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In the opening night of Girl’s High School Hockey tournament, the River Lakes Stars sniped the Bemidiji Lumberjacks, 5-3, to bag their win of the COVID-19 shortened-season. (Photo : River Lakes_GH via Twitter)
On the opening night of the Girl’s High School Hockey tournament, the Stars sniped the Bemidji Lumberjacks, 5-3, to bag their first win of the COVID-19 shortened-season.
After missing the remainder of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the River Lakes Stars were pumped up in the opening game.
River Lakes Stars Take the Opening-Night Win
West Central Tribune reported that Kianna Roeske and Olivia Haines scored the first two goals for the Stars. Haines scooped an abrupt goal in a penalty opportunity at the 3:24 mark. Kiana highjacked a quick stride just a few minutes later after Haines’ moment where the Stars came alive with 21-3 shots on goal.
Lumberjack senior goalkeeper Nettie Kimble deflected the Stars’ incoming shots as Kristen McClellan competed with the hockey puck for the possession at the 6:57 mark. With less than three minutes elapsed, Madyson Nistler blasted an equalizing shot for the Bemidji.
The second period saw Stars’ Aubrey Griffin and Brielle Cremers capped the next two goals to take the lead over the Lumberjacks.
Elizabeth Oster of Bemidji, who assisted McClellan earlier, marooned the visitors for a short takeaway with less than six minutes remaining in the third tussle. Oster hurled a goalie to cut the deficit of the Stars to just one, 4-3.
Again, the excitement spoiled the Lumberjacks, as the Stars bowled a game-ending punch just 22 seconds heading to the penalty. River Lakes’ Jordyn Bebus finished the game with a third goal coming from a single tap in the distance.
The Stars pounded the home team with a 50-11 difference in scores at the First National Area.
River Lakes’ Hailey Kraemer contributed eight points in Star’s shoot-out win. Kimble paced the Lumberjacks with 45 saves.
For head coach Michael Johnson, it was good to see the girls wearing the Lumberjack jersey again after more than 300 days of inactivity in high school hockey. The first loss of the season will mark as Bemidiji’s first stain during the pandemic era.
“First and foremost, it’s great to get back on the ice. The girls were very excited. It was really a good growth experience for all of our young skaters, who really don’t have varsity experience yet,” Johnson said in an interview with Bemidji Pioneer.
The River Lakes will visit the Fergus Fall on Saturday at 3 p.m. for their first Richmond trip this 2021. Meanwhile, Bemidji will visit Grand Rapids on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
According to Central Maine, high school hockey was still experiencing the aftermath of the pandemic in December 2020, as the COVID-19 cases continued to rise in the country.
River Lakes 5, Bemidji 3
RL 2 2 1 — 5
BHS 0 2 1 — 3
First period — 1, RL, Haines (Roeske, Zimmer), 3:24; 2, RL, Roeske (unassisted), 4:49, SH.
Second period — 3, BHS, McClellan (Oster), 6:57; 4, BHS, Nistler (Webb), 10:31; 5, RL, Griffin (Roeske, M. Cremers), 14:12; 6, RL, B. Cremers (Bebus, Hess), 15:22.
Third period — 7, BHS, Oster (unassisted), 11:44; 8, RL, Bebus (unassisted), 14:56, PP.
Goalies (saves-shots) — BHS, Kimble (45-50); RL, Kraemer (8-11).
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