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St. Cloud tops Bemidji for Paul Bunyan Pee Wee title

St. Cloud scored the tying goal with 3:05 remaining in regulation and tallied the game-winner 1:57 into overtime to defeat Bemidji 3-2 and capture the championship of the Paul Bunyan International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament Sunday at The Sanford Center.

Goals by Alex Pollock and Jack Johnson gave the host team a 2-1 lead after the first period and Bemidji maintained that advantage until St. Cloud scored the tying goal late in regulation.

Pollock's goal was unassisted while Brady Tatro and Nick Leitner assisted on Johnson's marker.

Grant Tharaldson had a splendid day in the Bemidji net as he stopped 35 shots.

Bemidji advanced to the championship game by ousting Armstrong Cooper 3-1 in Saturday's late championship bracket semifinal. Rocky Copiskey, Tatro and Josh Lusby scored Bemidji's goals, all in the first period, while Lusby, Johnson, Cody Gumeringer and Copiskey had assists.

Tharaldson made 26 saves.

St. Cloud gained the title game with a 4-3 overtime victory over Andover. Andover captured third place with an 8-4 win over Armstrong in the championship consolation contest.

Keewenaw (Michigan) won the Lumberjack Bracket 2-0 over Grand Forks. Crookston prevailed in the bracket's consolation championship game 7-3 over Devils Lake.

In the Blue Ox Bracket, Cloquet dumped Hastings 12-3 for the title and Rogers defeated Sioux Falls 3-1 in the consolation game.

Hermantown stopped Waconia 7-1 in the Headwaters title game and Fort Frances edged Virginia 4-3 in the consolation contest.

Paul Bunyan International Pee Wee Tournament Bracket Results

Headwaters Bracket

Semifinals: Hermantown 5, Ft. Frances 2; Waconia 10, Virginia 0. Championship: Hermantown 7, Waconia 1. Consolation: Ft. Frances 4, Virginia 3

Blue Ox Bracket

Semifinals: Cloquet 4, Rogers 3; Hastings 2, Sioux Falls 1. Championship: Cloquet 12, Hastings 3. Consolation: Rogers 3, Sioux Falls 1

Lumberjack Bracket

Semifinals: Keewenaw 5, Devils Lake 1; Grand Forks 6, Crookston 5. Championship: Keewenaw 2, Grand Forks 0. Consolation: Crookston 7, Devils Lake 3

PBIHT Championship Bracket

Semifinals: Bemidji 3, Armstrong Cooper 1; St. Cloud 4, Andover 3, OT. Championship: St. Cloud 3, Bemidji 2, OT. Consolation: Andover 8, Armstrong-Cooper 4

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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