MOORHEAD – The puck squirted out from the boards to Moorhead senior center Jack Fahrendorf in the right circle with 3 minutes, 8 seconds left in overtime Tuesday against No. 9-ranked Bemidji. There was no panic as Fahrendorf slid the puck back to avoid a diving Lumberjack defenseman and fired into the back of the net to give Moorhead a 3-2 boys hockey win.
“It’s a long time coming,” Fahrendorf said. “Bemidji beat us the last four times we played them, and this is huge for section play. This is a huge momentum boost, and I think we’re rolling now.”
It was a Bemidji team that had three straight shutouts against Moorhead, including a 2-0 win in last season’s Class 2A, Section 8 final and a 5-0 win on Dec. 1. This was a Bemidji (11-2-2) team that was eyeing to be the first team in the section not named Moorhead or Roseau to win back-to-back section championships since Warroad in 1988 and 1989.
It was a Bemidji team that was undefeated in section play this season. No more.
“I think our mindset was different this game,” Fahrendorf said. “A lot of people thought Bemidji was going to come out and beat us, and I think that lit a fire under us. It says don’t take us lightly. We’re a good team and we’re definitely a team that can beat them in the section playoffs and make it to the state tournament.”
Moorhead (8-7) struck first on the power play late in the first when Carson Kosobud’s shot was blocked, popped up in the air near the goal and Fahrendorf knocked it out of the air and into the back of the net with 1:13 remaining in the first period.
Fahrendorf’s goal was the first goal for Moorhead against Bemidji since Dec. 2, 2014, as Bemidji had shut out Moorhead 3-0, 2-0 and 5-0 since.
“We challenged our guys,” Moorhead coach Jon Ammerman said. “We told them we haven’t scored in 10 periods. We didn’t tell them it was a calendar year. They’ve done such a good job of bottling us up and blocking shots. For some reason, today, we were able to get pucks through and to the net and take advantage of our opportunities.”
Moments after missing out on a 2-on-1 chance, Brady Tatro didn’t miss on a shot from the slot to tie things up for Bemidji with 7:18 left in the second. Jack Johnson’s redirect with 4:30 remaining in the second put Bemidji up 2-1, but Cooper Tietz had a redirect of his own with 34 seconds left in the period to tie the game back up for the Spuds.
FIRST PERIOD: 1, M, Fahrendorf (O’Connor, Kosobud), 15:47, pp.
SECOND PERIOD: 2, B, Tatro (Lusby, Pollock), 9:42. 3, B, Johnson (Baker, Hartje), 12:30. 4, M, Tietz (Kosobud, Stetz), 16:26.
THIRD PERIOD: no scoring.
OVERTIME: 5, M, Fahrendorf (Stetz), 4:52.
SAVES: B, Fitzgerald 7-3-8-1–19. M, Leonard 9-7-6-3–25
Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548
Bemidji’s Chase Hartje and Moorhead’s watch the puck Tuesday at the Moorhead Sports Center. The Spuds won 3-2 in overtime. Dave Samson | Forum News Service