HIGHLIGHTS: Jacks Fail To Catch Brainerd After Early Deficit

Despite a heavy advantage in shots, Bemidji could not overcome two early goals and a 4-1 deficit in losing 5-3 at Brainerd in a Section 8AA boys hockey matchup on Thursday evening.

The Lumberjacks finished with 47 shots piled up in attack, but Brainerd needed just 20 to build its lead before adding an empty-net goal in the game’s final minute to finish off just its second victory of the season.

The hosts struck first after only 1:46, getting a somewhat controversial goal from Aden Extrand that was awarded after the whistle sounded when Jackson Hill thought he had covered a loose puck in Bemidji’s crease.

Harrison Seymour turned a block shot on defense into a breakaway goal at the other end at 3:22 of the first to suddenly put Brainerd ahead by two.

Things nearly got better for the Warriors later in the period on a point-blank chance that hit the post as Hill scrambled to clear around the net.

Growing pressure from Bemidji was rewarded with a power play goal from Josef Lalli at the high slot midway through the second period.

The Warriors immediately got the goal back on a power play of their own a minute and a half later thanks to a rocket off the crossbar at a tight angle from Max Roby.

Seymour deepened Bemidji’s troubles when he scored again at 12:13 of the period with a tip-in of Cayden Kleffman’s wrister.

The growing deficit came in spite of a 21-9 lead in shots Bemidji had amassed in the second period alone, but they trimmed it back down to two with Wyatt Mattfield’s goal at 13:47.

Third period chances were much less plentiful–especially from Brainerd, which had only three shots–but Nick Yavarow drew the Lumberjacks within a goal with just over five minutes remaining.

Yavarow was on the cusp of tying the game with only two minutes left but somehow could not find a way past a crowd of sticks on the goal line next to Brainerd goaltender Jed Klang.

The Warriors put the game to rest with an empty-net goal from Alex Jones that was tallied with only 45 seconds left in regulation.

Yavarow and Mattfield each finished with a goal and two assists, while Hill posted 15 saves on 19 shots faced.