Jacks, Warriors fit to be tied: Bemidji, Warroad girls skate to 1-1 tie
BEMIDJI — In recent years Warroad has been among the teams that has set the standard for Minnesota girls hockey. The Warriors have developed a program that regularly competes for the state Class A title and when an opponent can get a piece of Warroad it is a successful outing.
This winter the Warriors appear to have dropped a notch or two in their potential as they entered Tuesday’s game in Bemidji with a 2-4 record. The Lumberjacks, however, seem to be moving in the opposite direction as they posted a 2-3 mark against some very difficult competition.
On Tuesday the Jacks continued their ascent as they skated to a 1-1 overtime draw with the Warriors at Bemidji Community Arena.
“I’m pretty proud of the girls,” said BHS coach Jackie Robertson. “They hustled hard all night against a very good team. And that’s a win in my book.”
Both teams dominated play at certain junctures but, overall, the action was as even as the final score. Bemidji held a 10-5 edge in shots during the first period but Warroad goalie Dani Knott was able to keep the home team off the scoreboard, despite seven consecutive minutes of power play for the Lumberjacks.
At the 10:39 mark of the stanza Warroad’s Francesca Huerd checked Bemidji’s Madison Schultz from behind and was assessed a 5-minute major and a 10-minute misconduct. BHS managed only three shots on net during that extended power play.
A few seconds after the Warriors killed the penalty, they were assessed another two minute minor. Once again, however, the visitors were able to neutralize Bemidji’s attack and the scored remained 0-0 at the end of the stanza.
“Not being able to score with seven minutes of power play didn’t help us but that’s just one of those things,” Robertson said. “We continue to work on our power play and we’re taking that part of the game one step at a time. And we’re getting better.”
Bemidji eventually broke the scoreless drought at the 10:44 mark when Madison Schultz gained control behind the Warroad net, centered it to Megan Dondelinger who was camped outside the crease and Dondelinger directed the puck past Knott.
The Jacks maintained the 1-0 lead through the rest of the second period and into the third but with 7:58 to play Warroad went on the power play after a cross checking call on the Lumberjacks.
A minute into the man advantage the Warriors knotted the score as Lynn Astrup went into her zone to collect the puck and weaved through the Bemidji defenders the length of the ice. Her initial shot from between the circles was stopped by BHS goalie Leighton Rockensock but the rebound came right back to Astrup and she didn’t miss on her second try.
Neither team scored the remainder of regulation or in the overtime.
“It was a back-and-forth game the entire way and both teams were fighting for momentum,” Robertson said. “But I thought we played hard and we played well.”
The Jacks return to action this weekend when they play at the St. Cloud Cathedral Invitational.
Bemidji 1, Warroad 1, OT
Warroad 0 0 1 0 - 1
Bemidji 0 1 0 0 - 1
First period - No scoring
Second period - 1, Bemidji, Dondelinger (Schultz. Lalli) 10:44
Third period - 2, Warroad, Astrup (unnassisted) 10:17
Overtime - No scoring
Shots - Warroad 5-6-14-5-27. Bemidji - 10-6-4-2-22
Saves - Knott (Warroad) 21-22. Rockensock (Bemidji) 26-27
Penalties - Warroad 5-18 minutes. Bemidji 3-6 minutes