Bemidji HS boys hockey: Jacks offense pays attention to details in rout of River Lakes
After seeing his team drop consecutive games to Hermantown and Alexandria, Bemidji boys hockey coach Wade Chiodo upped the ante during last week's practice sessions.
"In the last two games we didn't play up to our capabilities," Chiodo said. "So this week we had high intense practices with lots of jam and lots of energy. Our goal with those tough practices was to get back to our winning ways."
Saturday afternoon against River Lakes at the Nymore rink the Lumberjacks provided Chiodo with what he was looking for as Bemidji destroyed the Stars 14-0. The victory was Bemidji's 12th in 19 starts.
BHS dominated from the opening faceoff but the visitors managed to stay within reach after the first period as they trailed only 2-0. But Bemidji's relentless pressure continually wore down River Lakes and the visitors crumbled in the middle stanza. The Lumberjacks peppered a pair of Star goalies with 16 quality shots during the 17-minute span and eight of them found the net. The third session featured four more BHS goals despite a full period of running time.
"We played Lumberjack hockey," Chiodo said. "We did the little things. We continually moved the puck. There was no individual play today and having everyone involved is very important for team chemistry. This is the type of game we can use as a springboard to the playoffs."
River Lakes had no answer for Bemidji's relentless pressure. The Jacks scored from the blue line and they scored from the crease. Bemidji found the net with slap shots, wrist shots, snap shots and tip-ins. The home team lit the lamp with great individual efforts which resulted in solo breakaways as well as crisp passing which set up teammates with open looks at the net.
In essence, the Lumberjacks continually attacked and River Lakes played scared.
"We want to play in-your-face hockey," Chiodo said.
Occassionaly the visitors did test Jacks goalie Axel Osborn but he passed every exam with flying colors. His best save came with three seconds to play in the middle session when Tanner Anderson was all alone with a fat rebound at the right circle. Anderson was staring at an open net for his shot but before he could celebrate Osborn slid across the crease, stretched as far as he could and snared the puck in his glove to deny Anderson and the Stars.
Had Anderson's shot found its mark the goal would not have had a bearing on the outcome as Bemidji was able to score almost at will. Mike Rees notched four goals for the Jacks, all of them coming in the decisive second period. Steven Heller finished with a hat-trick while Jesse Nemgar and Rylee Curb each collected two goals. Adding single goals were John Forseth, Brady Devescovi and Jordan Heller.
"This was a team victory," Chiodo said, "all the way from the D-Corp to the goaltending to the forwards. I was impressed that we continually moved the puck up ice and got it to the guy who was open. And when we had a shot the guys shot it hard and on the net.
"We played with grit and I put an emphasis on that," the coach continued. "When you start buzzing like we were on Saturday the other team tends to get out of the box and before you know it, it's 10-0 after the second period.
"That's Lumberjack hockey."
Saturday's preliminary followed a similar script as Bemidji coasted to an 11-0 victory, scoring four in the first, three in the second and four in the third.
Bemidji 14, River Lakes 0
River Lakes 0 0 0 - 0
Bemidji 2 8 4 - 14
B-Nemgar (Tatro) 1:21; B-S.Heller (Welle, Tatro) 15:28 PP. Penalties: RL-Cole (high stick) 3:43; B-Rees (slash) 7:18; RL-Meed (trip) 10:08; RL-Cole (trip) 15:15.
B-Rees (Tatro) 6:28; B-S.Heller (Welle, Nemgar) 6:49; B-S.Heller (Nemgar) 8:33; B-Rees (Phillips) 10:55; B-Forseth (Bruestle, Tatro) 12:45; B-Rees (Welle) 13:17; B-Nemgar (Tatro, Curb) 14:02 PP; B-Rees (Phillips) 15:35. Penalties: B-Rees (interfere) 0:40; B-Heller (hook) 4:12; RL-Cole (rough) 13:30; B-J.Heller (unsportsman conduct) 15:35; RL-Reichel (unsportsman conduct) 15:35.
B-Curb (Rees) 1:05; B-J.Heller (Forseth) 8:30; B-Devescovi (Rees, Larson) 10:00 PP; B-Curb (Welle, Tatro) 12:13 PP. Penalties: B-Phillips (high stick) 5:30; B-Welle (hold) 6:20; RL-Ejnik (interfere) 7:15; RL-Cole (cross check) 8:30; RL-Cole (elbow) 9:36; RL-Cole (unsportsman conduct) 9:36; RL-Cole (game misconduct) 9:36.
Sieben (RL) 14 12 x - 26
Groseobse (RL) x 4 15 - 19
Osborn (B) 5 7 3 - 15
Bemidji 11, River Lakes 0
River Lakes 0 0 0 - 0
Bemidji 4 3 4 - 11
B-Hanson (Borowski) 3:45 SH; B-Dahedl (Follis) 13:51 PP; B-Dahedl (Hansen) 14:22; B-Serratore (Wokerstorfer, Bofferding) 14:54.
B-Bofferding (Serratore, Eichstadt) 1:25 PP; B-Lind (Follis) 8:56; B-Serratore (Spencer, Hendricks) 11:31 PP.
B-Eichstadt (Serratore) 3:15; B-Borowski (unassisted) 7:05 PP; B-Isensee (Serratore) 9:45; B-Hansen (Borowski, Rickert) 10:42 PP.
Penalties: River Lakes 8, Bemidji 6.
Blonigan (RL) 21 5 14 - 43
Schram (B) 0 4 2 - 6