HIGHLIGHTS: Third Period Flurry Costly For Jacks In Home Defeat To Duluth East

Three unanswered Duluth East goals to open the third period–including a second shorthanded tally of the night–left Bemidji boys hockey behind in a 5-3 loss on Thursday evening at the Bemidji Community Arena.

The Jacks scored first at 7:24 of the first period with a goal from Hunter Brodina that came after he followed his own shot on a rush into the offensive zone.

Max and Joey Fankhanel came close to combining for a goal a few minutes later after hard work by Max to win the puck along the end boards turned into a close-range chance for Joey that was denied.

With Bemidji on the power play later in the period, Duluth East took advantage of a sloppy turnover in the defensive zone for Caden Cole to shoot past Lumberjack netminder Tate Metcalf to tie the game with a shorthanded tally.

Just over a minute into the second period, the Greyhounds used a long shift from their top line forwards and defensemen to capture the lead on a wrist shot from Grant Winkler.

The Greyhounds had a power play chance of their own later in the frame that forced Metcalf into a series of stops both during and after the man advantage.

Penalties contributed to giving Bemidji a big opportunity to tie the game late in the period when Duluth East had a minor penalty overlap with a five-minute major for checking from behind. The Jacks capitalized on the 5-on-3 power play at 15:48 of the second with a one-timer from Cael Knutson in the low slot.

Still holding over three minutes on the major penalty’s power play time, the Lumberjacks took a penalty just seconds into the third and then saw the Greyhounds take the lead for good during the ensuing 4-on-4. Cole Christian beat Metcalf with a wrist shot from the high slot to set off a game-changing sequence that would continue early in the period.

Bemidji still had a small stretch of power play time from the major after the 4-on-4 ended, but Thomas Gunderson wired a shot on the rush to give Duluth East a 4-2 advantage on a second shorthanded goal of the night at 2:31 of the third.

Ian Christian tacked on another goal–this time on the power play–later in the third after Metcalf failed to corral a shot around the crease.

The Jacks could only muster a late consolation from Noah Mannausau with just over a minute remaining to complete the scoreline.

Duluth East finished with a 32-25 edge in shots, as Metcalf made 24 saves before Alex Schaefer posted a perfect four stops in relief.

Bemidji drops to 0-3 heading into a home matchup with Thief River Falls on Tuesday at 7:15pm.

Postgame interview with Bemidji assistant coach Vinny Huerd: