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BOYS HOCKEY: Bemidji tops Alex 5-2, hits longest winning streak since 2016

The Lumberjacks racked up their fifth consecutive victory on Friday night, securing the program’s first five-game win streak since winning 12 straight to reach the 2016 state tournament.

011123.S.BP.BHSBHKY Wyatt Mattfield.JPG
The Lumberjacks celebrate after a goal from senior Wyatt Mattfield (9) during a game against Alexandria on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Alexandria.
Sam Stuve / Forum News Service
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ALEXANDRIA -- You’d need a full hand to count the winning streak that the Bemidji High School boys hockey team is on.

The Lumberjacks racked up their fifth consecutive victory on Friday night, topping Alexandria 5-2 on the road and securing the program’s first five-game win streak since winning 12 straight to reach the 2016 state tournament.

Wyatt Mattfield had two goals for BHS (8-6) on Friday, but Max Fankhanel got the scoring started with his opening strike at the 12:37 mark of the first period. Then in the second frame, Mattfield made it a 2-0 game at the 11:03 mark.

But that was just the start of the second-period fireworks show. The Cardinals (1-8) answered off the stick of Nick Peterson, who scored a minute after Mattfield to cut the deficit to 2-1. Conor Stodgell responded for Bemidji by lighting the lamp just 24 seconds later, but Jack Breitzman brought Alexandria right back within 3-2 with his goal at the 15:58 mark.

011123.S.BP.BHSBHKY Conor Stodgell.JPG
Bemidji sophomore Conor Stodgell (24) skates with the puck during a game against Alexandria on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Alexandria.
Sam Stuve / Forum News Service

The third period, however, favored the Lumberjacks. Benjamin O’Leary scored at the 8:43 mark, and Mattfield tallied his second goal with an empty-netter at the 15:45 mark to seal the win.

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O’Leary finished with a goal and an assist, while Peyton Neadeau picked up two helpers, as well.

In net, BHS goaltender Tate Metcalf stopped 27 of 29 pucks sent his way. Alexandria’s Jackson Cavers was 23-for-27 on save attempts.

Bemidji will next challenge Detroit Lakes at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 12, in Detroit Lakes.

Bemidji 5, Alexandria 2

BHS 1 2 2 -- 5

ALX 0 2 0 -- 2

First period -- 1, BHS GOAL, Fankhanel (O’Leary, Mannausau), 12:37.

Second period -- 2, BHS GOAL, Mattfield (unassisted), 11:03; 3, ALX GOAL, Peterson (Olsen, Haabala), 12:15; 4, BHS GOAL, Stodgell (Neadeau), 12:39; 5, ALX GOAL, Breitzman (Hornstein), 15:58.

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Third period -- 6, BHS GOAL, O’Leary (Neadeau), 8:43; 7, BHS GOAL, Mattfield (unassisted), 15:45, EN.

Saves -- Metcalf (BHS) 27; Cavers (ALX) 23.

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