BEMIDJI -- Wylee Gladen buried the winning goal only 28 seconds into overtime Saturday afternoon to lift the Bemidji High School boys hockey team to a 5-4 victory over Fergus Falls.
The win marked the fourth in a row for the Lumberjacks, who ended the regular season with an 8-10 record.
BHS went back and forth exchanging goals with the Otters (13-3), the No. 8 team in the latest Class A Let’s Play Hockey rankings.
Five of the game’s goals came via special teams units, including Gladen’s overtime winner, as each team converted on two of five power-play chances. The Jacks’ penalty kill also scored a shorthanded goal.
Tate Hammitt delivered the shorty just 2:30 into the game to hand Bemidji a 1-0 lead heading into the second period.
The teams traded goals throughout the second period.
Isaac Young leveled the score early in the middle stanza, only for Ethan Maish to regain a 2-1 lead for the Lumberjacks 45 seconds later. Landon Thacker struck on the power play to knot the game up at 2-all with 37 ticks left in the period.
Wyatt Mattfield buried a power-play marker at 4:04 of the third, but Fergus continued to answer every BHS goal with one of its own as Matthew Niblock tied the game at 3-3 a minute later.
The Jacks came through on the power play again at the 6:18 mark, this time from Connor Savard, to go ahead 4-3. The lead held until Michael DeBrito’s equalizer with 2:25 remaining forced overtime.
Bemidji was the beneficiary of a tripping call against the Otters as time expired in regulation, setting the Lumberjacks up on the power play to begin the extra frame. Gladen needed only 28 seconds to secure the overtime-winning goal from an assist by Hammitt.
Tanner Rebischke totaled 22 saves in net for the Jacks, while Ben Swanson made 23 stops for Fergus.
BHS will open the Section 8AA playoffs with a quarterfinal game on Wednesday, March 17. Tournament seedings and matchups have not yet been announced.
Bemidji 5, Fergus Falls 4 (OT)
FF 0 2 2 0 -- 4
BHS 1 1 2 1 -- 5
First period -- 1, BHS, Hammitt (unassisted), 2:30, SH.
Second period -- 2, FF, Young (unassisted), 3:11; 3, BHS, Maish (Marcotte), 3:56; 4, FF, Thacker (DeBrito), 16:23, PP.
Third period -- 5, BHS, Mattfield (Gladen, Maish), 4:04, PP; 6, FF, Niblock (I. Johnson), 5:13; 7, BHS, Savard (Hammitt, Marcotte), 6:18, PP; 8, FF, DeBrito (A. Johnson), 14:35.
Overtime -- 9, BHS, Gladen (Hammitt), 0:28, PP.
Goalies (saves-shots) -- BHS, Rebischke (22-26); FF, Swanson (23-28).