A one-time shot from Wylee Gladen on the power play just 28 seconds into overtime blasted Bemidji to a 5-4 victory against Fergus Falls in the final game of the regular season on Saturday at First National Arena in Bemidji.
The Lumberjacks end the regular season winners of four consecutive games and five of their last six–all thanks to a quick shot from the junior forward off a faceoff win by Ethan Maish and quick setup by Tate Hammitt.
Hammitt had staked the Lumberjacks to the lead through a clever shorthanded goal at 2:30 of the first period, carrying the puck deep into the opposite zone during a Fergus Falls power play before finishing off the game’s first goal.
The Otters needed until just past three minutes into the second period to tie the game on an unassisted goal from Isaac Young.
Not for the last time in the game, Bemidji needed less than a minute after giving up a tying goal to retake the lead. Ethan Maish was the beneficiary of a Hunter Marcotte assist down low to put Bemidji back up 2-1.
Landon Thacker tied the game with less than a minute to go in the second period, breaking through for the first power play goal of the game at 16:23.
The power play would yield the final three goals of the game from the Lumberjacks, starting with a goal from Wyatt Mattfield at 4:04 of the third.
Back at full strength, the Otters had a quick reply from Matthew Niblock just over a minute later that tied the game yet again.
The Otters’ quick tying goal was followed by a quick tripping minor, setting up another quick goal on the man advantage that was finished by Connor Savard on a backhand feed by Marcotte.
Yet again, the Otters had a reply, this time scoring through Michael DeBrito with less than three minutes to play in regulation.
A tripping minor called against Fergus Falls’ Ian Richards at the end of regulation proved especially costly for the visitors, as Gladen’s tally came on the power play mere seconds into overtime.
Bemidji’s four-game winning run puts the Lumberjacks at 8-10 going into the Section 8AA playoffs, where they are seeded #7. For the second straight season, Bemidji will visit Moorhead–the #2 seed–for a quarterfinal game on Wednesday evening at 7pm. Pregame will be at 6:45 on KBUN-FM 104.5 and KBUN1 at kbunsportsradio.com.