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Bemidji High School Thursday roundup: Jacks hockey teams play in defensive battles

Laura Thompson had 21 saves but the only shot that eluded her proved to be the difference as the Bemidji girls hockey team lost 1-0 Thursday night to Grand Rapids-Greenway at the Community Arena.

Morgan Illikainen connected on the power play with a screen shot from the point 55 seconds into the second period and the Lightning defense was able to keep the Lumberjacks off the board.

"The game was very tight, very fast and very physical," said BHS coach Matt Menne. "We had four or five quality chances including a breakaway and a 2-on-1 but their goalie (Sydney Helmbrecht) stole a couple of goals from us.

"And Laura took two or three from them as well."

Matt Serratore scored 6:42 into the second period to tie the game 1-1 and the defense and goaltending took over as the boys hockey team battled Moorhead to a 1-1 tie Thursday in Moorhead.

The Spuds opened the scoring when Eric Brenk connected 1:06 into the second stanza while both teams were skating a man short.

Serratore, however, answered five minutes later.

Jeremiah Graves had 28 saves while the Jacks fired 28 shots at the Spuds net.

"It was a game with two evenly-matched teams going up and down the ice," said BHS coach Wade Chiodo. "It was a fun game to be a part of. The kids enjoyed it. But now we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday."

Bemidji, 3-0-1, travels to St. Cloud Apollo 3 p.m. Saturday.

Thursday at Willmar the Lumberjacks showed the teams in 8AAA that they will be a force in the section playoffs as Bemidji defeated Sauk Rapids-Rice 39-30 and gave Willmar all it could handle before losing 36-31.

Sauk Rapids-Rice and Willmar are expected to be among the favorites in the 8AAA team tournament and Thursday the Jacks played both teams on even terms.

In the match against Willmar Kade Johnson (145), Kody Craft (160) and Alex Johnson (heavyweight) won by pins while Logan Crosby (119) posted a major decision victory and Craig Maas (140) won by decision. Brian Maas (112) also was awarded a forfeit win.

Bemidji trailed 9-0 after two matches against Sauk Rapids-Rice and was behind 15-6 after four matches.

The lone victory during that early stretch was Logan Crosby's pin at 119.

Jake Crosby drew BHS within 15-9 with a 2-1 decision over Mitch Mehwerth in double overtime and Craig Maas' decision and pins by Kade Johnson and Colton Doty gave the Lumberjacks a 24-21 lead.

Bemidji iced the victory by taking three of the final four matches. Tyler Molitor earned a pin at 171 and Brenden Fredricksen posted a 7-2 decision at 189.

With the Jacks leading 33-30 heavyweight Alex Johnson capped the team triumph with a first-period pin of Andrew Weirand.

The girls cagers dropped to 0-3 as the Lumberjacks lost 45-22 Thursday at Grand Rapids.

BHS trailed 12-0 at the start and 21-2 a few minutes later.

By intermission BHS was within 31-15 but the offense managed only seven points in the second session.

Jess Yost scored 10 points for Bemidji and Cheyenne Woods had seven. Greta Steever contributed four and Cori Treat had one.

"We had turnovers on our first five possessions," said BHS coach Rick Kehoe. "We played better in the second half but we have a lot of things we need to fix. We need to keep muddling through but we also need to have somebody step up or it's going to be a long season."

Bemidji's JV won 45-43 and the freshmen posted a 38-31 victory.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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