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HOCKEY DAY MINNESOTA: GIRLS HOCKEY: Lumberjacks lose 2-1 nailbiter to Woodbury on outdoor rink

Bemidji High School junior Olivia Johnson (20) fires a shot toward the Woodbury net in Thursday’s game at the Hockey Day Minnesota rink. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 3
The Bemidji and Woodbury high school girls hockey teams line up for the national anthem before the puck drop on Thursday night as Hockey Day Minnesota events get underway in Bemidji. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 3
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BEMIDJI -- Losses don’t sting quite as much when you’re playing outdoors as part of Hockey Day Minnesota.

The Bemidji High School girls hockey team fell 2-1 Thursday night at the outdoor rink near Lake Bemidji’s south shore, but that’s not what the Lumberjacks will remember.

“It was just a fun experience,” said BHS senior forward Maggie Marcotte. “All the girls are going to look back on this and be like, ‘Wow, we played on Hockey Day Minnesota. On a big stage, in front of all the fans of Bemidji.’ It was just incredible.”

“It was crazy,” said BHS senior goalie Brooklyn Delap. “It was a beautiful atmosphere out there. I know everyone was having a lot of fun.”

Not even subzero temperatures could put a damper on the experience. The mercury dropped to as low as minus 4 toward the end of the game.

“I was actually sweating the whole time,” Delap said. “The cold was nowhere on my mind. My cheeks got a little cold but nothing that can stop us.”

“Actually, I was kind of hot,” Marcotte added. “We didn’t get the wind or anything so I was dying.”

The game was a tightly-contested affair with a goal being scored in each period.

“It played about like I was expecting,” said BHS head coach Mike Johnson. “They’ve had five ties this year. I figured it’d be a pretty good matchup, and a one-goal game either way or maybe even a tie. We were shooting for a tie at the end. … It really kind of played out like how we expected, other than we were certainly hoping to get a win.”

Hayley Zwakman scored the first goal of Hockey Day weekend, putting the Royals (4-10-5) on the board 6 minutes, 57 seconds into the game.

The score held at 1-0 through the first intermission.

Shortly after killing the first penalty of the night, the Lumberjacks (6-13) took to the power play themselves for the first time.

Marcotte grabbed a loose puck in traffic up front and pocketed it off a rebound to level the score for Bemidji. Austyn Tobey and Marryn Willberg earned assists on the power-play goal at the 9:43 mark of the second.

The teams remained locked at 1-1 until another power-play advantage gave Woodbury a chance to go ahead early in the third.

Amelia Karelitz snagged a rebound and deposited it for the power-play goal for the eventual game-winning score with 10:46 to go in the game.

The Lumberjacks had their fair share of opportunities to tie it up late, including a 2-on-1 rush, but could not find an equalizer.

Both Bemidji goalies put together standout performances in net.

Nettie Kimble started the game and made 24 saves on 25 shots. With the desire to give every player a chance to play, Delap entered near the midpoint in the game and made 14 saves on 15 shots in relief.

“Both Nettie and Brooklyn were fantastic as usual,” Johnson said. “You feel kind of bad for them that we weren’t able to put some more pucks in the net because they really deserved to win this game.”

Though the outcome wasn’t the one they wanted, the experience is one the Lumberjacks will always remember.

“It will literally last my whole life,” Delap said. “All these games that I’ve played with these girls will last a whole lifetime.”

Woodbury 2, Bemidji 1

WDY 1 0 1 -- 2

BHS 0 1 0 -- 1

First period -- 1, WDY, Zwakman (Molnau, Stickels), 6:57.

Second period -- 2, BHS, Marcotte (Tobey, M. Willberg), 9:43, PP.

Third period -- 3, WDY, Karelitz (unassisted), 6:14, PP.

Goalies (saves-shots) -- BHS, Kimble (24-25), Delap (14-15); WDY, Beix (13-14), Gillen (8-8).

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

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