HOCKEY: Nettie Kimble signs NLI to play Division I hockey

“I really like the school,” Nettie Kimble Kimble said of Franklin Pierce. “It’s similar to Bemidji State, which I grew up around. And then going out there, it was somewhere I saw myself.”

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Bemidji High School senior Nettie Kimble inked her National Letter of Intent on Wednesday to play Division I women's hockey at Franklin Pierce. Alongside Kimble are her parents, Denielle and Darren. (Micah Friez / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- With a Division I program in her own backyard, it’s no wonder why Nettie Kimble had D-I dreams of her own.

“Watching the Beavers throughout the years, it’s something I’ve always dreamed about and wanted to work so hard for,” Kimble said.

The Bemidji High School senior goalie realized that dream on Wednesday afternoon, as she signed her National Letter of Intent to play Division I hockey at Franklin Pierce in Rindge, N.H.

“I really like the school,” Kimble said. “It’s similar to Bemidji State, which I grew up around. And then going out there, it was somewhere I saw myself.”

Kimble has racked up 542 saves for the Lumberjacks this season -- good for fourth in Minnesota -- while posting an .890 save percentage. In her five-year varsity career, Kimble has 2,281 saves and an .879 save percentage.


After she wraps up her career at BHS, Kimble will pack her bags and travel to a new crease that’s over 1,500 miles away.

“(I’m) trying something new, getting out of Minnesota, playing at a different level,” she said. “This is what I’ve always dreamed about.”

Kimble said she reached out to the Ravens coaching staff to get the ball rolling with recruiting. She noted that another Minnesotan -- Warroad’s Geno Hendrickson -- will be joining forces with her next season, as well.

Franklin Pierce is 2-0 this season, winning the only games listed on the schedule. Last year, the Ravens went 21-11.

But even though Kimble will be half a country away, she won’t forget her Bemidji roots, nor the hometown program that helped get her to New Hampshire.

“They’ve always been so supportive and positive,” she said of BHS. “(It’s) a humorous group, joking around all the time and keeping a welcoming practice environment.”

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Bemidji senior goalie Nettie Kimble (1) stops a breakaway shot during a January game against River Lakes at First National Arena. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

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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