Goals from Millie Knott, Kristen McClellan, and Megan Berg, along with 24 saves from Payton Weidemann, helped Bemidji overcome a 1-0 deficit just 43 seconds into the game to defeat Roseau 3-1 at the Rams Sports Center on Tuesday evening, ending a 34-game losing streak to the Rams.
The Lumberjacks had not tasted victory against Roseau since Jan. 25, 2007, but entered Tuesday’s Section 8AA matchup 4-0 to set up a clash of unbeaten teams with the 3-0 Rams. The anticipation from the visitors was dampened after just 43 seconds when Payton Remick beat Weidemann to open the scoring for the hosts.
Despite allowing the majority of the chances during the opening minutes of the first period, the Lumberjacks tied the game at 1 thanks to the latest player to score her first goal playing varsity hockey. Berg and Bailey Rupp combined to win the puck in the corner of the offensive zone before the former slid a pass across the slot to Knott. The eighth grade defender delivered a low wrister that snuck past Rams goalie Jada Pelowski to tie the game at one at 5:20 of the first.
The Jacks continued to ramp up pressure as the period wound down, creating chances off a persistent forecheck and traffic in front of Pelowski’s net.
Period two belonged to Bemidji, which used a 3-on-1 rush to create the game-winning goal just over four minutes into the frame. Bella Webb led the charge into the offensive zone, setting up McClellan for a close-range goal that snuck past Pelowski on a pile-up at the net.
A pair of power play chances failed to yield another goal for the Lumberjacks, but they created a host of chances thanks to Zoe Fayette’s wrist shots from the perimeter and the attentive redirects of Elizabeth Oster and Madyson Nistler.
The lead grew to 3-1 at 11:22 of the second with Berg scoring after saving offensive zone possession to set up a wrist shot that beat Pelowski.
The Roseau goaltender was replaced due to an apparent injury with just over three minutes remaining in the period and would not return.
While new goaltender Madalyn Lisell held down the net on Roseau’s defensive end, Weidemann came up with 11 saves in the third period to cap a stellar bounce-back effort after surrendering the early goal. Among her best was a denial of Remick on a 2-on-1 chance after the Jacks could not keep the zone following a series of shots in attack.
The junior netminder finished with 24 saves to improve to 4-0 this season. Rupp was credited with a pair of assists, while Berg and Webb also supplied helpers.
In a thrilling JV game earlier in the day, Bemidji pulled out a 4-3 overtime victory thanks to a four-goal performance from Makenna Dreher, who scored the game-winner on a penalty shot in the extra period.
Bemidji remains unbeaten at 5-0 and will be off until a home matchup with Warroad next Tuesday at the Bemidji Community Arena at 7:15pm.
Postgame interview with Bemidji head coach Mike Johnson: