Two goals in the final 1:15 of regulation from Thief River Falls negated Connor Savard’s tying goal for Bemidji as the Lumberjacks were defeated 4-2 in boys hockey at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls on Friday.
One day removed from losing 6-0 at home to Sartell-St. Stephen on home ice, the Lumberjacks began building chances with the game’s first power play with less than five minutes left in the first period. But while they had looks on the man advantage, goaltender Tanner Rebischke was also called into action at the other end of the ice to shut down a shorthanded breakaway for the Prowlers.
Bemidji capitalized on a late rush with just 15 seconds remaining in the period to take the lead in the game. Ethan Maish broke through with a quick wrister at the end of a 2-on-1 to give the Lumberjacks the lead going into intermission.
Rebischke made the lead stand up in the early minutes of the second period with several more good saves.
The tide of the game turned midway through the second period on a pair of goals off rebounds by the Prowlers. Isaiah Villarreal whipped in a loose puck in the low slot after Rebischke had made a kick save to tie the game at 8:05 of the second, which was followed by Jaxon Brouse scoring in almost identical fashion for a power play goal at the 10:08 mark.
Maish rang the crossbar later in the second period, but Bemidji’s search for a tying goal would stretch well into the final period. That tally came courtesy of Savard’s first goal of the season at 12:31 of the third after a slaloming skate into the left circle of the offensive zone.
But Thief River Falls would have the final say in the result with a pair of late goals. The game-winner came with a mere 1:15 remaining in the game, as a turnover in the defensive zone by the Lumberjacks was paid for with a wrister from the Prowlers’ Kaden Bakken.
A late penalty for interference against Savard with 29 seconds remaining opened the door for the Prowlers to take advantage of Bemidji’s desperation to clear the zone and create a shorthanded chance. Brendan Bottem was the recipient of a loose puck on an attempted clearance, as he rounded Rebischke to score.
Bemidji finished with a 34-30 edge in shots, with Rebischke totaling 26 saves.
The consecutive losses drop Bemidji to 2-7 overall ahead of a trip to Moorhead on Tuesday for a 6pm game.