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Bemidji Rachael Holm notched the first goal of the evening against a Grand Rapids-Greenway opponent on Tuesday night. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

GIRLS HOCKEY: Bemidji swarms to 3-2 win over Lightning

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BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji girls hockey team played a near-perfect game Tuesday at home against Grand Rapids-Greenway and the effort was rewarded with a 3-2 victory over the Lightning.

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Tuesday's win also was the first victory for new BHS head coach Jackie Robertson..

"This is going into the coaches' room," Robertson said of the game puck, which was presented to her by official scorer Jerry Phillips. "This is an exciting night."

Grand Rapids-Greenway owned a size advantage over the Lumberjacks Tuesday but the Lightning could not match Bemidji's hustle and resolve.

Resembling a swarm of mosquitoes that just won't leave you alone, the Jacks pestered Grand Rapids-Greenway from the opening whistle and continued to beleaguer the visitors until the final seconds.

"The girls fought hard," Robertson said. "Tonight they completely brought their game. Their hard work made this victory happen."

The Lightning threatened in the opening minute but the Jacks opened the scoring at the 2 minute, 26 second, mark when Jordyn Follis put a puck on the net and Rachel Holm batted it past goalie Shannon Hart.

The 1-0 score held through the rest of the period as both teams maintained a torrid pace that delighted Robertson and the crowd.

"It was a fun game to watch and a fun game to coach," Robertson said. "The kids were pumped up. We've only been together a short while but you can see that the girls are growing as a team and in games like this when you need to dig down deep that growth is important."

Holm and Follis teamed for their second goal of the night 12 seconds into the second period. The goal was scored in a similar fashion as their first tally. Once again, Follis put the puck on net and Holm bulled her way to the rebound and stuck it past Hart.

Grand Rapids-Greenway finally scored 10 minutes into the third period but BHS answered three minutes later when Savanna Hanson tipped home Kelsey Isaacson's shot from the left circle.

That goal proved crucial as the Lightning pulled Hart with 2:27 to play and scored a minute later to draw within 3-2.

But the visitors would not get any closer as the Lumberjacks hung on and evened their record at 1-1.

"You can write up as many plays as you want but Tuesday night it was the effort that carried us," Robertson said. "This is the way we have to play. We have a good group of girls but for us to win it will take a full effort."

Leighton Rockensock handled Bemidji's goaltending duties and the sophomore finished with 23 saves.

The Jack fired 26 shots on Hart.

Bemidji returns to duty 7:30 p.m. Friday when it hosts Thief River Falls at the Community Arena.

Grand Rapids-Greenway 0 0 2 - 2

Bemidji 1 1 1 - 3

First period - 1, Bemidji, Holm (Follis), 2:26

Second period - 2, Bemidji, Holm (Follis), 0:12

Third period - 3, GRG, Francisco (Anderson, Schmoll), 9:54. 4, Bemidji, Hanson (Holm, Isaacson), 13:04. 5, GRG, Holm (Schmoll, Illikainen), 15:45

Shots on goal - GRG 6-6-13-25. Bemidji 9-9-8-26

Goalies - GRG, Hart (23-26). Bemidji, Rockensock 23-25

Power plays - GRG 0-2. Bemidji 0-1

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pmiller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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