Payback time for girls hockey
Its payback time for the Bemidji High girls hockey team tonight as it hosts Moorhead at 7 in the Section 8-2A semifinal at Nymore Gardens.
The boys sextet will also be home tonight, taking on Detroit Lakes at 7:30 at BSU.
And the boys basketball team will play at Detroit Lakes to complete the day's schedule.
Of the three, the girls hockey game bears the most importance with the winner advancing to a Friday final against Roseau or North Wright County.
All four top seeds advanced as anticipated through Saturday's opening round.
No. 2 Bemidji had far more difficulty than anticipated before blanking Brainerd 1-0 at Nymore.
No. 3 Moorhead shaded the St. Cloud Icebreakers 3-2.
In the upper bracket, top seeded Roseau also had a closer game than expected before ending the season for River Lakes 5-3. Fourth rated Wright County stopped fifth ranked Sartell 4-3.
Wright County visits Roseau tonight.
The final is scheduled for Alexandria but could be shifted farther north if an all northern final is played.
Bemidji and Moorhead will be meeting for the third time. Bemidji won the opener at Moorhead 4-3 and tied here 2-2.
Its major problem will be the same it has faced the past three winters, stopping Ashley Steenerson.
She hit two late game goals here to overcome a Bemidji 2-0 lead.
She had one goal in the first game as Moorhead took a 3-2 second period lead, then fell, on Bemidji goals by Allie Heifort and Casey Miller in the third, Miller's coming on a power play with 1:15 to play.
Bemidji held a 31-22 shots lead that game and 23-17 in the return contest.
And it was 26-17 in last year's 4-0 semi final loss as Steenerson had a hat trick.
She broke the Moorhead all-time career scoring mark early this year.
But Bemidji also must generate some scoring. It has tallied only once in each of its last three starts going 1-1-1 in that span with a 2-1 loss at Roseau and a 1-1 tie at CEC.
Maria Thompson should be a strength in the net stopping all 17 shots she faced against Brainerd and 42 of 45 in her past three starts to keep Bemidji in contention in all three.
Bemidji is still getting solid scoring from its top two lines and its defensive corps.
Shelby Sauer shows 34 points and Ali Lapp 30 to pace the attack.. Emily Larson's 14 leads the blue line corps.
Bemidji takes an 18-5-2 record into play. The Spuds are 14-9-1.
Boys need win
The boys are badly in need of a win to get back on the victory track in their final week of the regular season .
Their once fine 11-6 record has dropped to 12-11 with losses in five of their last six starts scoring only six times in the five setbacks around a 14-0 walloping of River Lakes.
The Lakers are no slouch, coming to town with a 15-7-2 mark though not facing the level of competition Bemidji plays against.
They have faced only two common foes, Fergus Falls and Crookston.
DL fell to the Otters 5-4 in their first meeting and battled them to a 3-3 tie in their rematch.
They also lost to Crookston 4-3.
Bemidji was beaten by Fergus 3-1 and beat Crookston 4-0.
The Lakers ended second in the Mid State Conference at 4-2, one game behind Park Rapids.
Bemidji won last year's meeting at DL 6-2 with Jesse Nemgar getting two goals and three assists to lead the scoring.
Nemgar, who paced last year's attack with43 points, now has 37 with at least three games remaining. Rylee Curb has 27 and Steve Heller 21 with all four lines capable of producing goals as well as the defense,
Miah Graves, who returned to the net after an injury bout, should go tonight.
Thursday Bemidji hosts Thief River at Nymore in its final game. The Prowlers took the first meeting 3-2.
Bemidji will likely need a win to cement a top four seed for the section meet which opens Saturday with a play-in game between the 8-9 seeds.
The top seven begin quarterfinal action next Tuesday at the top four seeds with the semifinals Saturday and the title game at Thief River March 3.
The B Team will bring a 20-2-1 record into its game, trying to bounce back from a 2-1 loss at Warroad.
The boys basketball team should be a slight favorite at DL tonight,
It ended a three-game skid Saturday with an impressive 69-50 win over Alexandria behind a 27 point effort by Ryan Rude.
That sent him over the 300 point mark to 308, joining Carey Woods who has 325.
The Lakers have also had their problems in the late going, losing six of their final seven starts to drop to 9-12.
That began with a 66-52 setback at Bemidji in a game where Woods hit 18.
Among games with common foes, they have lost to Alex by 11 and Moorhead by 22 and beat Crookston and Thief River by identical 64-57 scores
Bemidji beat Crookston and TRF handily but lost twice to Moorhead.
Czar Woods, Dan Frost and Grant Richardson complete the starting lineup with Josh Kane, Mitch Brown, Harley Kroening and Cody Rutledge first off the bench.
The B Team also takes a 12-7 mark to its game. The Freshmen are 4-11 but 4-5 in their past nine games.