Tying goals by Cade Voge in the first period and Josef Lalli in the second failed to hold up for Bemidji in a 4-2 defeat to Alexandria at the Bemidji Community Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Lumberjacks never led, forced to play from behind after surrendering the opening goal for an eighth consecutive game. Mason Stennes scored at 4:17 of the first period to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.
Bemidji got the goal back a mere two minutes later with a long-awaited power play goal scored by Voge for his first tally of the season and just the Lumberjacks’ fourth on the man advantage this year.
At the other end of the ice, Brayden Puppe kept the game tied with a power play save in net.
The Cardinals recaptured the lead exactly nine minutes after the tying goal with a late-period score by Brycen Berg.
Lalli answered for the Lumberjacks midway through a tight second period after weaving through the Cardinal defense and beating goaltender Teagan Pfeffer off the glove.
The tie lasted for just 1:01 of game time before Tyler Kludt rocketed a wrist shot past Puppe to restore the lead to the Cardinals for good.
Bemidji had numerous opportunities to even the score on the power play during the second period, with Alexandria going to the box three times for minor penalties and once for a double minor. A brief 5-on-3 advantage was part of the succession of special teams chances, but Voge picked up a five-minute major for boarding to put Bemidji down a man as well. In spite of the setback, scoring looks were still frequent–but without any payoff.
Even strength hockey prevailed for most of the third period, but the Lumberjacks could never come up with another tying goal. Tyson Bjornerud went closest with an effort that missed wide in the slot.
The Cardinals wrapped up the victory with less than a minute to play in regulation with an empty-net goal by Josiah Gronholz.
Shots were 37-28 in Bemidji’s favor, as Puppe totaled 24 stops on the 27 shots he faced.
The Lumberjacks (5-7-1) will host Crookston for Senior Night on Tuesday.