EAST GRAND FORKS — Bemidji’s unblemished record remained intact on Tuesday night, but it wasn’t easy.
Bemidji, the No. 10-ranked team in Class AA, skated to a hard-fought 1-1 tie with Class A No. 7 East Grand Forks in Mariucci Conference action at the East Grand Forks Civic Center.
Bemidji’s Hunter Olson gave the Lumberjacks (5-0-2) a 1-0 second-period lead, but East Grand Forks’ Tanner Tweten scored the equalizer with nine seconds to go to send the game to overtime.
The Lumberjacks missed the empty net four times in the final minute, which set up the Wave’s goal.
In the extra period, Bemidji’s Rocky Copiskey was whistled for a tripping penalty just 10 seconds into play, giving the Green Wave (6-3-1) an early power play.
However, the Lumberjacks’ penalty kill, which was a perfect 20-for-20 coming into Tuesday’s game, delivered again.
Bemidji denied the Green Wave the game-winning goal on that power play, but the Lumberjacks were once again whistled for a penalty with four minutes to play in the extra period.
BHS killed that penalty, too, and the teams skated to a 1-1 tie.
Although the Lumberjacks outshot the Green Wave 9-4 and carried the offensive play in the first period — one which included a solid power play chance near the end of the first 17 minutes — they couldn’t find the scoreboard until the second.
Olson gave BHS a 1-0 lead when he tipped in a point shot from Jaret Lalli early in the middle frame. Chase Hartje also assisted on the play.
And although the Lumberjacks outshot the Green Wave 13-7 in the second period, EGF did a good job keeping it a one-goal game going into the third period.
That set up the frenetic third period, which saw the Wave outplay the Lumberjacks despite the dead even (7-7) shots on goal totals.
In the overtime period, it was all East Grand Forks, who outshot BHS 7-0 — thanks mostly to the two Bemidji penalties.
Matt Fitzgerald made 24 saves for the Lumberjacks to earn the tie, while East Grand Forks’ Jarod Reak stopped 28 shots.
The Lumberjacks, who have played four straight games on the road, will return home Saturday when they host Section 8AA rival Brainerd at 3 p.m. at the Bemidji Community Arena.
Bemidji 1, East Grand Forks 1
BHS 0 1 0 0 — 1
EGF 0 0 1 0 — 1
First Period — No scoring.
Second Period — 1, BHS, Hunter Olson (Jarrett Lalli, Chase Hartje), 2:22.
Third Period — 2, EGF, Tanner Tweten (Colby Strauss), 16:51.
Overtime — No scoring.
Bemidji’s Hunter Olson, left, looks to pass the puck as East Grand Forks defenders Trevor Selk (15) and Wyatt Swanson and Bemidji’s Tyler McNamaraa (5) look on in the first period of their game Tuesday at the East Grand Forks Civic Center. Eric Hylden | F