BEMIDJI — Matt Fitzgerald may be only a sophomore but the goaltender helped Bemidji High School secure a 5-0 win over rival Moorhead Tuesday night at the Bemidji Community Arena.
The young netminder posted a shutout, stopping all 25 shots he faced.
“He did great,” Bemidji coach Wade Chiodo said. “He’s done great all year so far and he was solid in net. He made the saves he needed to make.”
Just three starts into his high school career, Fitzgerald has only allowed two goals.
“He played on our JV team last year so he got some of the high school atmosphere, understanding what it’s like,” Chiodo said. “And you know obviously we knew that he was a young kid, but ultimately he stood up and he’s done a great job.”
The Lumberjacks (2-0-1) controlled the majority of possession throughout the game, winning the shot battle 34-25.
“I think that one thing that’s been consistent with Bemidji is that as long as coach Chiodo (has been there) is their energy and their intensity,” Moorhead coach Jon Ammerman said. “They compete hard and today, from the drop of the the puck to the end, they competed and they were rewarded for it.”
The Bemidji attack saw contributions from all around, as five players posted two points in the contest. Alex Pollock, Brady Tatro, Jack Johnson and Josh Lusby each scored a goal and an assist, while Rocky Copiskey picked up two assists.
The Lumberjacks got on the board early in the second period with a power play goal by Alex Pollock at the 3:32 mark. Copiskey passed the puck to Brady Tatro who fed it to Pollock through traffic across the Moorhead zone as Bemidji took the lead 1-0.
The Pollock-Tatro-Copiskey line struck again at the 10:25 mark in the second period as Copiskey passed it to Pollock in the corner who slid the puck to Tatro in front of the net to push the lead to 2-0 in favor of the Lumberjacks.
Moorhead began to test Fitzgerald towards the end of the second period. The Spuds went on the power play after a hooking penalty was called on Bemidji’s Jack Johnson as the second intermission approached. The sophomore goaltender stopped several booming shots from the Moorhead power play unit to preserve the BHS lead.
Freshman Hunter Olson scored his first career goal 2:52 into the second period after he eluded a defender entering the zone to snipe it into the back of the net.
“There really are no words to describe it,” Olson said of the accomplishment.
Midway through the third period, Johnson scored to extend the lead to four goals as the senior celebrated in front of the Bemidji student section.
Shortly after the goal, Bemidji and Moorhead players started a scuffle in the Lumberjacks attacking zone. McNamara received a five minute major for contact to the head while Moorhead’s Carson Kosobud was penalized for contact to the head, roughing and received a game misconduct for cross checking.
A Josh Lusby wrist shot from the left faceoff dot found the back of the net as Bemidji got out to a 5-0 lead at 12:47 in the third period.
The victory was the fourth straight for Bemidji against Moorhead (now 1-1-0).
“I don’t look too much into that,” Chiodo said. “I more look at how we’re playing, playing with a purpose, understanding what we’re doing. If we do those kinds of things, we will be successful and that’s my goal, especially early on in the year.”
The Lumberjacks celebrate a goal in the third period during a game against Moorhead Tuesday in Bemidji. BHS beat the Spuds 5-0 to improve to 2-0-1. Maggi Stivers | Bemidji Pioneer