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Bemidji HS girls hockey: Jacks beat Brainerd/Little Falls with offensive balance

Bemidji's Chaniel Johnson (center) handles the puck as Brainerd/Little Falls' Sarah Gorvin (left) and Sierra Hanowski (right) close in during Saturdays' game at Nymore Arena. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

The Bemidji High girls hockey team spread around the scoring Saturday in a 6-2 win over Brainerd/Little Falls at Nymore.

It was the second time the Jacks posted at least six goals this year, blanking River Lakes 7-0 on December 19, and connecting offensively was a point of emphasis.

"That's probably the thing I am most proud of," said coach Matt Menne, pointing at the scoreboard.

BHS, currently ranked 13th in the state, has played well defensively, outshooting their opponents nearly 2-1 on the year, but they have struggled on getting those shots to count.

Bemidji defenseman Annie Swartz was stopped by Brainerd goalie Kierra Howard with five minutes left in the first. Skating from the circle, the rebound stayed in front and Swartz picked it back up to beat Howard on the second effort. It was her second goal of the year.

"At that point our last three goals were scored by defensemen," said Menne. "That's what I talked about with the forwards at the break. It had been more of the same, throwing shots towards the net but just missing on our chances."

The forwards responded, scoring five times over the last two periods.

Spreading around the offense has been a mantra for the Lumberjacks as no player has reached double-digit goals as of yet.

"The kids really did tremendous today," said Menne. "Those last two periods our forwards drove the net hard. They worked their defense and that put a lot of pressure on Brainerd."

Bemidji needed to get their offense back on track as itmatches up with top-ranked Warroad next Thursday.

The Warriors, 15-1-1, have 10 shutouts on the season and have outscored their last five opponents 55-0. They beat Bemidji 7-1 last month.

Bemidji 1 2 3 - 6

Brainerd 0 0 2 - 2

FIRST PERIOD: Bem-Swartz 12:03; Penalties: Brd-Motschenbacher, checking 2:49

SECOND PERIOD: Bem-Nelson 6:38 (Sauer, Lapp); Bem-Wolkerstorfer 11:47; Penalties: Bem-Larson, roughing :33; Bem-J. Hunt, tripping 9:30; Bem-Blotske, tripping 12:59

THIRD PERIOD: Bem-Miller 5:44 (A. Hunt); Brd-Stark 6:29; Brd-Desrocher 7:44; Bem-Lapp 9:44; Bem-Gregg 15:59; Penalties: Bem-Blotske, roughing 12:26; Bem-Heifort, roughing 17:00

Saves Bem- M. Thompson 4 11 0 - 15; Hruby 0 0 4 - 4. Brd- Howard 7 12 9 - 28