Bemidji notched a pair of goals in both the second and third periods on the way to a comfortable 4-0 win over River Lakes in boys hockey Thursday at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Opening period pressure from the Lumberjacks was evident from the jump, including a power play look in the slot for Hunter Marcotte that was turned aside.
On the other end, Tanner Rebishcke was rarely threatened in the opening two periods but still up to the challenge on breakout opportunities from the Stars.
The Lumberjacks created another threat in the final minute of the opening period that drew three quick saves in succession from Stars goaltender Josh Venable.
Wyatt Mattfield ensured that Bemidji’s persistence would pay off with an early second-period goal at 1:05 that came from a turnover by the Stars deep in the defensive zone.
The Lumberjacks found a second goal at 7:04 of the period on an up ice pass by Tate Hammitt for Wylee Gladen that the junior used for a quick wrist finish over Venable.
Mattfield put the game further out of reach on the power play early in the third period, finishing off a setup around the perimeter from Gladen and Hammitt.
It was under bizarre circumstances that Bemidji added a fourth goal just a few minutes later from Ethan Maish. The senior forward was knocked toward the Stars’ net from close range, both drawing a penalty and forcing the puck under the pads of Venable. After a discussion between an official and the goal judge, it was determined that the puck had crossed the line before play was stopped and the goal was awarded unassisted.
A late series of penalties–including a five-minute major against the Lumberjacks–left Rebischke with some extra work to do to close the game out, but the senior netminder made several solid saves to secure his second shutout at the varsity level.
Rebischke posted a perfect 11 saves with Bemidji outshooting River Lakes 51-11.
Bemidji improves to 3-8 with the victory at the onset of a further six games at home in the final seven overall to end the regular season. The Lumberjacks will next host Section 8AA foe Roseau on Monday at 6pm. Pregame will be at 5:45 on KBUN-FM 104.5 and KBUN1 at kbunsportsradio.com.