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Bemidji Pee Wees advance to championship game with 3-1 semifinal win

The Bemidji Pee Wee hockey team claimed first place in the North Division pool and defeated Armstrong-Cooper 3-1 in Saturday's championship bracket semifinal to reach the title game of the Paul Bunyan International Hockey Tournament championship.

Bemidji will meet St. Cloud at 2:30 p.m. today at The Sanford Center. St. Cloud advanced with a 4-3 victory over Andover.

Armstrong-Cooper and Andover will battle for the championship consolation crown 2:30 p.m. today at the Community Arena.

Today's action begins at 9 a.m. with the Headwaters championship (the fourth-place pool finishers) at The Sanford Center and the Headwaters consolation at the BCA. The third-place pool finishers will meet at 10:45 a.m. for the Blue Ox championship at the events center and the consolation title at the BCA.

The Lumberjack championship and consolation games, matching the runner-up finishers in pool play, will be held at both venues at 12:30 p.m.

The tournament will conclude at 2:30 p.m. with the overall championship and consolation championship contests.

Bemidji's run to the championship bracket began Friday when it downed Fort Frances 8-0. In its second game of the day Bemidji tied Devils Lake 3-3. Alex Pollock, Josh Lusby and Rocky Copiskey scored for Bemidji and Lusby, Pollock and Cody Gumeringer had assists.

Saturday morning Bemidji battled Cloquet and a five-goal outburst in the final period vaulted the host team to a 7-2 victory.

Bemidji led 2-1 after the opening stanza on goals by Pollock and Lusby. Copiskey assisted on both goals and Pollock assisted on Lusby's tally.

Cloquet took a 3-2 lead after the middle session but Bemidji dominated the final 15 minutes.

Lusby scored four consecutive goals in the stanza and finished the game with five goals. Gumeringer capped the scoring with his tally at the 13-minute mark.

Jack Johnson and Copiskey assisted on two goals in the final period while Pollock and Nick Leitner had the other assists.

Kyle Krause worked the net and stopped 13 shots. Bemidji tested Cloquet netminder Dylan Langenbrunner 22 times.

Bemidji finished pool play 2-0-1 along with Devils Lake. Bemidji was awarded first place because it had a plus 12 goal differential while Devils Lake's total was plus 5.

Friday's Late Results

Cloquet 11, Fort Frances 1; Hermantown 2, Keewenaw 1; Hastings 5, Waconia 2; Armstrong Cooper 5, Rogers 5; Andover 5, Grand Forks 3; St. Cloud 12, Crookston 2; Sioux Falls 2, Virginia 3

Pool Seedings

North Division

1-Bemidji (2-0-1), 2-Devils Lake (2-0-1), 3-Cloquet (1-2), 4-Fort Frances (0-3). NOTE: Bemidji wins pool via total goal differential tiebreaker.

South Division

1-Armstrong Cooper (2-0-1), 2-Keewenaw (2-1), 3-Rogers (1-1-1), 4-Hermantown (0-3)

East Division

1-Andover (3-0), 2-Grand Forks (2-1), 3-Sioux Falls (0-2-1), 4-Virginia (0-2-1)

West Division

1-St. Cloud (3-0), 2-Crookston (2-1), 3-Hastings (1-2), 4-Waconia (0-3)

Saturday's Results

8:30 a.m.: Bemidji 7, Cloquet 3; Rogers 4, Hermantown 2; Grand Forks 6, Sioux Falls 0

10:15 a.m.: Devils Lake 7, Fort Frances 4; Armstrong Cooper 5, Keewenaw 2; Andover 4, Virginia 1

Noon: Crookston 5, Hastings 3; St. Cloud 9, Waconia 3

Late Bracket Games

Headwaters Division

Hermantown (South Division No. 4) 5, Fort Frances (North Division No. 4). Waconia (West Division No. 4) 10, Virginia (East Division No. 4) 0

Blue Ox Division

Cloquet (North Division No. 3) 4, Rogers (South Division No. 3) 3. Hastings (West Division No. 3) 2, Sioux Falls (East Division No. 3) 1

Lumberjack Division

Keewenaw (South Division No. 2) 5, Devils Lake (North Division No. 2) 1; Grand Forks (East Division No. 2) 6, Crookston (West Division No. 2) 5

PBIHT Championship Division

Bemidji (North Division No. 1) 3, Armstrong Cooper (South Division No. 1) 1; St. Cloud (West Division No. 1) 4, Andover (East Division No. 1) 3.

Today's Schedule

9 a.m.: Headwaters championship (TSC); Headwaters consolation championship (BCA)

10:45 a.m.: Blue Ox championship (TSC); Blue Ox consolation championship (BCA)

12:30 p.m.: Lumberjack championship (TSC); Lumberjack consolation championship (BCA)

2:30 p.m.: PBIHT Championship title game (TSC); PBIHT Championship consolation title game (BCA)

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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