The seventh-seeded Brainerd Warriors played the second-seeded Bemidji Lumberjacks even through two periods Friday at Nymore Arena in Bemidji.
It was the crucial third period that eliminated the Warriors' girls' hockey team from the Section 8, Class 2A quarterfinals.
Brainerd tied Bemidji 1-1 on a second-period goal by Abby Rehberger.
"Nikki Phillips started the play by bringing the puck past the blue line and down deep," said Warriors coach Jim Ernster. "Abby picked up the puck and came across the net. The goalie came across with her and Abby went back and stuck it in. It was a great effort by Phillips and Rehberger."
Bemidji held a 20-15 shots-on-goal advantage through the first two periods. Ernster said Bemidji controlled the first period, but Brainerd dominated the second.
"We were pleased being in the situation going into the third period tied 1-1," said Ernster. "We told the girls Bemidji was going to come out with an intensity that we hadn't seen even in the first period."
Bemidji controlled the first six minutes of the third, not allowing Brainerd to get the puck in the Lumberjacks' zone. Bemidji's pressure wore on Brainerd so Ernster said he called a timeout.
It didn't help as Kelli Dahle scored the game-winner at 10:06.
Tara Hiscock scored an empty net goal, her second of the game, leading to the final score and advancing Bemidji to the section semifinals Tuesday in Brainerd. It was Hiscock's 28th and 29th goals of the season.
Bemidji finished with 39 shots on goal to Brainerd's 20. Warriors goalie Aimie Meyer finished with 36 saves.
"She did a great job," Ernster said of Meyer. "As we've come to expect she stands tall in big games. She made all the saves that we needed her to make. We just needed to move our feet so we could have limited the number of shots that she saw."
Brainerd finishes 11-13-1 overall. The last time Brainerd played Bemidji it lost 5-0 so Ernster was pleased with his team's play.
"Overall, I can't fault the girls for their effort at all," said Ernster. "For two periods we were tied. The third period was just crucial and you could see their senior leadership take over and they came at us hard. They were able to maintain their composure even though they were in a dogfight. They're graduating 12 seniors and that was a little bit of a difference."
Brainerd 0 1 0 -- 1
Bemidji 1 0 2 -- 3
First period -- 1, Bem-Tara Hiscock (unassisted) 7:14 shg
Second period -- 2, Brd-Abby Rehberger (Nikki Phillips) 10:08
Third period -- 3, Bem-Kelli Dahle (unassisted) 10:06, 4, Bem-Hiscock (Courtney Josefson) eng 16:52
Shots on goal -- Brd 20; Bem 39
Goalies -- Brd-Aimie Meyer (36 saves); Bem-Ashley Shanahan (19 saves)
Power-play opportunities -- Brd 0-3; Bem 0-0
Overall -- Brainerd finishes 11-13-1.
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