BOYS HOCKEY: Bemidji falls just short in quarterfinal loss to Elk River/Zimmerman
The sixth-seeded Bemidji High School boys hockey team traded early fireworks with third-seeded Elk River/Zimmerman in Wednesday’s Section 8AA Tournament opener in Elk River.
ELK RIVER – The sixth-seeded Bemidji High School boys hockey team traded early fireworks with third-seeded Elk River/Zimmerman in Wednesday’s Section 8AA Tournament opener in Elk River.
The two teams combined for five goals in an explosive first period, with three coming within 90 seconds of clock time. But the Elks won the period 3-2, and it was a harbinger of things to come.
After a scoreless second period, both teams scored once in the third, leading to a 4-3 ER/Z win in the section quarterfinals.
Colten Pickett got the Jacks (8-16-2) off to a surprisingly productive start with a shorthanded goal just 5:36 into the game. But the Elks (18-7-1) pounced with a power-play equalizer at 6:25 in the first period off the stick of Kayden Grassel.
Josef Lalli gave Bemidji its second lead with a power-play score from the right point at 6:58. Elk River/Zimmeran answered back with another at 11:29 by Blake Rinehart. The Elks took their first lead at 15:20 off a prod by Rinehart in the crease.
In the third period, the Lumberjacks applied pressure and tied it at 4:31, with Cade Voge giving them a third goal. Once again, though, ER/Z had a quick response, with Blaise Schutt scoring the game-winner at 5:03.
Wyatt Mattfield had a tying chance for Bemidji with five minutes remaining in the period, placing the puck past Elks goaltender Sam Stockman and onto the goal line. But Elk River/Zimmerman cleared it cleanly off the stripe, and the Jacks could not find an answer down the stretch.
Jackson Hill finished with 29 saves in net for BHS, while Stockman stopped 33 for the Elks.
The quarterfinal loss marked the end of the line for eight Lumberjack seniors: Tyson Bjornerud, Wylee Gladen, Ben Kieson, Brayden Puppe, Hill, Lalli, Pickett and Voge.