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THIEF RIVER FALLS -- He had the clean steal and a wide open lane to the hoop. There was absolutely no way that Rob McClain Jr. wasn’t going to dunk the basketball.
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State men’s hockey team won the MacNaughton Cup in 2016-17 thanks in part to possessing the top defense in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (and one of the best in the country to boot). So it’s fitting that, for the first time since 2010, the WCHA’s Player of the Year award will go to a goaltender on the league champs. And that the WCHA’s Coach of the Year award goes to their leader.
RED LAKE—Despite finishing 24-2, the Red Lake girls basketball team will be unseeded when it begins the Class A girls state basketball tournament this week. The Warriors, who won their first-ever Section 8A title on Friday, will make their state tournament debut at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 16, when they will take on No. 3 seeded Cromwell-Wright at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. The Warriors finished the season with just two losses—including once against Mountain Iron-Buhl, who is the tournament's top seed.
A pair of former Bemidji State men's hockey players were part of history Sunday night. Or was it technically Monday morning? Graeme McCormack and Markus Gerbrandt, who graduated from BSU in 2016, currently play for the Sparta Warriors, a team in Sarpsborg, Norway. And on Sunday night the two were there as the Warriors and the Storhamar Dragons played eight overtimes. Storhamar won 2-1 in Game 5 of their Norwegian league playoff game—one that is now thought to be the longest game in hockey history.
BEMIDJI -- It came down to the final seconds, including a dramatic chance at an extra-attacker goal with an empty net. But in the end, the Bemidji State men’s hockey team couldn’t keep its season alive. Bowling Green used an early third-period goal by Matt Pohlkamp to go ahead 2-1 and held on to beat the Beavers 2-1 on Saturday in Game 2 of their best-of-three Western Collegiate Hockey Association semifinal series.
BEMIDJI -- Kevin Dufour’s hat trick lifted Bowling Green past Bemidji State in Game 1 of their best-of-three Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoff series Friday night at the Sanford Center. Dufour scored his third goal of the game with 2 minutes, 37 seconds to go in the first overtime period, lifting the Falcons past the Beavers 4-3. Game 2 of the best-of-three series will be at 7:07 p.m. tonight. Game 3, if necessary, is set for Saturday at 5:07 p.m.
BEMIDJI -- Early in their game against Mahnomen on Thursday night, the Red Lake boys basketball team looked lost. Plagued by a bevy of mistakes -- missed threes, bad turnovers, poor rebounding -- the Warriors went almost six minutes without a field goal before finally getting one.
BEMIDJI -- Sometimes, it seems like Dan Billett and Tommy Muck have an almost telepathic ability to know what the other is doing when they’re on the ice. The Bemidji State blueliners have only been playing together as defensive partners for about two months. But they seem to have formed an instant connection.
BEMIDJI -- In the late 8A East quarterfinal game at BSU, Fosston used big games from Jesse Sather and Karsten Broadley to get out to a big lead and eventually advance with a 71-51 win over Northome/Kelliher. Sather, a senior, drained five three-pointers in the game to score a game-high 22 points. In the process, he scored his 1,000th career point on his last bucket -- a fadeaway three in the second half.
BEMIDJI -- Four players from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association champion Bemidji State men’s hockey team made All-WCHA teams this season. The Beavers, who won the MacNaughton Cup and finished with a 20-13-3 regular-season record (20-6-2 in the WCHA), are well-represented on the all-conference teams. Goaltender Michael Bitzer, forwards Phil Marinaccio and Gerry Fitzgerald and defenseman Zach Whitecloud were all named All-WCHA Thursday.