BEMIDJI – Eventually the Bemidji High School girls hockey team is going to win a game this year. And it is likely that the Lumberjacks will lose a game or two as well.
For the season’s first three contests, however, the Jacks are 0-0-3.
The streak began last week with a 4-4 draw at East Grand Forks. Tuesday night BHS battled Grand Rapids-Greenway to a 3-3 tie and Friday in their home opener the Lumberjacks skated to a 2-2 deadlock with South St. Paul at the Community Arena.
After a scoreless first period the Packers dominated the middle stanza and roared to a 2-0 advantage. Bemidji, however, used a pair of third-period goals by Karleigh Wolkerstorfer to force overtime and neither team scored in the extra 8-minute session.
The home team held a territorial and shooting edge in the first stanza but South St. Paul was able to keep the Jacks off the scoreboard.
The second period, however, belonged exclusively to the visitors. They outshot BHS 9-2 and rarely did the puck leave Bemidji’s defensive zone.
The Packers were rewarded for their efforts with goals by Nikki Karg 4:10 into the period and by Anna Leadens with 1:48 to play in the stanza.
Only superb work by Lumberjacks goalie Emily Frazer kept Bemidji within shouting distance heading into the third period.
Wolkerstorfer quickly brought the Jacks within one goal as she stole the puck at the BHS blue line, tipped a pass that she retrieved at the South St. Paul blue line and rifled a waist-high slap shot from the left circle past the goalie.
The goal came 2:21 into the period while Bemidji was killing a penalty.
The Jacks continued to apply pressure the rest of the stanza and with 33 seconds to play that extra effort paid dividends.
With Frazer pulled for the extra skater the Lumberjacks controlled play in the Packers zone. Savanna Hanson outworked a defender for possession in the left corner and backhanded a pass toward the net.
Wolkerstorfer was planted just outside the left post and was in perfect position to bang the puck past Conley for the tying goal.
Bemidji will try to snap the tying streak Tuesday when it hosts Roseau at the Sanford Center.
South St. Paul 0 2 0 0 - 2
Bemidji 0 0 2 0 - 2
First period - No scoring
Second period - 1, SSP, Karg (Viner). 2, SSP, Leadens (Viner, DeSmith) 15:12
Third period – 3, BHS, Wolkerstorfer (unassisted) 2:21 SH. 4, BHS, Wolkerstorfer (Hanson) 16:27
Overtime – No scoring
Saves - Conley (SSP) 13-2-4-3-22; Frazer (BH) 7-7-6-3-23
Penalites-minutes: SSP 3-6; BHS 3-6