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GIRLS HOCKEY: Bemidji prevails 2-0 to string together winning streak

Bemidji also defeated Thief River Falls on Jan. 6, marking the program’s first instance of back-to-back victories since January 2019. Additionally, the Jacks now have consecutive home wins for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

011522.S.BP.BHSGHKY Madyson Nistler.jpg
Bemidji freshman Madyson Nistler (21) celebrates after scoring in the first period against Sartell/Sauk Rapids on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji High School girls hockey team is on a winning streak.

The sentiment rings true for the first time in over two years, solidified by Thursday’s 2-0 win over Sartell/Sauk Rapids at the Bemidji Community Arena.

Madyson Nistler and Elizabeth Oster both got on the scoresheet, and Payton Weidemann pitched a 23-save shutout to power the Lumberjacks to victory.

“We’ve been making that steady progress as the year’s progressed,” BHS head coach Mike Johnson said. “It is nice that they were rewarded tonight with their second win in a row.”

011522.S.BP.BHSGHKY Payton Weidemann.jpg
Bemidji goalie Payton Weidemann (35) deflects the puck during the first period against Sartell/Sauk Rapids on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

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Bemidji also defeated Thief River Falls on Jan. 6, marking the program’s first instance of back-to-back victories since January 2019. Additionally, the Jacks now have consecutive home wins for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

“We actually talked about that before the game,” Johnson said. “I told the team that it’s been over two years since Bemidji girls hockey has had a win streak. They put that in the back of their mind and worked toward that goal tonight. It was fun to piece a couple wins together.”

After a scoreless first period, Nistler opened the scoring at the 3:25 mark of the second. She turned a Chloe Hasbargen 2-on-1 pass into a close-range strike that proved to be the game-winner.

In the third period, Oster added an insurance tally with 1:50 remaining off a Kiera Nelson assist.

011522.S.BP.BHSGHKY Elizabeth Oster.jpg
Bemidji junior Elizabeth Oster (11) controls the puck during the first period against Sartell/Sauk Rapids on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

“Even going back to that Thief River game, that was a 0-0 first period. Tonight was the same,” Johnson said. “In fact, we referenced that after the first period. We just said, ‘Hey, keep doing what you’re doing.’”

Johnson said he was pleased with the effort and the execution, as BHS won the shots battle 33-23 and ended 1-for-1 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.

“I thought we had the territorial advantage for most of the game and generated quite a few scoring chances,” Johnson said. “We were forechecking hard, we were winning a lot of the battles, we had some good passing going on.

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“We were doing a lot of things well, and that was the message: Continue doing that, and trust that we’ll eventually break through.”

011522.S.BP.BHSGHKY Chloe Hasbargen.jpg
Bemidji senior Chloe Hasbargen (4) makes a drive with the puck during the first period against Sartell/Sauk Rapids on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Weidemann was perfect in net to preserve the shutout, her second of the season. Her defense gave her a light load to carry in the third, as well, as Weidemann only needed to make four saves over the final 17 minutes.

Bemidji (3-12-2) returns to action at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, against River Lakes back at the BCA.

Bemidji 2, Sartell/Sauk Rapids 0

SSR 0 0 0 -- 0

BHS 0 1 1 -- 2

First period -- No scoring.

Second period -- 1, BHS GOAL, M. Nistler (Hasbargen), 3:25.

Third period -- 2, BHS GOAL, Oster (Nelson), 15:10, PP.

Saves -- Weidemann (BHS) 23; Dorn (SSR) 31.

011522.S.BP.BHSGHKY Taylor Bierke.jpg
Bemidji eighth-grader Taylor Bierke (24) moves the puck during the first period against Sartell/Sauk Rapids on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer
011522.S.BP.BHSGHKY Mya Lundeen.jpg
Bemidji sophomore Mya Lundeen (6) takes control of the puck during the first period against Sartell/Sauk Rapids on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Micah Friez is the sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he joined the Pioneer in 2015 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Lumberjack and Beaver updates.
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