Bemidji girls hockey erased a two-goal deficit in the second period, but ultimately could not overcome a heavy disparity in shots in a 5-3 home loss to River Lakes in the season opener Thursday evening at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Two first-period goals from the visiting Stars stuck the young Lumberjacks in an early hole, but experienced senior goaltender Nettie Kimble kept Bemidji close with several big saves during the early stages.
Bemidji found its legs in the second period and found a route back with two goals separated by less than four minutes. Kristen McClellan tallied the first at 6:57 of the period, finishing off her own rebound in close on a setup from Elizabeth Oster.
Madyson Nistler followed not long after with the tying goal at 10:31 on another close-range chance with an assist from Bella Webb.
The Stars roared back ahead for good with two more goals late in the second period, including recapturing the lead less than four minutes after losing it.
Bemidji’s last gasp came in the third period from Oster, as the sophomore scored unassisted to make it a one-goal game again.
A late powerplay goal from River Lakes gave the visitors enough insurance to secure the season-opening win, making a 50-11 advantage in shots stand up. Kimble finished with 45 saves in net.
The Lumberjacks’ scheduled Saturday game at home against Moorhead has been postponed, so Bemidji will next travel to Grand Rapids on Tuesday for an early 5pm game. Pregame will be at 4:45 on KBUN Plus FM 100.1/AM1450 and KBUN2 at kbunsportsradio.com.