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GIRLS HOCKEY: Balance boosts Jacks to 6-0 rebound victory

120419.S.BP.BHSGHKY Meray Eichstadt and Austyn Tobey.JPG
Bemidji High School seniors Meray Eichstadt (14) and Austyn Tobey (12) celebrate a second-period goal during the Lumberjacks' 6-0 win over Detroit Lakes on Friday at the Bemidji Community Arena. (Micah Friez | Bemidji Pioneer)
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BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji High School girls hockey team spread the wealth on Friday night.

The Lumberjacks rolled to a 6-0 win over Detroit Lakes at the Bemidji Community Arena behind four different goal scorers and the balance to match.

“It was a really good balance, and that’s important,” BHS head coach Mike Johnson said. “It’s nice to see some different scorers emerging again. … We’ve got a lot of skilled players who are starting to believe in themselves and taking charge, making things happen.”

Bemidji was thrown through the gauntlet over the past week, facing perennial powers Roseau and Warroad. But up against a winless Laker squad on Friday, the Jacks recognized an opportunity to turn things around.

“This was a big night for us. We were really determined,” said senior forward Austyn Tobey, who had a team-high three points on the game. “We’ve been playing some tough teams, and we knew that if we played our game, we had this one.”

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BHS had plenty of chances through the first 15 minutes, but nothing surfaced in a score until Jemma Copiskey set up Gracie Fisher for a breakaway with a cross-ice pass from behind her defensive faceoff dot. Fisher made a move on the other end and guided in the puck for a 1-0 start.

Bemidji snuck in an extra goal for good measure before the first intermission, as Tobey swept in a puck that was dancing alone in the crease after Meray Eichstadt had a partial breakaway rush of her own.

And fresh out of the locker rooms, Olivia Johnson gave the Lumberjacks their third goal within 3 minutes, 15 seconds when she roofed a close-range shot just 1:29 into the second period and 19 seconds into a power play.

“We had to take a couple steps back in that first period because we were kind of all over the place. Everyone knew we weren’t having our best period,” Tobey said. “But after, we slowed it down and we looked for our teammates more. … We were there for each other.”

Coach Johnson noticed the same composure, which he noted isn’t a particularly easy thing to do after a few fresh losses.

“Coming off Roseau and then Warroad, it’s easy to lose some confidence in your skills and maybe question (some) things,” he said. “It’s easy to go out there a little jittery, trying to do things too quick and not being confident and patient. The kids really did play confidently tonight. They were patient and all those good things. It was good to see.”

Lexi Leitner added another last-minute score at the 16:14 mark of the second when she cleaned up a rebound following point-blank chances for Echstadt and Tobey.

In the third period, Olivia Johnson scored from the slot off a centering pass from Eva Latuiri for a 5-0 game, and Fisher also netted her second goal when she went bar down on a wrister.

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“It was great,” Tobey said of the game. “It’s awesome that we had four people scoring four different goals. It shows that anyone else can do it, and we can rely on each other a lot more.”

Nettie Kimble had a quiet night, turning away all eight Detroit Lakes shots she faced. BHS poured on 46 shots on goal, 40 of which saved by Leah Honer.

Amid a busy night in the penalty box, Bemidji went 2-for-6 on the advantage and killed off all four advantages for Detroit Lakes (0-6).

The Jacks will next face Thief River Falls at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, in TRF.

Bemidji 6, Detroit Lakes 0

DL 0 0 0 -- 0

BHS 2 2 2 -- 6

First period -- 1, BHS, Fisher (Copiskey), 15:16; 2, BHS, Tobey (Eichstadt, Josefson), 16:32.

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Second period -- 3, BHS, Johnson (unassisted), 1:29, PP; 4, BHS, Leitner (Tobey, Eichstadt), 16:14.

Third period -- 5, BHS, Johnson (Latuiri, Hasbargen) 8:18; 6, BHS, Fisher (Tobey), 12:13, PP.

Goalies (saves-shots) -- BHS, Kimble (12-12); DL, Honer (40-46).

Micah Friez is the sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he joined the Pioneer in 2015 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Lumberjack and Beaver updates.
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