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Bemidji High School boys hockey: Hazelton's last second goal keeps Jacks alive in Section 8A playoffs

The Bemidji Lumberjacks rallied in the final seven minutes Friday night to turn back Baudette's Lake of the Woods High 3-2 at Warroad and advance to the semifinals of the 8A hockey tournament.

The Jacks will battle Thief River Falls Monday night at 7 at the Warroad Arena.

Warroad and Crookston will play the opening semifinal tonight at 7.

Thief River beat Park Rapids 5-2 in Friday's opener.

On Thursday, Warroad blasted KCC 11-0 while Crookston shaded East Grand Forks 4-3.

The Jacks and TRF will be meeting for the third time with th4eprowelrs winning 2-1 and 3-1 in the first two. It also sends Bemidji Coach Wade Chiodo against his alma mater.

Until the last rush, Bemidji seemed on its way to another low scoring loss.

Baudette rode the solid net minding of sophomore Alex Lyon to a 2-1 lead, spotting Bemidji an early goal in the first period but tying the score 25 seconds later.

The Bears then scored the only goal of the second period and maintained that margin through the first 11 minutes of the third.

Then Jesse Nemgar completed a 2 on 1 rush to convert a Jared Bergquist feed for the tying goal.

And with 46 seconds remaining, sophomore Max Hazelton took a Rylee Curb feed to drive home the winning goal.

Luke Burns had given Bemidji its early 1-0 lead at 3:23, again at the end of a 2 on 1 rush, with Lucas Phillips and Kris Maggert getting assists.

But LOW tied the score only 25 seconds later with Shea Pepera getting the goal.

The lone goal of the second period came on the power play, the only one of the contest.

It was Pepera again connecting with Hazelton gone for a trip.

But the Jacks sophomore atoned for his absence by getting the game winner at the end.

Bemidji out shot LOW 33-16 6 in their first meeting at the BCA.

Friday it out shot the Bears 39-22 with Lyon near perfect until the closing seven minutes.

Derek Dudgeon was strong again making a number of outstanding stops among his 20 saves.

The decision continued Bemidji's season pattern.

When the Jacks have scored three or more goals they stand 14-1 losing only to Hermantown 5-3.

When they have scored two or fewer goals they are 0-10-1 with the 2-2 tie at Grand Rapids the only non-loss.

Bemidji went 0-5 on the power play. Baudette was 1-3.

Thief River has beaten the Jacks twice in games that went down to the closing seconds with the issue still in doubt.

The Jacks hope the old adage that it is nearly impossible to beat a good team three straight times holds up Monday.

Warroad should have no trouble with Crookston tonight. In their two meetings the Warriors won 6-0 and 7-0.

The Bemidji win lifted the Jacks to 14-11-1. Baudette closed at 12-14-1.

"This was a game we deserved to win," said Chiodo after the contest. "We certainly out played Baudette all night with only Lyon's outstanding goal tending keeping them in the game."

"But our kids were never discouraged at any time, coming into the locker room after the second period shouting we are going to win this game, And they did. I'm extremely proud of them for their performance."

Bemidji 1 0 2---3

LOW 1 1 0---2

FIRST PERIOD; Bem-Burns (Phillips-Maggert) 3:23; LOW-Pepera (Hasbargen-Westerlund) 3:50; Penalties: LOW: Pelach, interference 0:40; LOW-Smart, interference 4:32; LOW-Beller, trip 10:25; Bem-Maggert, trip 11:34

SECOND PERIOD: LOW--Pepera (Reed-Westerlund) 6:19 pp; Penalties: Bem-Hazelton, trip 5:54; LOW-Pepera trip 6:24; Bem-Maggert, hold 16:21

THIRD PERIOD: Bem-Nemgar (Bergquist) 11:22; Bem-Hazelton (Curb) 16:13;.Penalties: LOW-Reed, high stick 6:03

Goal Stops

Bem-Dudgeon 6 6 8---20

LOW-Lyon 12 16 8---36