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Bemidji tops Brainerd 3-1

BRAINERD – The Bemidji girls hockey team closed its regular season Saturday with a 3-1 victory at Brainerd and now the Lumberjacks will prepare for the Section 8-2A tournament which begins Feb. 9.

The opponent is likely to be St. Cloud but the location of Saturday’s playoff opener is yet to be determined.

On Nov. 23 Bemidji dropped a 3-1 decision to St. Cloud in St. Cloud. That decision could come back to haunt the Lumberjacks as the teams should finish fourth and fifth in the section seedings which are determined by a vote of the coaches.

Entering the weekend St. Cloud (13-10-1) held the No. 4 spot and its reward, a home game against No. 5. The Jacks improved to 10-9-5 with Saturday’s win and own the No. 5 position. On Tuesday St. Cloud will travel to Willmar (13-9-1) in its regular season finale.

“My gut feeling is that St. Cloud and Bemidji will finish fourth and fifth and we hope that we can jump up to that fourth spot,” said BHS coach Bob Brink. “Saturday against Brainerd we were hoping to have had an overwhelming performance but we didn’t. Still, we won 3-1 and did what we needed to do.”

Erin Booth scored two goals Saturday, including an empty-net tally in the final six seconds. Karlee Tower notched the other BHS goal which gave the Jacks a 1-0 lead.

Booth collected her first goal in the second period and iced the victory in the final seconds.

Leighton Rockensock tended Bemidji’s net. Final shots on goal were not available.

Bemidji 1 1 1 - 3

Brainerd 0 0 1 - 1

First period – 1, Bem, Tower (unassisted) 2:30

Second period – 2, Bem, Booth (Hietala, Wolkerstorfer) 16:22

Third period – 3, Brainerd 13:30. 4, Bem, Booth (Wolkerstorfer) 16:54 EN