Big second period lifts Spuds
If the Moorhead Spuds came to town Tuesday expecting a cakewalk over Bemidji's boys' hockey team it could be expected.
For the Spuds had demolished Bemidji 12-0 in December on their home ice, handing Bemidji its worst setback in years.
They won again Tuesday. But it was only 5-1 and came against far greater opposition than in the first meeting.
While Bemidji never led, it battled the highly vaunted Spuds from the first whistle to the last in a contest that grew intensely physical early in the night and never let up.
Moorhead is the state's No. 2 rated team behind Holy Angels and showed why.
It outshot Bemidji 57-19 and applied steady pressure on the Jacks goal from the beginning.
If there was a No. 1 star of the contest, it had to be Bemidji goalie Derek Dudgeon, back once again after a brief illness.
He rejected a season-high 53 shots, two above the 51 he stopped in the Roseau game and four over the 49 stops made against Coon Rapids.
In the long run it was too many Moorhead skaters spending time too frequently in the offensive zone.
The constant swarming of the net produced scoring chances which Moorhead cashed in on.
Trent Johnson got the only goal of the opening stanza, converting an Eric Hedman feed at 10:11 into an empty corner. It came at the end of a 2 on 1 rush. Moorhead out shot Bemidji 18-6 in the period.
The score quickly doubled at the start of the second period when Devin Nitzkorski connected at the 35 second mark off a Mike Weiss assist.
It grew to 3-0 at 7:44 when Max Johnson banged in a rebound from the left side after Dudgeon had turned back Jordy Christian's initial shot.
Bemidji's hopes rose briefly at the 12;06 mark when Brandon Daniels took a left to right pass through the crease at the right corner to beat goalie Joe Duncan from point blank range. It was his second goal of the year.
But the comeback hopes faded quickly as Nick Thielen got this goal back only 27 seconds later and John Lee ended the period with a power play goal with the visitors holding a 5 on 3 advantage with Cody Gregg and Justin Hunt both serving time.
MHS out shot Bemidji 19-6 in that period.
It out shot the Jacks 20-6 in the final period though neither team scored.
Both teams practiced their power plays frequently with Moorhead drawing five whistles and Bemidji three though four of the calls were coincidentals.
Bemidji ended 1-4 on the power play and Moorhead 1-6.
Despite the setback, Bemidji came away with far more respect for itself and will get a chance tomorrow when it heads south to Brainerd.
The Warriors took an 11-6-1 mark to Sartell Tuesday. Bemidji dropped to 10-9-1.
Its next home game will be Feb. 9 with Warroad.
The B Team, which fell 5-1 at Moorhead, lost at home 5-0, managing only 15 shots on Bryce Schaefer.
Five different Spuds scored. Peter Goldberg kicked back 31 Moorhead shots with one of the five goals coming on a power play. The Jacks fell to 13-6-1 and also face Brainerd tomorrow.
BEMIDJI (1) Goal: Dudgeon; Defense: Gregg-Sullivan; Hunt-Ehrhorn; Larson- Nohre: Lines: R. Johnson-N. Nemgar-Wizner; Reierson-J. Nemgar-Daniels; Boyer-Curb-Schulz
MOORHEAD (5) Goal; Duncan; Defense: J. Lee-Hedman; Foss-M. Johnson; Penner-Ammernan; Lines: Thielen-Christian-Ambrosie; Nitzkorski-Deitz-Weiss; T. Lee-T. Johnson-Becker
Moorhead 1 4 0---5
Bemidji 0 1 0---1
FIRST PERIOD: T. Johnson (Hedman) 10:11; Penalties: Reierson, interference 6:25; M. Johnson, hold 13:46; Christian, roughing and Hunt, unsportsmanlike conduct 17:00
SECOND PERIOD: Nitzkorski (Weiss) 0:35; M. Johnson (Christian) 7:44; Daniels (Wizner) 12:06 pp; Theilen (Hedman) 13:33; J. Lee (Foss-Christian) 15:56 pp; Penalties: Nitzkorski, interference 3:27; Ammerman, hook 10:53; J. Lee, roughing and Wizner, slash 12:55; Gregg, slash 14:08; Hunt, high stick 14:20
THIRD PERIOD: None: Penalties: Christian, hook 0:48; Wizner, interference 5:02; Curb, roughing and Weiss, slash 5:47; Foss, interference 6:08; M. Johnson, cross check 11:45; Christian, crosscheck and Daniels, high stick 12:06
Duncan 6 6 6---18
Dudgeon 17 15 20--52
Power plays: Moorhead 1-6, Bemidji 1-4
Officials: Dave Ulwellig and Ron Story; Linesman: Frank Fairbanks
B Team Game
Moorhead 1 2 2---5
Bemidji 0 0 0---0
FIRST PERIOD: Doschadis (Strand) 8:17
SECOND PERIOD: Vatnsdal (Kostich-Cochran) 3:56; McMillan (Buckellow) 7:46
THIRD PERIOD: Buckellow 1:48 pp; Rahman 15:29
Mhd-Schaefer 4 8 3---15
Bem-Goldberg 8 14 9---31
Power plays; Moorhead 1-6; Bemidji 0-6