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EGF blanks Bemidji 4-0

EAST GRAND FORKS – Grant Loven recorded a natural hat trick in the second period and his three-goal outburst carried East Grand Forks to a 4-0 home victory Friday over the Bemidji boys hockey team.

East Grand Forks, which entered the game rated No. 4 in the Minnesota Class A poll, improved to 15-2-2 while BHS fell to 6-12-1.

Earlier this winter the Jacks dropped a 4-0 decision to the Green Wave and Friday they had just as much trouble trying to generate any offense.

BHS tested EGF goalie Josh Weber only13 times despite having seven power play chances. On two occasions the Jacks owned a 5-on-3 advantage but they could not turn those opportunities into goals.

“We have to find a way to create scoring opportunities,” said Bemidji coach Wade Chiodo. “It’s tough to score goals when you get only 13 shots.”

The Green Wave outshot Bemidji 13-2 in the opening period but the Lumberjacks were able to keep the home team off the scoreboard.

Early in the second period the tide turned, however, as Kolton Aubol tapped home a rebound of Tanner Brierley’s shot 36 seconds into the stanza to put EGF up for good.

Less than a minute later Loven notched the first of his three goals to give the Green Wave a 2-0 edge.

Loven would score again at 8:32 and at 10:30, the latter on the power play, and EGF owned a 4-0 lead heading into the third period.

“When you are outshot 13-2 in the first period you get wore down because you are stuck in your defensive end,” Chiodo said. “Anybody who plays hockey knows that it is tougher to play defense. And when you finally do break out and get a scoring chance you don’t have that jump in your legs.”

Neither team scored in the final 17 minutes. Bemidji generated four shots and East Grand Forks had nine.

Gabe Heifort stopped 30 shots in the BHS net while Weber posted his shutout with a 13-save performance.

“I thought the third period was our best of the night,” Chiodo said. “The kids played well in that period and continued to compete until the final buzzer.

“The outcome wasn’t what we had wanted but we played well in the third period and we want to carry that play into Saturday.”

The Lumberjacks return to action 7:30 p.m. today at Alexandria.

Bemidji 0 0 0 - 0

EGF 0 4 0 - 4

First period – No scoring

Second period – 1, EGF, Aubol (Brierley) 0:36. 2, EGF, G.Loven (B.Loven, Poolman) 1:15. 3, EGF, G.Loven (Tweeten) 8:32. 4, EGF, G.Loven (Brierley, Corbid) 10:30 PP

Third period – No scoring

Shots – Bemidji 2-7-4-13; EGF 13-12-9-34

Saves – Heifort (B) 30-34; Weber, EGF, 13-13

Penalties/minutes: Bemidji 3-6; EGF 7-14

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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