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BOYS HOCKEY: Sauer hat trick powers Lumberjacks to 6-3 win over Apollo

ST. CLOUD – Matt Sauer scored a natural hat trick in the second period and Matt Serratore added two more goals as the Bemidji High School boys hockey team picked up its first win of the season Thursday, topping St. Cloud Apollo 6-3 at the Municipal Athletic Complex in St. Cloud.

The Lumberjacks (1-1) trailed 2-1 at the end of the first period but scored five unanswered goals in the second frame to run away with the win.

“The first period was a bit sluggish,” BHS head coach Wade Chiodo said. “But we were able to come out in the second and third periods and play the way we’re capable of playing.”

Serratore got the Lumberjacks on the board early in the first period, scoring a goal at 2:22 with assists from Sauer and Brett Isensee.

Apollo (1-1) didn’t waste much time countering, however. Jared Christen tied the score at 4:54; then Paul Kenney gave the Eagles their only lead with a power play tally at 11:01.

After the first intermission, though, it was all Bemidji.

Noah Burns scored at the 5:23 mark to tie it at 2 then, seconds later, Serratore tallied the game winning-goal.

Then Sauer went to work.

The sophomore scored the next three Lumberjacks goals in every possible way – one shorthanded, one on the power play and one at even strength – to give BHS a 6-2 lead at 16:36.

Although Apollo’s Christen broke Bemidji’s streak with a goal at the buzzer to end the second period, the damage was done.

The teams skated for a scoreless third period and BHS held on for the win.

In all, Apollo outshot Bemidji 33-30 – including 13-5 in the first period.

Bemidji’s top line of Sauer, Serratore and Isensee had a hand in all five of six Lumberjacks goals Thursday.

“Mike, Matt and Brett really set the tone tonight,” Chiodo said. “They played real sound on offense and defense.”

Bemidji goaltender Gabe Heifort made 30 saves to pick up the win while Apollo’s Nick Althaus made 24 in a losing effort.

The Lumberjacks return home Tuesday when they’ll host East Grand Forks at 7:30 p.m. at the Bemidji Community Arena.

Bemidji 1 5 0 – 6

St. Cloud Apollo 2 1 0 – 3

First Period – 1, BHS, Serratore (Sauer, Isensee), 2:55; 2, Apollo, Christen (Kenney), 4:54; 3, Apollo, Kenney (Christen, Keller), 11:01, PP.

Second Period – 4, BHS, Burns (Carlson), 5:23; 5, BHS, Serratore, 5:46; 6, BHS, Sauer (Forseth), 8:16, PK; 7, BHS, Sauer (Bruestle), 14:00, PP; 8, BHS, Sauer (Bruestle, Serratore), 16:36; 9, Apollo, Christen (Ewing), 16:59.

Third Period – No Scoring.

Shots on Goal – BHS (5-15-10=30); Apollo (13-12-8=33).

Goalies – BHS, Heifort (33-30); Apollo, Althaus (30-26).

Penalties-Minutes – BHS 3-6; Apollo 3-6.

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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