Ava Myhre stopped all 18 shots faced in her first varsity goaltending action of the season, and goals in the first and third periods helped Bemidji girls hockey roll to a 5-0 win over Thief River Falls on Thursday evening at Cardin-Hunt Arena in Red Lake Falls.
The Lumberjacks took charge exactly six minutes into the game with a goal from freshman Bailey Rupp after her eager forechecking in the offensive zone led to a Prowler turnover along the goal line.
A second goal followed at 9:32 of the first period, though its scorer was not officially confirmed until later. Zoe Fayette ripped a low shot from the left point, and Megan Berg redirected the effort past TRF goaltender McKenna Carr in traffic around the net for her third goal in as many games to begin the season.
Bemidji had a power play opportunity late in the period that set up a dramatic conclusion to the first frame. Rupp picked up possession with less than five seconds to play, wheeling around the perimeter of the offensive zone before blistering a wrist shot past Carr into the roof of the net at the 16:59 mark–just prior to the horn sounding for the end of the period.
Berg came close to building on the lead early in the second with another tipped shot, though this one clipped off the outside of the post.
Activity for Myhre to deal with at the other end of the ice had been relatively inconsistent in the game’s first 20 minutes apart from a scramble around her crease in the first period. But after an early injury to Millie Knott trimmed the Lumberjacks down to just three defenders, a growing sense of fatigue among them started to bring the junior into increased action. She repelled a pair of close chances midway through the second during a flurry from the Prowlers.
Both teams went close in the final minute of the first minute, with Carr turning away Sammy Nistler’s shot and Myhre shutting down a rush.
Bemidji created more separation 18 seconds into period three with a top-shelf snipe by Makenna Dreher on a quick rush into the offensive zone.
After there was doubt about her final involvement in the second goal of the night, there was no doubt about Fayette being credited with the final tally when she blasted a shot off a TRF skate and past Carr.
Myhre preserved the shutout by making four more stops in the third period, including a stop at close range.
The Jacks (2-1) will be back home for a game with Sartell/Sauk Rapids on Saturday at 3pm. Pregame is scheduled for 2:45 on The BUN Sportsradio 104.5 and Lumberjacks1 at kbunfmsite.wpengine.com.
Postgame interview with Bemidji head coach Mike Johnson: