scored quickly, then spent the rest of the period cannonading the Prowler net unsuccessfully.
Larson had the goal at 2:01, .her second of the year. Sauer and Allie Lapp both drew assists, Sauer's fourth and Lapp's third.
Koop had nine more stops while Thompson made only two.
Again Bemidji's inability to put the game away caused some worries. And as in the Wayzata win, it saw the home team score midway through the final period to cut the margin in half.
Rachel Lund had the goal taking a feed from behind the net from Rachel Lindquist.
But, as in the Wayzata win, Bemidji bounced back immediately to take charge.
Swartz got the key goal, banging home a rebound for her first goal of the season, Lapp and Sauer drawing assists.
Less than three minutes later, Sauer put the game away when she stole a puck near the goal and drove it past Koop while Bemidji was skating short handed, Lapp off for interference.
And with 1:24 remaining, Blotske bombed home the fifth goal to end the scoring.
Bemidji skated off two penalties in the period with the Prowlers not managing a single shot on the first power play and few on the second.
Coach Matt Menne was most pleased with the team's ability to bounce back quickly after allowing the Prowlers tally, calling it the "mark of a good team."
But he stated that Bemidji has to work on getting more high quality shots if it hopes to play with the better teams on its schedule.
Bemidji also had two other possible calls waived off in the first two periods for banging home the puck with a high stick.
Bemidji 1 1 3---5
Thief River Falls 0 0 1---1
FIRST PERIOD: Sauer (Greg) 1;512; Penalties: TRF-Berglund, hook, 11;44; TRF Lindquist, check 14:20
SECOND PERIOD; Larson (Sauer-Lapp) 2:01; Penalties: TRF-C. Hunt, interference 7;53
THIRD PERIOD TRF Lund (Lindquist-Berglund) 7:39; Bem-Swartz (Lapp-Sauer) 9:52; Bem-Sauer 12:22 SH; Bem-Blotske 15:36; Penalties; Bem-Larson, trip,1:13; Bem-Lapp. interference 11:59
Bem-M. Thompson 5 2 2--- 9
TRF-Koop 13 9 18---40