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Bemidji blanks Panthers in regular-season finale

Both the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley and Bemidji girls hockey teams were looking to get their offenses clicking in the regular-season finale Friday night at the Bemidji Community Arena.

Bemidji was able to build some offensive momentum entering the postseason as a 45-12 advantage in shots on goal sparked a 7-0 win. That was the Lumberjacks' second-best offensive output of the season. Bemidji blanked Park Rapids 11-0 on Jan. 4.

Both teams had struggled on the offensive end entering this game.

The Panthers had scored only eight goals and were shut out four times in going 1-7 in their last eight games while Bemidji had managed only nine goals in going 1-6 in the previous seven outings. Prior to this regular-season finale, the Panthers had been shut out 10 times and managed only one goal in six other games while Bemidji had failed to score in nine games while scoring only one goal in nine others.

The offensive woes continued for the Panthers as Bemidji scored three goals in both the second and third periods to enter the playoffs with a win.

Olivia Johnson opened the scoring at the 11:33 mark of the first period as Bemidji held a 13-3 edge in shots.

Bemidji held an 18-8 advantage in shots in the second period and was able to skate off three Park Rapids power-play opportunities, using shorthanded goals by Hannah Eller at the 10:40 mark and Grace Fisher at the 14:32 mark to claim a 3-0 lead. Jacie Lalli's goal with :03 remaining in the period gave the Lumberjacks a 4-0 advantage.

Eva Laituri scored twice within a span of 21 seconds midway through the third period before Eller's goal at the 14:45 mark concluded the scoring as Bemidji held a 14-1 advantage in shots in that period.

Goalie Kylee Pachel finished with 38 saves as the Panthers ended the regular season with a 3-21 record. Eller and Lalli combined for eight points on Senior Night while goalie Brooklyn Delap recorded her third shoutout of the season as Bemidji improved to 5-20.

Park Rapids 0 0 0...0

Bemidji 1 3 3...7

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Bemidji, Johnson (Copiskey, Hasbargen), 11:33. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, Bemidji 0.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, Bemidji, Eller, 10:40. 3, Bemidji, Fisher (Leitner, Lalli), 14:32. 4, Bemidji, Lalli (Eller), 16:57. Penalties: Park Rapids 0, Bemidji 3.

THIRD PERIOD: 5, Bemidji, Laituri (Eller, Tobey), 7:35. 6, Bemidji, Laituri (Eller, Copiskey), 7:56. 7, Bemidji, Eller (Lalli), 14:45. Penalties: None.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Pachel) 12-15-11--38. Bemidji (Delap) 3-8-1--12.

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