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BOYS HOCKEY: BHS scores seven in shutout of Crookston

Bemidji High School junior Tanner Hammitt (6) watches the puck fly past Crookston goalie Thomas Cymbaluk (31) to score the Lumberjacks' second goal of the game Tuesday at the Bemidji Community Arena. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 3
BHS’s Noah Nei (17) controls the puck in front of the Crookston net Tuesday during a game at the Bemidji Community Arena. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 3
Bemidji’s Alex Pollock (11) and Crookston's Ethan Stroot (25) battle for the puck Tuesday during a game at the Bemidji Community Arena. (Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer)3 / 3

BEMIDJI -- After a slow start, the Bemidji High School boys hockey team scored five second-period goals on its way to a 7-0 win over Crookston on Tuesday night at the Bemidji Community Arena.

The first period ended scoreless, though each team did have its share of power-play opportunities.

Oddly enough, the best scoring chance of the opening frame came when Bemidji was on the penalty kill. Brady Tatro had a clean shot at goal on a sudden breakaway attempt but goalie Thomas Cymbaluk denied him the shorthanded goal.

The floodgates opened for the Jacks in the second period.

Less than two minutes into the period, Ethan Pickett one-timed a puck past Cymbaluk inside the opposite post for the goal.

“Hunter (Olson) wrapped the puck around the boards, bounced off, one (timed) and went far side right above his pad,” Pickett said of his goal.

Tanner Hammitt added some insurance and made it 2-0 Jacks minutes later. The junior went top shelf, sending a knuckling puck into the upper left corner with 11:38 to play in the frame.

The Jacks continued to challenge the goalie up high as Alex Pollock delivered a shot top shelf to add to the Bemidji lead.

Chase Hartje’s power play tally extended the lead to 4-0 with under five minutes to go in the second.

Hunter Olson charged into the Pirates zone on a breakaway but was hauled down by a defender, drawing multiple penalties as the Jacks were awarded a 5-on-3 advantage with 1:19 left in the frame.

A Bemidji penalty lessened the advantage to 4-on-3 but Olson got the scoring chance he was denied earlier and sent the home side to the locker room with a 5-0 lead.

BHS head coach Wade Chiodo said he saw a definite change in his team between the first and second frames.

“I thought the first period was not a very good period to be honest,” Chiodo said. “Second period, obviously, we played a bit more sound hockey and got pucks up the ice. Not in the fact that we scored all these goals but the fact that we had a purpose with what we were doing.”

Pollock tallied his second goal of the game with under four minutes left in regulation. Tatro added a power-play goal with 2:16 left to finalize the score at 7-0.

Leading the Jacks with his five-point performance (two goals, three assists) was Pollock. The senior forward missed the first four games of the season due to a broken collarbone but has returned to form in the 10 games since, as he leads the team with 19 points (6g-13a).

“It’s definitely tough coming back because you’re always thinking about re-breaking it or whatever,” Pollock said, “but you’ve just gotta kind of let that go through your mind and play hard.”

Tuesday was the Lumberjacks’ first home game in three weeks after the holidays. They will be back at the BCA on Saturday, Jan. 14, for a 3 p.m. meeting with St. Cloud Apollo/Tech.

“It is nice to come home and get the win,” Pickett said. “Now we’ve got a stretch of home games so hopefully this starts off a good roll for us.”

Bemidji 7, Crookston 0

CRK  0  0  0  --  0

BHS  0  5  2  --  7

First period -- No scoring.

Second period -- 1, BHS, Pickett (Olson, Nei), 1:46; 2, BHS, Hammitt (Mannausau, Baker), 5:22; 3, BHS, Pollock (B. Tatro), 10:42; 4, BHS, Hartje (Lalli, Pollock), 12:12, PP; 5, BHS, H. Olson (Hartje, Pollock), 16:36, PP.

Third period -- 6, BHS, Pollock (unassisted), 13:29; 7, BHS, B. Tatro (Pollock, Spry), 14:44, PP.

Saves -- Fitzgerald (BHS) 15; Cymbaluk (CRK) 28.

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

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