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Bemidji HS girls hockey: Goalies take center stage in 1-1 tie against Cloquet-Esko-Carlton

The Bemidji girls hockey team took target practice on Cloquet-Esko-Carlton goalie Sarah Gustafson Friday night, firing 44 shots at the net.

But only one eluded the visiting Lumberjacks net minder as CEC scored midway through the final period to salvage a 1-1 overtime tie.

The two defensive minded teams waged war all evening.But Bemidji controlled play throughout, outshooting the visitors 44-17.

Gustafson was the whole show, standing firm on all but Allie Lapp's breakaway in the second stanza which sent Bemidji to a 1-0 lead.

Courtney Esse got the equalizer at 8:42 of the final stanza, coming out of a scramble in front of the net to poke the puck into the right corner.

Other than the discrepancy in shots, the game was as even as the final score.

Each team drew five penalties, Each skated off all five.But Bemidji kept the puck in the offensive zone much of the night, firing shot after shot at Gustafson.

She was up to the test, however, seldom, if ever, allowing a rebound and protected by a good defense.

Bemidji's defense was even better, allowing few quality shots all night as the defenders kept Cloquet away from the slot and away from the crease.

It marked the fifth time Bemidji has been held to a single goal going 1-3-1 in those five games. It has also been blanked twice.

The result left Bemidji at 17-5-2. It closes regular season play Tuesday at Brainerd. ,making up a previous postponement.

The 8-2A tournament opens Thursday. With the addition of Roseau this year, two teams will draw byes that night, likely Roseau and Bemidji. The quarterfinals are set for Saturday with the semifinals Feb. 16 and the title game at Alexandria Feb.19.

Elk River is defending champion, beating Bemidji in the final last year.

Bemidji held a 12-5 bulge in shots in the opening period which ended scoreless.

It was 13-4 in the second period.

But Lapp scored her 13th goal of the year, coming out of the penalty box moments earlier to take a lead pass from Karleigh Wolkerstorfer at the red line to surge down the left boards and cut into the crease to beat Gustafson from point blank range.

It was to be the Jacks only goal.

Bemidji held a 12-6 shots advantage in the final period but yielded the tying goal at 8:42 in a mêlée in front of the net

It was a 7-2 Bemidji shots advantage in overtime but again nothing to show for it.

CEC ended its year at 12-8-5.

CEC 0 0 1 0---1

Bemidji 0 1 0 0---1

FIRST PERIOD: None;. Penalties; CEC Halverson, trip 8;14 5;.Bem-Blotske, interference 14:56

SECOND PERIOD; Bem-Lapp (Wolkerstorfer) 15:49; Penalties: Bem-Wannebo, trip 3:42; CEC-Nelson, cross check 7:14; Bem-Lapp, hook 13:29; Bem-A Hunt, interference 16:30; CEC-Halverson, trip 16:54

THIRD PERIOD:CEC-Esse 8:42; Penalties: Bem-A. Hunt, trip 10:44;CEC-Nelson, trip 14:07

OVERTIME: None; Penalties; CEC-Clark, interference 1:54

Power plays: Bemidji 0-5, CEC 0-5

Goal Stops

CEC-Gustafson 12 12 12 7---43

Bem-M. Thompson 5 4 5 2---16

Officials; David White and Ron Laturi