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BHS girls hockey: Jacks blitz Bluejackets behind nine-goal period

Let's see, what sports cliché would best describe the Bemidji High girls hockey team's 9-0 win over Hibbing Tuesday: Christmas came two days early? When it rains it pours? How about a classic coach's comment, "we like to score in bunches."

Whatever phrase is ultimately used, in the end words don't do the Jacks second period blitzkrieg of visiting Hibbing justice. The Jacks put a nine spot on that Bluejackets in that school record setting period - that's right, nine goals in a single period. The Jacks scoring average of 50 percent (nine goals on 18 shots) would do any premier three-point shooting basketball team proud.

It's safe to say neither coach nor fan nor player will see an offensive outburst like that again at The Glas for a long, long time.

Before going any further a disclaimer should be made: Hibbing was playing without its top goaltender who sat out the game due to an injury. As a result Hibbing was forced to go with a freshman back up in net - and it didn't go well.

After a less than noteworthy first period where neither team scored, the Jacks put on the pressure in the second and the goals came fast and furious.

Katie Redland scored her first of the year for the Jacks, getting off a shot from the top of the far circle at 4:03 that Hibbing goalie Dory Johnson misplayed. It was then "hold on to your hats" time, folks.

The Jacks scored three more in less than two minutes to go ahead 4-0. Karly Engen scored from the edge of the crease off a pass from Shelby Sauer at 4:56. Jess Christofferson then scored her first of three in the period, taking a great lead pass in stride at the Hibbing blue line from Britanny Thompson, skating in alone and finishing on a nice move at 5:49. Just 12 seconds later Alissa Johnson scored her first of two on a tip off a shot from the point by Jessica Hunt.

The Jacks were just getting started.

After taking a more than four minute break from scoring, BHS connected four more times in a 2:42 span. Alissa Johnson started the second scoring spree off at 10:08, tipping another shot from the point. Kara Rich followed up 27 seconds later on yet another tipped shot. Christofferson then got her second of the period, this one on a rifle wrist shot top shelf from the far hash marks. Becca Gregg made it 8-0 when she scored on a rebound off a shot from Janie Johnson at the 12:50 mark.

Christofferson then concluded the scoring, mercifully, at 15:39, scoring a shorthanded goal off another wicked wrist shot.

The Jacks ended the memorable period with an 18-5 shot advantage.

The third period was played entirely on running time, due to the mercy rule. To their credit, the Bluejackets never gave up and kept battling even through the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

"It was a night of firsts for us," said BHS head coach Matt Menne. "Maria Thompson got her first shut out win in goal for us and (Redland) scored her first goal of the year. We wanted to move the puck around to the point more and the girls did that well all night. Our defenders really got involved in the offense."

Assistant coach Keith Huerd said it was gratifying for the coaching staff to see the players work on elements of the game in practice, then translate those things to the ice during games.

"We were able to roll with four lines pretty much the whole night," he said. "It was great to see all the players getting extended ice time and playing well."

The win upped the Jacks record to 8-2 on the year. The Jacks will now be idle over the Christmas holiday and return to action Dec. 29 at the Andover Christmas tournament.