Struggles creating chances while under sustained pressure all evening dropped Bemidji girls hockey to a 5-1 loss on the road against Brainerd/Little Falls on Thursday at the Essentia Health Sports Center.
Even when handling the puck in the defensive zone, the Lumberjacks struggled to break out through neutral ice throughout the opening period and were heavily outshot 13-1. Nettie Kimble–well on her way to a fifth-straight 40+ save game to start the season–came up with several big stops during the first.
Brainerd’s pressure eventually led to a breakthrough from freshman Peyton LeMieur, who jammed in a backhand at close range with 9:29 played in the first period.
The Warriors had an early power play opportunity in the second period following a brief spell of 4-on-4 hockey, and they cashed in through one of their senior captains. After ringing the post earlier on the power play, Emma Booth sniped a low wrister past Kimble.
Kimble continued to pile up saves throughout the second, snagging one in the glove as part of a 20-shot frame from Brainerd/Little Falls.
A further tally from Macy Peterson extended Brainerd’s lead to 3-0 going into the second intermission, but the Lumberjacks–as they have done frequently this season–once again found a way to score in the third period. Taking a chance on the power play, Lexi Leitner found Elizabeth Oster for a backhanded effort that snuck in the corner.
Brainerd responded right back just moments later, with LeMieur scoring her second goal of the evening on a loose rebound in front of Kimble.
Peterson would also pick up a second goal of the evening in the late stages, despite a 44-save performance from Kimble that featured more work to do in the third period.
Now 0-5 this season, Bemidji will host Sartell/Sauk Rapids to begin a week of two home games on Tuesday at 7:15.