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Bemidji's (from left) Amanda Hunt, Janie Johnson and Allie Heifort celebrate after the Jacks defeated Moorhead Tuesday in the Section 8AA semifinal game at Nymore Arena. At far right is Karleigh Wolkerstorfer. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

Bemidji HS girls hockey: Jacks rout Moorhead, advance to face Roseau for section title and state berth

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The Friendly Frozen Confines of Nymore Gardens proved to be just the right place to be Tuesday as the Bemidji High girls hockey team rolled past Moorhead 7-1 to reach the Section 8AA final.

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They will meet Roseau Thursday night at Thief River's Ralph Engelstad Arena for the title.

It will be the third meeting between the two this year with Bemidji out shooting the Rams in both games but losing 2-0 and 2-1. They hope the third try proves the difference.

The unexpectedly lopsided score was totally unexpected.

Bemidji broke a 1-1 tie on a power play in the closing seconds of the first stanza and added four goals in the second to take a 6-1 led.

A shorthanded tally midway through the third sent the game into running time for the final 8:34.

Shelby Sauer and Alli Lapp each scored twice and Janie Johnson, Becca Gregg and Karleigh Wolkerstorfer once.

"I told the girls before we started that the game would go to the team that wanted it the most," said Coach Matt Menne. "I think we proved who wanted that tonight."

Menne rated the one sided win as the second greatest triumph in his six years at the helm, topped only by the blowout win over Elk River in the 2007 final.

,There was not doubt as to who controlled the game with Bemidji out shooting the Spuds 44-14. sending starting goalie Lydia Norwig to the bench midway through the second stanza in favor of freshman Beth Myers.

She allowed only one more tally while making 18 stops. Norwig had 19 before leaving.

Maria Thompson needed only 13 but had several outstanding stops when she needed them.

The lone Moorhead goal came on a power play.

Bemidji killed off four other penalties including a 53 second of 5 on 3 in the third period. Moorhead committed only two penalties.

Bemidji controlled the opening period, outshooting the Spuds 16-6 but having problems denting Norwig who stood firm.

Sauer scored early at the end of a three player rush with Lapp and Jess Hunt drawing feeds.

That lasted until 13:51 when Jenna Ulberg got the puck past Thompson a in the final eight seconds of a power play with Lapp off for a high stick.

The turning point came in a 28 second stretch that spanned the period stop.

Moorhead drew a penalty with 29 seconds left in the opening period and Johnson cashed in 22 seconds later off an Annie Swartz pass to send Bemidji to a 2-1 lead.

Only 21 seconds into the second stanza. Lapp made it 3-1 on a steal and solo.

That opened the flood gates and Bemidji was quick to take advantage.

Sauer's second goal came at 8:23 off a Chaniel Nelson feed and a Gregg tuck into the left corner 30 seconds later added the fifth goal. Amanda Hunt drew the feed on a pass from behind the net.

Another 68 seconds elapsed before Lapp had her second goal on a solo down the right boards from the red line.

That ended Norwig's stay and brought on Myers into the net.

Bemidji held a 16-3 b bulge in shots on goal in the period, perhaps one of the team's finest ever against a quality opponent.

With the issue decided, Bemidji worked hard to preserve the lead and was rewarded with Wolkerstorfer cashing in on a short handed goal at 8:26 with Amanda Hunt serving time for an interference call.

Alli Heifort joined her a minute later but Bemidji was able to control the puck until the two returned to the ice. Bemidji held a 12-5 lead in shots in the final 17 minutes.

Bemidji upped its record to 19-5-2. Moorhead ended 15-10-1.

But the Spuds dressed five freshmen and an eighth grader and only four seniors included the heralded Ashley Steenerson who ended her career scoreless, two goals short of setting a career goal scoring mark at the school.

She did set a new career scoring standard with 247 points last week.

It will be the third trip to the section final in the past four years with a win in 2007, and second place in 2008, both against Elk River.

The Rams trailed Wright County 2-0 after two periods but knotted the score in the third period and won in the extra stanza.

Moorhead beat Roseau 5-2 in last year's section final.

Moorhead 1 0 0---1

Bemidji 2 4 1---7

FIRST PERIOD: Bem-Sauer (Lapp-J. Hunt 2:50; Mhd-Ulberg (Kagar-Drechsel) 13:51 pp; Bem-Johnson (Swartz) 16:53 pp; Penalties; Bem-Lapp, high stick 12:05;.Mhd-Rustan, high stick 16:31

SECOND PERIOD: Bem-Lapp 0:21; Bem-Sauer (Nelson) 8:23; Bem- Gregg (A. Hunt) (9:53) Bem-Lapp 10:01; Penalties: Bem-Heifort, slash 2:42; Mhd- Drechsel, check 10:20; Mhd-Steenerson, interference 13:43

THIRD PERIOD; Bem-Wolkerstorfer 8:26 sh; Penalties: Bern-Swartz, hook 3:41; Bem-A. Hunt, interference 7:40; Bem-Heifort, trip 8:47

Goal Stops

Mhd-Norwig 14 5 x--- xx

Mhd-Myers 7 11---37

Bem-M. Thompson 5 3 5---13

Power plays: Bemidji 1-3, Moorhead 1-5

Officials: Mark Wolhart, Dan Travica and Justin Morrison

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