Moorhead's Bryant Christian celebrates his game-tying goal late in the second period for Moorhead (Photo by Tim Kolehmainen).
Moorhead's Tony Uglem (10) collides with a Roseau defender (Photo by Tim Kolehmainen).
As the clock ticked off the final minute of the Section 8AA semifinal in Moorhead Saturday night, the Spuds’ Cody Rahman was just like any other fan. He could only watch and wait.
Michael Bitzer made 25 saves on 27 shots for Moorhead, but this shot by Shane Omdahl eluded him (Photo by Tim Kolehmainen).
Bemidji 3, Brainerd 1 -- FINAL
Jeremiah Graves made 34 saves as No. 1 Bemidji held on to beat No. 4 Brainerd in the Section 8AA semifinals at the Bemidji Community Arena Saturday night. The Warriors outshot Bemidji 35-27, including 25-15 over the final two periods. Jake White, Matt Serratore and Max Hazelton scored for Bemdiji, while Mr. Hockey finalist Josh Archibald tallied the only Brainerd goal. The top-seeded Lumberjacks will face No. 2 Moorhead in the Section 8AA final Wednesday at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls.
Roseau's Ryan Leverington (6) and Lyle Norman (44) get physical with a Moorhead forward (Photo by Tim Kolehmainen).
Cody Rahman tipped home the game-winner 3:19 into the third period to lead No. 2 Moorhead to a 3-2 victory over No. 3 Roseau in the Section 8AA semifinals at the Moorhead Sports Center.
Rahman's goal capped a rally from a 2-1 deficit for the Spuds (17-7-2).
Moorhead scored the game's first goal from Logan Ness, but Roseau (13-14-0) tied it with just 14 seconds left in the first period. Josh Erickson, who missed the last meeting of the two teams due to injury, fought through a Spuds' defenseman for a breakaway goal.
The late goal seemed to inspire the Rams, who outshot Moorhead in the first period, 13-3. Roseau came out strong in the second and took a 2-1 lead on Shane Omdahl's goal at the 7:40 mark.
A great individual effort from Moorhead's Bryant Christian tied the score at 2-all after two periods. Christian rushed the puck the length of the ice, splitting two defensemen and deking Jared Strand.
Bitzer made 25 saves on 27 shots for Moorhead, while Strand stopped 21 of 24 shots for the Rams. With Strand out of the net for the final 1:27, the Rams hammered away at Bitzer, but could not dent the twine for the tying goal.
Moorhead will play No. 1 Bemidji in the Section 8AA finals, set for Wednesday at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls. The two teams played twice this winter, both ending in ties.
1. Cody Rahman, Moorhead
The junior forward avenged his older brother by netting the game-winner early in the third period of Saturday's Section 8AA semifinal. Rahman, who doesn't play a regular shift, was in the right spot as he tipped in Jacob Uglem's shot from the point. Rahman's older brother Braden was a key member of Moorhead's team last winter when it lost to Roseau in the 8AA final (Braden now plays at Concordia College).
2. Michael Bitzer, Moorhead
The last wall of defense for the Spuds continued his All-State caliber season, stopping 25 of 27 shots, including a flurry in the final 1:27 when Roseau pulled its goaltender. Bitzer allowed virtually no rebounds all game, swallowing up the first shot and keeping the Rams from generating extended chances.
3. Josh Erickson, Roseau
The junior forward missed the last meeting between Roseau and Moorhead, a game the Spuds won easily, 6-1. His return made a big difference Saturday night, as he used his speed and toughness to create several scoring opportunities. Erickson's goal with 14 seconds left in the first sparked the Rams.