ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

BOYS HOCKEY: 3-goal 3rd period powers Duluth East over Lumberjacks

Bemidji took Moorhead, last season’s top seed in Section 8AA, to overtime in a 4-3 road loss on Tuesday. The adrenaline of that game wore off in the interim, though, and the Jacks struggled to bring the same quality of performance to the table on Thursday.

120322.S.BP.BHSBHKY Hunter Brodina.jpg
Bemidji senior Hunter Brodina (11) controls the puck during the second period against Duluth East on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer
We are part of The Trust Project.

BEMIDJI – In hockey, it doesn’t always take long for a team to take control of the game.

The Bemidji High School boys hockey team faced an outcome representative of that maxim on Thursday at the Bemidji Community Arena. The Lumberjacks conceded two goals early in the third period, then gave up one more later in the frame to give Duluth East control and an eventual 5-3 win.

“We came out a little flat compared to the other night,” BHS head coach Pete Stahnke said. “I don't know if they left all the energy on the ice in Tuesday night's game against Moorhead. I don't think mentally we were there tonight especially.”

Bemidji took Moorhead, last season’s top seed in Section 8AA, to overtime in a 4-3 road loss on Tuesday. The adrenaline of that game wore off in the interim, though, and the Jacks struggled to bring the same quality of performance to the table on Thursday.

120322.S.BP.BHSBHKY Cael Knutson.jpg
Bemidji senior Cael Knutson (22) controls the puck during the second period against Duluth East on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer

“We were a little slow tonight, but I think it was more mentally than it was physically,” Stahnke said.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The first two periods were even. Hunter Brodina lit the lamp early on for BHS at 7:24 in the first period, but the Greyhounds countered with Caden Cole’s shorthanded score at 14:34.

Duluth East (1-3) built its first lead with Grant Winkler’s goal at 1:38 in the second period, then the Lumberjacks answered on Cael Knutson’s 5-on-3 poke from the right side of the crease at 15:48. Wyatt Mattfield set up the score with a patient cross-slot pass from the left side.

Yet despite carrying the majority of a five-minute major penalty into the third period, the Jacks couldn’t get out of their own way. They took a high-sticking penalty 13 seconds into the frame, negating Bemidji’s man advantage and setting the stage for Wyatt Peterson’s 4-on-4 score at 0:33. Thomas Gunderson followed it up with a shorthanded score at 2:29 for a sudden 4-2 Greyhounds lead.

120322.S.BP.BHSBHKY Noah Mannausau.jpg
Bemidji sophomore Noah Mannausau (20) controls the puck in the second period against Duluth East on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer

“In the locker room, we said, ‘You know what, let's go out and win this game,’” Stahnke said of the second intermission. “‘Be smart, don't take penalties.’ And I said, ‘With a couple calls like that, we're going to get the next one. That's just the way hockey rolls.’ And we go out and we take a really bad high-sticking penalty.”

And after Nick Yavarow checked a Duluth East skater from behind – drawing a five-minute major and game misconduct – Ian Christian essentially sealed the outcome with a power-play goal at 11:20 for a 5-2 lead.

Near the end of the matchup, Noah Mannausau flicked an unassisted wrister inside the left post at 15:45 in the third. That cut the deficit to 5-3, giving Bemidji a chance to pull goaltender Alex Schaefer and chase for the tie with an extra skater. But the final 1:15 was ultimately fruitless, and the Jacks fell by two goals.

“We took some really bad penalties at some really bad times,” Stahnke said. “You have three minutes and 24 seconds left in a major penalty, and then we take a really bad penalty at center ice. You just can't do that and expect to win a hockey game.”

120322.S.BP.BHSBHKY Tate Metcalf.jpg
Bemidji sophomore Tate Metcalf defends the net in the second period against Duluth East on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer

Both teams finished 1-for-4 on the power play, but the Lumberjacks also allowed two shorthanded goals.

ADVERTISEMENT

Despite his displeasure with certain aspects of Bemidji’s performance, Stahnke likes what he’s seen from his group so far this year. Though BHS is 0-3, the Moorhead contest indicates their ceiling, and Stahnke praised the way the Jacks have coalesced early in the season.

“They're executing really well,” Stahnke said. “They're playing well as a team. They play hard. Now, they just need to learn how to win. They need to find a way to win. … (Against Moorhead), we didn't have any problems. So they’ve just got to learn how to do it consistently. Every game, come out the same way, prepare the same way. Get ready, and they'll have better outcomes.”

Tate Metcalf finished with 24 saves for Bemidji, while Schaefer replaced him late and stopped three shots. Drew Raukar collected 20 stops for the Greyhounds.

BHS will look for its first victory against Thief River Falls at 7:15 p.m on Tuesday, Dec. 6, back at the BCA.

Duluth East 5, Bemidji 3

DE 1 1 3 -- 5

BHS 1 1 1 -- 3

First period -- 1, BHS GOAL, Brodina (Knutson), 7:24; 2, DE GOAL, Cole (I. Christian), 14:34, SH.

ADVERTISEMENT

Second period -- 3, DE GOAL, Winkler (C. Christian, Teng), 1:38; 4, BHS GOAL, Knutson (Mattfield, O’Leary), 15:48, 5v3.

Third period -- 5, DE GOAL, Peterson (Murray, C. Christian), 0:33, 4v4; 6, DE GOAL, Gunderson (Spenningsby, Murray), 2:29, SH; 7, DE GOAL, I. Christian (Peterson), 11:20, PP; 8, BHS GOAL, Mannausau (unassisted), 15:45.

Saves -- Metcalf (BHS) 24; Schaefer (BHS) 3; Raukar (DE) 20.

120322.S.BP.BHSBHKY Team Celebration.jpg
The Lumberjacks celebrate after a goal during the second period against Duluth East on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Maggi Fellerman / Bemidji Pioneer

Christian Babcock is a sports reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer. He trekked to Bemidji from his hometown of Campbell, Calif., after graduating from the Cronkite School at Arizona State University in 2021. Follow him on Twitter at @CB_Journalist for updates on the Lumberjacks and Beavers or to suggest your favorite local restaurant.
What To Read Next
The Lumberjacks got first-place finishes from Moses Son in the 100-yard butterfly in 56.4 seconds and Nick Carlson in the 100 breaststroke in 1:13.67.
Cass Lake-Bena girls basketball sophomore guard Gabby Fineday scored 58 points against Laporte on Tuesday in Cass Lake, breaking the CLB single-game scoring record by a girls player.
The Lumberjacks matched up with Fergus Falls, Little Falls and Sauk Rapids-Rice on Thursday, picking up a team victory over each opposing squad. Several Jacks wrestlers had perfect days on the mat.
The Lumberjacks (13-7-3) fell behind 1-0 in the first period and at one point were being outshot 11-3.