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Bemidji High School boys hockey team edges Crookston 3-2

Bemidji's Max Hazelton fights off Crookston's Morgan Terpstra (20) during the first period Thursday at Nymore Arena. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

Jared Bergquist's second period goal turned out to be the game winner as the Bemidji High boys hockey team rode a solid offensive effort and 39 save performance from goalie Derek Dudgeon to top Crookston 3-2 Thursday in Nymore.

The win improved the Jacks to 8-5-1 on the year. They next entertain archrival Moorhead Tuesday is what should be a good gauge as to how much the Jacks have improved as a team this year.

The small but quick Pirates proved a worthy opponent Thursday in the tightly contested game. BHS took a 3-1 second period lead and then stood up strongly to a major Crookston push in the third to win.

"Crookston has a nice club," said BHS head coach Wade Chiodo. "They fought hard and battled to the end. But, we found a way to win. That was important, especially in a section game like this."

Crookston got on the board first as Alan Mart scored just 2:36 into the game. But Dudgeon and the Jacks' defense stiffened from there.

The Jacks came back to tie at the 5:03 mark. Just as a Crookston player was coming out of the penalty box, BHS junior defender Joseph Welle unleashed a hard shot from the point. The rebound came out to Kris Maggert at the side of the net and he connected past Crookston goalie Matt Grove.

The second period belonged to the Jacks and turned out to be the key to the BHS victory. Going hard to the net hard proved beneficial for the Jacks again as Rylee Curb cashed in on a rebound off a shot Braden Devescovi at 5:43.

Bergquist got the game winner at 7:30. With Crookston's Cody Holtman going to the box for slashing the Jacks quickly took advantage. Bergquist cashed in on a fine passing play that saw Welle control the puck at the blue line and send a pass down low to Jesse Nemgar. Nemgar flicked a pass in front and Bergquist was there to bury the puck just 24 seconds into the Crookston penalty.

"I thought we played pretty well those first two periods," said Chiodo. "The guys were moving their feet and playing as a team. I always tell them to keep working hard on the little things ands good things will happen."

Crookston amped up the pressure in a major way in the third, generating 19 shots on goal.

The visitors closed the deficit to 3-2 at the 6:00 mark as Nick Regeimbal scored top shelf from point blank range.

But that was to be all for the night for Crookston as the Jacks went on to win behind a solid performance from Dudgeon, plus solid team defense.

"I thought we got away from our game and sat back a bit in the third period," said Chiodo. "But then you also have to give Crookston credit, they came at us hard. Bottom line - our guys did what they had to do to win."

Crookston ended with a 41-36 shots on goal advantage.

Junior varsity wins

The BHS junior varsity made it a clean sweep for the Jacks on the night, winning 4-3. The Jacks took a 2-0 lead in the second period as Jacob White and Levi Rickert scored.

Crookston came back to make it 2-1 early in the third. But the Jacks responded to reclaim the two goal lead as Steve Heller scored.

Crookston then got the next two to tie the game 3-3 with just over seven minutes remaining.

But White scored his second of the night, this one the game winner, just 40 seconds later.

The Jacks improved to 8-5-1 on the year with the win.