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Girls hockey: Bemidji dominates Crookston 5-0

Bemidji’s Savanna Hanson takes a shot on goal against a Crookston opponent during the second period Tuesday night at the Bemidji Community Arena. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI — Playing at a quick pace, moving the skates and passing to the open teammate are aspects of the game that the Bemidji girls hockey players work on every day at practice.

Tuesday night at the Bemidji Community Arena those drills paid dividends as the Lumberjacks dominated Crookston 5-0.

“This is the type of performance we hoped to see,” said BHS coach Jackie Robertson whose team improved to 3-5-2. “The effort has been there all year but the difference is that we’ve been playing teams like Warroad and Roseau. I expected the girls to play this way again tonight.”

The Lumberjacks were a step ahead of the Pirates all night long. In the opening period they outshot Crookston 13-5 but neither team was able to find the net.

“Every day we work on breakouts and passing,” Robertson said. “We repeat those drills all the time and it was nice to see them work in a game situation.”

On the few occasions that the Pirates threatened, Bemidji goalie Emily Frazer stood tall. The Jacks offense generated many more scoring opportunities but Crookston netminder Lexie Cormican also was up to the task in the opening 17 minutes.

The tide turned in the middle session, however, and starting the onslaught was Kelsey Isaacson whose shot from the blue line deflected off traffic and past Cormican 1:42 into the period.

Less than four minutes later the Jacks found the net again when Savanna Hanson gained control behind the Pirates net and centered to Madison Schultz who was stationed in the slot. Schultz’ shot was stopped by Cormican but Jacie Lalli was camped at the right post and was in the right spot at the right time to stuff home the rebound.

With 10:13 to play in the stanza Bemidji notched the back-breaker when Isaacson kept the zone at the left point and took a low shot. Cormican made the initial save but she couldn’t control the carom and Megan Dondelinger zipped it between Cormican’s pads.

The Lumberjacks outshot Crookston 18-6 in the period and continued that trend in the final stanza, sending 10 more shots on the Pirates net.

Midway through the session BHS was playing shorthanded when the defense blocked a shot and the rebound deflected to center ice. Dondelinger was the first player to the puck and she beat Cormican on the shorthanded breakaway.

A few minutes later Isaacson capped the scoring with a goal from the slot area.

Cormican finished with 36 saves while Frazer needed 18 stops to record the shutout.

On Saturday Bemidji will head to Warroad for the second game of the home-and-home series. A few weeks ago the teams tied 1-1 in Bemidji.

Bemidji 5, Crookston 0

Crookston 0 0 0 - 0

Bemidji 0 3 2 - 5

First period - No scoring

Second period - 1, Bem, Isaacson (unassisted) 1:42. 2, Bem, Lalli (Hanson, Schultz) 5:36. 3, Bem, Dondelinger (Isaacson) 10:13.

Third period - 4, Bem, Dondelinger (unassisted) 8:01 SH. 5, Bem, Isaacson (Hietala) 8:59

Saves - Cormican (Crookston) 13-15-8-36; Frazer (Bemidji) 5-6-7-18

Penalties/minutes - Crookston1/2; Bemidji 1/2

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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