ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

GIRLS HOCKEY: After Rupp score, Hilltoppers break away from ailing Jacks

With numerous injuries and illnesses at present, Bemidji has had to trudge along with a limited lineup. Thus, the stellar results it found earlier in the season have been harder to come by lately.

011123.S.BP.BHSGHKY Lumberjacks.jpg
The Lumberjacks try to poke the puck past Duluth Marshall goaltender Ray Anderson (1) during the third period on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
We are part of The Trust Project.

BEMIDJI – The Bemidji High School girls hockey team is putting the lumber in Lumberjacks.

With numerous injuries and illnesses at present, BHS has had to trudge along with a limited lineup. Thus, the stellar results it found earlier in the season have been harder to come by lately.

Saturday against Duluth Marshall at the Bemidji Community Arena was another case in point. Down several stalwarts, the Lumberjacks found an initial lead after Bailey Rupp’s breakaway goal 56 seconds into the second period. But it was all Hilltoppers from there, as Marshall ran away with a 5-1 win.

“We did have a really discombobulated lineup,” BHS head coach Mike Johnson said. “I thought the kids played hard, and we actually had generated some good opportunities. I think we got pretty worn out, though. We're not used to really running two lines.”

011123.S.BP.BHSGHKY Bailey Rupp.jpg
Bemidji eighth-grader Bailey Rupp (28) moves the puck during the second period against Duluth Marshall on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Rupp’s score started a run of three consecutive goals on breakaways between the two squads. After Rupp gave Bemidji (10-5-2) the lead, Duluth Marshall’s Danica Mark picked up a turnover at the blue line and skated back for a breakaway score, tying the matchup 1-1 at the 1:33 mark of the second period. Then, Nina Thorson found a loose puck and skated down the ice, scoring at 9:59 to give the Hilltoppers (11-4-1) a 2-1 advantage.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We really struggled in that second period,” Johnson said. “They got a couple of good breaks that they finished on, and it was hard for us to really generate much.”

Meredith Boettcher stretched Duluth Marshall’s lead with a wraparound goal at 12:13 in the second, then Gigi Smith scored at 8:32 in the third for a three-goal cushion. Ilsa Lindaman lit the lamp at 14:19 in the third to seal the final 5-1 margin.

“The third period, we were really, really wearing out,” Johnson said. “Mya (Lundeen) and Sammy (Nistler) tried to come help us out, but that wasn't so good either. Overall, it played out a little bit how we expected. We really had a diminished lineup, let's say. We competed as best we could today, but wasn't to be against a good team like Marshall.”

011123.S.BP.BHSGHKY Naomi Johnson.jpg
Bemidji seventh-grader Naomi Johnson (44) controls the puck during the second period against Duluth Marshall on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Lundeen and Nistler – key contributors at defenseman and forward, respectively – were both under the weather and did not dress for the first two periods, but they talked Johnson into playing during the second intermission. Yet their illness limited them on the ice, and they weren’t nearly the only ones.

“The biggest thing is getting healthy,” Johnson said. “Between our varsity and JV, we had 14 kids out in the last two days, which is not quite half the team, but it's getting pretty close. So there's a lot of stuff going around.”

The shortage of healthy bodies comes at a time when Bemidji has a bit of a break upcoming. The Lumberjacks have a week off before resuming competition, and Johnson hopes those seven days will set BHS up for a successful stretch run.

011123.S.BP.BHSGHKY Millie Knott.jpg
Bemidji eighth-grader Millie Knott (27) fights for the puck during the third period against Duluth Marshall on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

“This is a week of recovery,” Johnson said. “It's a week of final exams, and so just kind of focus on school and rest and getting healthy and getting revved up for the playoff push. … Maybe not the hard workouts or hard skating or anything like that. Just really focus on fluids and rest.”

Payton Weidemann saved 27 shots on net for the Jacks, while Duluth Marshall’s Ray Anderson stopped 22.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bemidji returns to action against River Lakes at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14, in Paynesville.

Duluth Marshall 5, Bemidji 1

DM 0 3 2 -- 5

BHS 0 1 0 -- 1

First period -- No scoring.

Second period -- 1, BHS GOAL, Rupp (Berg), 0:56; 2, DM GOAL, Mark (unassisted), 1:33; 3, DM GOAL, Thorson (unassisted), 9:59; 4, DM GOAL, Boettcher (unassisted), 12:13.

Third period -- 5, DM GOAL, Smith (Mark), 8:32; 6, DM GOAL, Lindaman (Lian, Makela), 14:19

Saves -- Weidemann (BHS) 27; Anderson (DM) 22.

ADVERTISEMENT

011123.S.BP.BHSGHKY Sienna Swanberg.jpg
Bemidji senior Sienna Swanberg (4) reaches for the puck during the third period against Duluth Marshall on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
011123.S.BP.BHSGHKY Payton Weidemann.jpg
Bemidji junior Payton Weidemann (35) watches a shot during the second period against Duluth Marshall on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Madelyn Haasken / 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
“I had one more year left, so why not make the most of it and just do it?” Elizabeth Oster said of her dual-sport endeavor. “I enjoyed it last year. So I was like, ‘Why not just do it again?’”
Bemidji got a first-period goal from Wyatt Mattfield and went ahead 2-0 on Max Fankhanel’s second-period tally. Nick Yavarow, Noah Mannausau and Dominic Arndt had assists for Bemidji (10-8-0).
Senior guard Ethan Biehn made four 3-pointers and scored 18 points before halftime, leading the Lumberjacks to an 18-point intermission advantage.
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.