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Lumberjacks boys hockey team honored at Awards Night

The Bemidji Lumberjacks boys' hockey team was honored Friday night at its annual Awards Night ceremony at the Curling Club. Special guests were the members of this year's Jacks sextet which won 12 games and advanced to the semifinals of the secti...

The Bemidji Lumberjacks boys' hockey team was honored Friday night at its annual Awards Night ceremony at the Curling Club.

Special guests were the members of this year's Jacks sextet which won 12 games and advanced to the semifinals of the section meet.

Also honored was the JV team that ended 18-6-1,

Randy Gregg served as emcee.

Members of the two squads plus the cheerleaders were introduced by Captain Matt Boyer.

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Keith Huerd, head B Team Coach, was unable to attend but sent a letter to his squad that thanked it for its hard work and dedication and congratulated it for its fine season. He also urged the returning players to begin training now, using the weight room as often as possible to gain added strength.

Fellow Coach Wade Chiodo echoed those statements praising the team as one that worked hard and came to compete each game.

Cheerleader Coach Julie Boe introduced her six members whom she categorized as a "great group to work with". She pointed to its academic achievement of attaining a 3.72 grade point average this winter.

Head Coach Roger Mischke called this year's squad "the best team I've worked with in my four years in the program, one that was very coachable with a strong work ethic."

It set its pre-season goals at posting a .500 record, earning a home ice advantage for the first playoff game and reaching the section final.

The second of these three was reached, he said. The first came within one game of being reached while the third was missed by one game.

The 12 wins came within one of equaling the total of the past two seasons combined and were the most since the last winning year in 2001 when the Jacks went 21-6.

It was the first home playoff game for Bemidji since 2001, the last Jacks winning season.

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He also stressed off season work by the returning team members stating that next year's season starts now, not in November.

If we come back ready to play, he stated, the Jacks will have a winning season next winter.

Captains Noah Nemgar, Boyer, Cody Gregg and Chris Curb were praised for their leadership efforts throughout the season.

Several special awards were made.

The Most Improved Player Award went to Riley Colley.

Boyer was named winner of both the Lumberjack Award and the Hobey Baker trophy.

Nemgar was voted Most Valuable Player by his teammates.

Mischke said next season will present new challenges with Bemidji dropping from Class 2A to Class 1A, a move supported by the team. Top opponents at the tournament level will be Warroad, Thief River Falls, Park Rapids and East Grand Forks.

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The schedule, however, will remain much the same. Only Moorhead and Roseau of the Mariucci Conference will be 2A teams, Roseau by choice.

Elected Captains for 2008 were Gregg and Casey Reierson.

Special thanks were also extended to managers Sam Olson and Andrew Stay for their help and support this winter.

The three captains present conducted the team roast presenting a series of gag gifts to their teammates and serious gifts to the coaches and cheerleaders.

They also wished their younger teammates success in future years.

Earning their hockey letters were:

SENIORS: Noah Nemgar, Chris Curb, Matt Boyer, Ryan John son, Brandon Daniels, Riley Colley, Ryan Jensen, Justin Hunt, Kyle Nohre, Greg Larson, Peter Goldberg and Aaron Carter.

JUNIORS: Alec Schulz, Dylan Wizner, Casey Reierson, Steve Young, Ryan Sullivan, Cody Gregg and Josh Ehrhorn

SOPHOMORES: Derek Dudgeon and Chris Blotske

FRESHMEN: Jesse Nemgar and Joe Welle.

Nemgar was the scoring leader with 36 points while Johnson added 25, Curb 22 and Wizner 20. Only three others reached double figures.

The three goalies ended with an 88.5 percent stops ratio led by Dudgeon's 89.6.

The banquet was followed by an eight-team Hockey Bonspiel with teams playing two end games.

Next stop on the banquet circuit will be the girls basketball fete Monday at 6 p.m. at the Commons. Yet to be announced is the boys basketball banquet which will wind up the winter season.

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