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BOYS HOCKEY: Roseau plays Scrooge with 8-3 win over Lumberjacks

Roseau gifted the Bemidji High School boys hockey team a big lump of coal for Christmas.

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Bemidji senior Tyson Bjornerud (7) chases the puck in the first period against Roseau on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, at the Bemidji Community Arena. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- Roseau gifted the Bemidji High School boys hockey team a big lump of coal for Christmas.

The Rams, dressed in festive green sweaters, jingled all the way to an 8-3 win at the Bemidji Community Arena on Thursday behind three power-play strikes and a four-goal explosion to open the third period.

“You can’t put these guys (on the power play),” BHS head coach Pete Stahnke said. “That’s what they’re really good at. It showed tonight. Once we buried ourselves, we couldn’t get out of that hole.”

The Lumberjacks landed on the naughty list with seven penalties, four of which prematurely ended their own power plays. Roseau was 3-for-7 on the man advantage and successfully killed off seven of eight trips to the sin bin.

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Bemidji junior Casey Rupp (28) gains possession of the puck in the second period against Roseau on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, at the Bemidji Community Arena. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

“When you’re on the power play, you just can’t take a (retaliation penalty),” Stahnke said. “(If it’s) 5-on-5, I’m not going to say we’re a better team, but it’d be a hockey game.”

Max Strand put Bemidji (5-4-1) in an early deficit with two power-play goals for the Rams (8-1) in the opening period. The first came on a smooth wrister at the midway point of the frame -- all of seven seconds into the advantage -- and he added one more on a quick flick in the crease at the 15:11 mark.

Roseau made it 3-0 in the second period before Josef Lalli gave BHS some life. Lalli turned a faceoff win into a lightning-fast shot that beat Rams goalie Carter Christianson at the 12:11 mark.

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Bemidji sophomore Peyton Neadeau (16) controls the puck in the second period against Roseau on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, at the Bemidji Community Arena. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

But Roseau restored a three-goal lead with 26 seconds left in the stanza.

Bemidji had a late power play but then committed back-to-back penalties to waste the opportunity. Once the Rams penalty expired, the Jacks were forced into 42 seconds of trying to kill a 5-on-3, and shortly after the first man was sprung free, Noah Urness netted a deflating goal for the Rams just before intermission.

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Urness added another 39 seconds into the third period, which sparked a Roseau flurry that lit the lamp like a Christmas tree.

Kellen Murphy scored three minutes later, then Strand a minute after that for his hat trick, and finally Murphy again 90 seconds later. Within 6:18 of third-period action, Roseau was up 8-1.

“We talked in the locker room after the second that we wanted to win the third period and see what happens,” Stahnke said. “(We wanted) to come out, play smart and not take penalties. We took penalties, we got caught flat-footed and we didn’t play well. The result is four goals real quick.”

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Bemidji junior Cooper Malkowski (10) takes control of the puck in the first period against Roseau on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, at the Bemidji Community Arena. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

Bemidji scored twice during running clock, both Wyatt Mattfield goals in the closing seven minutes, but that only delayed the inevitable in what finished as an 11-goal showcase.

“As coaches, we’re going to remember this so it’s a good teaching moment,” Stahnke said. “Good teams will expose you for what you are. We tell the players to forget about it mentally. But when we go into practice, we’ll bring up some things we need to work on.”

Jackson Hill finished with 24 saves on 32 shots for BHS. Christianson stopped 15 of 16 for the Rams before Dylan Johnson went 7-for-9 down the stretch.

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The Lumberjacks are next on the ice in the new year, traveling to Little Falls for a 7:15 p.m. puck drop on Tuesday, Jan. 4.

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Bemidji junior Nick Yavarow (5) takes the puck down the ice in the first period against Roseau on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, at the Bemidji Community Arena. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

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Bemidji junior Cael Knutson (22) moves the puck in the first period against Roseau on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, at the Bemidji Community Arena. (Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer)

Roseau 8, Bemidji 3

ROS 2 2 4 -- 8

BHS 0 1 2 -- 3

First period -- 1, ROS GOAL, Strand (Byfuglien), 8:30, PP; 2, ROS GOAL, Strand (Gunderson, Murphy), 15:11, PP.

Second period -- 3, ROS GOAL, Wensloff (Byfuglien), 4:13; 4, BHS GOAL, Lalli (Bjornerud), 12:11; 5, ROS GOAL, Urness (Strand, Byfuglien), 16:34, PP.

Third period -- 6, ROS GOAL, Urness (Strand, Gunderson), 0:39; 7, ROS GOAL, Murphy (Severson), 3:56; 8, ROS GOAL, Strand (Wensloff), 4:46; 9, ROS GOAL, Murphy (Severson), 6:18; 10, BHS GOAL, Mattfield (Yavarow), 10:15, PP; 11, BHS GOAL, Mattfield (Gladen), 14:47.

Saves -- Hill (BHS) 24; Puppe (BHS) 1; Christianson (ROS) 15; D. Johnson (ROS) 7.

Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
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