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HS girls hockey ekes past Prowlers

By John J. McRae

Pioneer Sports Writer

It didn't look like much of a match up heading into the game.

The Bemidji High girls hockey had been flying high this season with 13 wins, while the Thief River Prowlers had won only four times. Last season the Jacks defeated Thief River 13-0.

Those expecting a yawner in Tuesday night's game at Nymore Arena were treated to anything but lopsided game.

An unassisted third period goal by BHS junior Sarah Erickson proved to be the difference in a 3-2 Jacks win that wasn't decided until the final seconds.

The goal gave the Jacks a 3-1 lead. But the Prowlers came back to score to cut the BHS advantage to 3-2 with over seven minutes remaining. A huge save by the Jacks goalie Kaia Sele on the Prowler's Brittni Johnson with three seconds remaining preserved the hard fought win for BHS.

In the end it was a battle of special teams as all the goals were scored on the power play. Both the TRF scores came on the two man advantage as the Prowlers physical play frustrated the Jacks, who ended up taking some ill-advised penalties.

The Prowlers also rode the strong goaltending of junior Jade Goldberg, who made 34 saves in the hard luck loss. Sele faced just 16 TRF shots. She had no chance on either TRF goal as the Prowlers skated with a 5 on 3 advantage on both.

The Jacks got on the board first as Courtney Josefson scored on the power play with an assist to Emily Larson at the 4:12 mark of the first period. That was all the scoring in the opening 17 minutes.

TRF came back to tie the game just 13 seconds into the second period. With Erickson and Josefson both in the box for penalties taken just 32 seconds apart at the end of the first period, Johnson struck for the Prowlers.

Freshman Shelby Sauer put the Jacks ahead for good with about five minutes remaining in the second. Assisting on the score was Emily Larson.

Erickson took matters into her own hands to score what turned out to be the game winner at 6:37 of the third. With a face off in the Jacks zone at the near circle Erickson won the draw, controlled the puck, cruised across the front of the crease and scored short side.

The game was far from over, however. TRF's Megan Malwitz scored off a blast from the point that went through heavy traffic, screening Sele at 9:24.

Josefson missed a great chance to put the game away with just over three minutes remaining, just missing the mark from point blank range.

"That was a huge goal by (Sauer) in the second period that put us up 2-1," said BHS coach Matt Menne. "(Sele) also made a couple big saves for us. It was a gutsy performance by our team and probably Thief River's best game of the year.

"You have to give TRF a lot of credit; they battled hard. Their physical play frustrated our players. We talked after the game about playing with discipline and poise."

The win upped the jacks record to 14-3-1 on the year while TRF fell to 4-13."

BHS JV wins

The Jacks won the preliminary by an identical 3-2 score. BHS scored twice in the first and once in the second to build a 3-0 lead, before TRF mounted a comeback in the third that fell just short.

Kayla Colley and Hailey Williamson scored in the first for the Jacks, with Tayler Kaplan getting the game winner in the second.

Jacks held a 40-13 shot advantage in the game.

TRF 0 1 1 -- 2

BHS 1 1 1 -- 3

First Period -- 1, BHS, Courtney Josefson (Emily Larson), 4:12 (pp). Penalties -- Molly Peterson, TRF (interference), 3:57, Alie dorn, TRF (tripping), 6:05, Dorn, TRF (cross checking), 14:05, Sarah Erickson, BHS (checking), 16:98, Josefson, BHS (roughing), 17:00

Second Period -- 2, TRF, Brittni Johnson (Peterson), :13. 3, BHS, Shelby Sauer (Jessica Hunt), 11:26. Penalties -- Brokke Rundell, TRF (tripping), 1:43, Mauri Gonsorowski, TRF (high sticking), 8:47, Brooke Rundell, TRF (tripping), 6:00

Third Period -- 4, BHS, Erickson (unassisted), 6:37. 5, TRF, Megan Malwitz (Johnson), Kaley Holen), 9:24. Penalties -- Shauna Perreault, BHS (hooking), 3:43, Ashley Meunier (hooking), 4:44, Erickson, BHS (slashing), 7:30, Kaia Sele, BHS (slashing), 9:26, Perreault, BHS (checking), 9:44, Kim Duchscher, TRF (interference), 11:26, Josefson, BHS (roughing), 13:26, Malwitz, TRF (roughing), 13:27, Perreault, BHS (tripping), 16:57

Shots -- TRF 2-7-2 16, BHS 16-9-12 37

Saves -- TRF-Jade Gothberg (37 shots-34 saves), BHS-Kaia Sele (16 shots-14 saves)