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Bemidji HS boys hockey: Heller comes through for Jacks in shutout win over International Falls

Bemidji's Kevin Larson (right) prevents a breakaway by swatting the puck away from International Falls' Jon McDonald (left) during Tuesday's game at John Glas Fieldhouse. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

The Bemidji High boys hockey team beat No. 14 ranked International Falls Tuesday night 2-0 at the John Glas Fieldhouse.

For Bemidji, it was the third game against a ranked opponent in the last four games and the win snapped a three-game losing streak.

"You can't get caught up on what you did in the past," said coach Wade Chiodo before the game. "We've got a good hockey team here, so we're going to stay positive and work hard. We'll be fine."

The sixth game in 12 days, Bemidji came out aggressive. The Jacks outshot the Broncos 13-9 in the opening period even though the Jacks spent more time in the penalty box.

Back-to-back penalties by sophomore Jordan Heller kept Bemidji shorthanded, but he made up for it assisting on both Lumberjack goals.

"Tonight he came up big," said Chiodo. "I gave him the opportunity to be in the top three lines tonight and he went out there and did a good job. He's a 'greyhound' I call it. He's quick; he's fast and makes a lot of good things happen out there."

In the second period Heller took a pass from Max Hazelton and skated up the right side of the ice, as he made his way towards the circle he patiently waited for Rylee Curb to catch up on the far side and fed him a perfect pass. Bronco goalie Glenn Walls made the initial save, but Curb beat him on the rebound.

Heller showed even more patience in the third. On a break-away, he entered the zone and stopped at the face-off dot and reversed direction. The sophomore then tried a back-handed centering pass that was deflected by a Bronco defenseman. The puck kicked towards the high slot right onto the stick of John Forseth, who then beat Walls in the five-hole.

Bemidji outshot the Broncos 32-29 with Miah Graves earning the shutout.

The Lumberjacks improve to 4-4 on the season and finally have a chance to catch their breath. The Duluth Invitational starts next Monday.

The JV won 8-1. Kaleb Hanson had a hat trick, while Matt Serratore and James Bofferding had two goals each and Tyler Follis one.

Bemidji 0 1 1 - 2

International Falls 0 0 0 - 0

FIRST PERIOD- None; Penalties: I.F.-Little, interference 2:07; Bem-Heller, hooking 6:58; Bem-Heller, tripping 10:28

SECOND PERIOD: Bem-Curb (Heller, Hazelton) 11:37; Penalties: None

THIRD PERIOD- Bem-Forseth (Heller, Dahedl) 6:30; Penalties: Bem-Phillips 7:23 tripping; Bem-Dehedl, high stick 9:27; Bem-Tatro, holding 16:41

SAVES - Bem- Graves 9 9 11 - 29. I.F.- Walls 13 10 8 - 31

Power plays- Bem 0-for-1; I.F. 0-for-5