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BOYS HOCKEY: Cardinals score three unanswered for OT win

Bemidji's Ryan Pogue skates through the neutral zone Friday during a game against Alexandria. (Jordan Shearer | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 2
Bemidji's Andrew Dondelinger races back from behind the net during Friday's game against Alexandria. (Jordan Shearer | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 2

BEMIDJI -- Just 15 seconds after Bemidji called timeout with a 3-1 lead and 4:28 left in regulation, Alexandria forward Caleb Strong sniped the top left corner, and the Jacks were in trouble.

The Cardinals had them on the run, and when Ben Doherty tied the game at 3-3 with 48 seconds left in the third, the game’s outcome seemed inevitable.

Four minutes, 15 seconds into overtime, Alex senior captain Jack Powell beat BHS goalie Broc Waldhausen for the sudden-death, 4-3 win at Bemidji Community Arena.

“We just stopped playing defense,” Bemidji head coach Eric Monsrud said.

After the first period went scoreless despite three Bemidji power plays, the teams exchanged goals in the second period. Jakob Stender scored unassisted for Alex while Joe Leitner beat Cardinals goalie Bailey Rosch five-hole from the slot, assisted by Andrew Dondelinger, for Bemidji.

With 27 seconds left in the middle period, a scuffle after the whistle resulted in Alexandria’s leading scorer, Jack Westlund, to be ejected from the game for grabbing a BHS player’s facemask.

Bemidji used the long power play to score two early third-period goals. Casey McNamara took the Jacks’ first lead 2-1 with a point shot through traffic, assisted by Ryan Pogue and Hunter Olson at the 2:08 mark. Then, just 22 seconds later, Pogue scored one of his own, with another Olson helper.

But when time expired on the major penalty, the Cardinals took back the momentum, and the Jacks just hoped to hold on long enough for the clock to expire.

Strong’s goal from the left circle seemed to put the game in a panic, but Bemidji still had the advantage on the scoreboard.

With 1:01 left in regulation, Alexandria earned and offensive-zone faceoff and called timeout. The Cardinals won the faceoff, and they pulled Rosch for the extra attacker.

A few seconds later, Powell hit Doherty with a perfect pass on the back door to tie it at 3-all.

At the 3:39 mark of overtime, Bemidji defenseman Nick Mannausau was called for a five-minute checking from behind penalty, giving Alex the man-advantage for the rest of the contest.

It didn’t take long to end it.  Andrew Revering-to-Strong-to Powell and into the Bemidji net, and the Cardinals took the win.

Alexandria improves to 11-8-1 with the win, while Bemidji falls to 9-9.

According to Monsrud, the Jacks need to turn the page and play like they had been on the four-game winning streak they had prior to Friday night.

“We don’t want to be going backwards here,” he said.

Bemidji is right back on the BCA ice for a 3 p.m. game this afternoon hosting St. Michael-Albertville. The Knights head into the matchup with an 11-5 record after losing to Roseau 3-1 Friday night.

Alexandria 4, Bemidji 3 (OT)

ALEX 0 1 2 0 -- 3

BHS 0 1 2 1 -- 4

First Period -- No scoring.

Second Period -- 1, ALEX, Stender (Unassisted) 1:41; 2, BHS, Leitner (Dondelinger) 8:36.

Third Period -- 3, BHS, McNamara (Pogue, Olson) 2:08; 4, BHS, Pogue (Olson) 2:30; 5, ALEX, Strong (Carlsen, Powell) 12:47; 6, ALEX, Doherty (Powell, Revering) 16:12.

Overtime -- 7, ALEX, Powell (Strong, Revering) 4:15.

Goaltending (Shots-Saves) -- BHS, Waldhausen (27-23), ALEX, Rosch (21-18).