Weather Forecast


Bemidji HS boys hockey beats Thief River Falls in home opener to stay unbeaten

Bemidji's Max Hazelton beat Thief River?Falls goalie Tanner Holmes for the fourth Lumberjack goal during?Thursday night's game at The?Sanford?Center. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Thursday's home debut for the Bemidji boys hockey team was a memorable one as the Lumberjacks upped their record to 6-0-1 with a 5-2 victory over Thief River Falls at The Sanford Center.

After opening the winter with six consecutive road games the Lumberjacks finally played a home game and they made sure from the opening faceoff that the Prowlers were not going to spoil the homecoming.

"The kids played very well, especially in the second and third periods," said BHS coach Wade Chiodo. "I thought at times we were a little flat in the first period but we took advantage of our rebounds and continued to crash the net.

"We also had a few good bounces."

Sometimes luck follows a good team and the Lumberjacks appear to be a good team. They also were the beneficiaries of four Thief River Falls shots that clanged off the posts.

With 14:15 to play in the opening period Micah Ranum and Tanner Nessen worked a perfect 2-on-1 against the BHS defense. At the end of the break Nessen zipped a snap shot which beat Jacks goalie Jeremiah Graves but bounced off the crossbar.

Less than a minute later Bemidji fared better on a scoring chance as Matt Serratore blasted a slapper from the right point and sent the rebound past Josh Koop.

"That was a great play all around and Matt was rewarded for following his shot," Chiodo said.

The 1-0 lead stood until the final three minutes when Tyler Follis banged home a rebound during a scrum in front of the TRF net.

The Lumberjacks continued the offensive in the middle period and their efforts were rewarded when Jake White, who was stationed along the goal line, deflected a shot off Koop and into the net 2:25 into the stanza.

At 10:24 Max Hazelton upped the lead to 4-0 when he connected with a high wrister on a breakaway.

The visitors scored a powerplay tally with three minutes to play in the second period but BHS regained its four-goal edge three minutes into the final session when Steve Heller scored on a rebound.

"In the second and third periods we were fluid, we were beating Thief River to the loose pucks and we were getting to the rebounds," Chiodo said. "I thought we played very well but in less than 48 hours we have to do it again."

Bemidji will head to Nymore Arena 3 p.m. Saturday to host Fergus Falls.

Thief River Falls 0 1 1 - 2

Bemidji 2 2 1 - 5

First period: 1. B, Serratore 6 (Tatro, Forseth) 3:20 PP. 2. B, Follis 6 (Eichstad, S.Heller) 15:32

Second period: 3. B, White 3 (Hernesman, Bruestle) 2:25. 4. B, Hazelton 5 (Devescovi, Forseth) 10:24. 5. TRF, Nessen (Kayser, Erickson) 13:46

Third period: 6. B, S.Heller 3 (Halbert ) 3:06. 7. TRF, Torgerson (Fontaine, Nessen) 12:39

Saves: Koop (TRF) 10-1-0-11; Holmes (TRF) 0-6-6-12; Graves (B) 10-6-5-21

Penalties: TRF 2 for 4 minutes; Bemidji 3 for 9 minutes

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200