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Bemidji HS girls hockey: Roseau denies Jacks trip to state tournament

Bemidji's Shelby Sauer, center, fires off a shot while falling to the ice as Roseau goalie Katie Olson, left, makes the save during the third period of the Section 8AA Championship game in Thief River Falls. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

THIEF RIVER FALLS - The Roseau girls hockey team brought their hard hats and lunch boxes to Thursday night's Section 8AA Championship game against Bemidji.

The Rams brought their defense and special teams, too.

Roseau defeated Bemidji 4-2 for the section title at Ralph Engelstad Arena and earned a trip to the state tournament behind a pair of third period power-play goals from Ciscely Nelson and Adelle Murphy.

"It was really a battle all the way though to the end," injured Roseau senior Amanda Monkman said, who was sporting a yellow hard hat with Rams logo stickers. "Our playoff theme is hard hats and lunch boxes like we're construction workers going to work. I'm just proud of our team."

The loss was tough to take for the Lumberjacks, who lost to Roseau for the third time this season.

"I don't really know how to explain how this one went," Bemidji senior captain Annie Swartz said. "We knew coming in that it was going to be defense first and offense was going to be second. We just couldn't get our offense going tonight."

Bemidji never led in the defensive battle that saw neither team put more than 10 shots in goal in any period. Jacks goalie Maria Thompson finished with 10 saves and Roseau goalie Katie Olson finished with 12 saves.

Roseau scored first on Amy Olson's first of two goals at 5:13 of the period. But Bemidji answered right back when Allie Lapp slapped home her own rebound 50 seconds later to tie the game at 1-1.

Roseau ended first period scoring on Nelson's first goal of the game with 6:40 remaining to give the Rams a 2-2 lead.

Bemidji scored the only goal of the second period on Becca Gregg's backhand shot at the 6:47 mark. Bemidji had all the momentum at that point in the game according to Lumberjacks head coach Matt Menne.

"I thought when we got that goal we were going to come out on top," he said. "We had all the energy. But (Roseau) played tight defensively and blocked a lot of shots tonight."

The game unraveled for the Lumberjacks when Roseau went on the power play early in the third period. Nelson's one-timer at 3:24 to put the Rams back up 3-2.

The Lumberjacks were given a golden opportunity to tie the game when Roseau took back-to-back penalties shortly after that goal. But a goal never came despite 46 seconds of a two-man advantage never came because of the Rams' stingy penalty kill.

Murphy scored the insurance goal for Roseau on the power play with 5:49 remaining. Bemidji pulled Thompson for the final two minutes but were unable to generate any solid scoring opportunities.

"I thought we had a good chance to win until the final few minutes and I would have bet my house that we would have come out on top," Menne said. "But by the last five minutes you could just see that both teams were dead tired. The (Bemidji) girls were confident every day - you could see it on their faces - and they believed they were going to be champions."

The Jacks finished the season with a 19-6-1 record and advanced to the section title game for the eighth time in school history with wins over Brainerd-Little Falls and Moorhead.

"We went further than anyone thought we were going to go this year because we had a young team," Swartz said. "We showed we can compete with the best out there and everyone stepped up for us this season."

Seniors Swartz, Thompson, Emily Larson, Jessica Hunt, Shelby Sauer and Olivia Hruby played in their final game for the Lumberjacks.

"Of course it's sad for us seniors because we have to leave the team and it's time to move on," Swartz said.

"But I know the team will keep moving forward."

Bemidji 1 1 0 - 2

Roseau 2 0 2 - 4

First period - 1. R, Olson (Ness, Nelson), 5:13. 2. B, Allie Lapp (Emily Larson, Chaniel Nelson), 6:03. 3. R, Nelson (Ness, Olson), 10:40.

Second period - 4. B, Becca Gregg (Casey Miller), 6:47. Penalties - B, Larson (tripping), 3:40. R, Olson (checking) 3:45.

Third period - 5. R, Nelson (Ness, Byfuglien), 3:24, (pp). 6. R, Murphy (Hedlund), 11:11, (pp). Penalties - B, Nelson (interference), 2:01. R, Foley (hooking), 5:29. R, 2 (hooking), 6:13. R, McFarlane (tripping), 16:27. R, Murphy (roughing), 16:55. B, Larson (checking, roughing), 16:55.

Shots - B, 5-4-5--14. R, 6-2-6--14.

Goalies - B, Maria Thompson (14-10). R, Katie Olson (14-12).

Power Plays - B, 0-for-4. R, 2-for-3.