Boys Hockey: Lumberjacks blank Warriors 11-0

BEMIDJI - Jake Leitner led 13 different players who scored for Bemidji High School Tuesday as the Lumberjacks defeated the Brainerd Warriors 11-1 at the Bemidji Community Arena.

BEMIDJI - Jake Leitner led 13 different players who scored for Bemidji High School Tuesday as the Lumberjacks defeated the Brainerd Warriors 11-1 at the Bemidji Community Arena.

Class 2A's No. 11 Bemidji (19-3-2) took it to their Section 8-2A rival early and often as it scored five goals in the first, two in the second and four in the third as they dominated the Warriors (8-16-1).

"That first period might have been our best period all season," said Lumberjacks coach Wade Chiodo. "I was real proud with the way we came out of the gates. Played with speed, puck movement and we played tough."

Bemidji was getting good looks early, but couldn't find the net until the 7:44 mark in the first when Josh Lusby got one passed Brainerd goalie James Engen.

That's when the floodgates opened.


One minute later it was Rocky Copiskey scoring off assists from Brady Tatro and Jake Leitner, who had five points on the night (three assists, two goals).

At the 14:23 mark of the period, it was Matt Gregg who scored off assists from Jack Johnson and Jaret Lalli. Leitner scored 13 seconds later off an assist from Copiskey, before Matt Larson scored unassisted at the 15:12 mark.

"It was like a chain reaction," Leitner said. "They just kept coming, which is awesome and it's just what the boys needed."

Larson's goal ended the night for Engen as he was replaced by Jake Craven.

Craven held his own for a bit, but the Lumberjacks wouldn't be denied for long.

Leitner scored his second goal at the 9:07 mark of the second off assists from Erik Fitzgerald and Copiskey. Leitner got another assist at the 14:42 mark in the second when he and Tatro helped Alex Pollack score to make it 7-0.

Chase Hartje opened the third period with a goal at the 1:02 mark before scoring 10 seconds later off assists from Cole Hartje and Lusby.

Lalli added a goal at 9:45 off assists from Leitner and Tatro before Johnson finished the scoring at 13:43 off an assist by Tyler McNamara.


"We've got depth," Chiodo said. "The kids just go. It's a lot of fun to see some other kids hit the back of the net."

Brainerd wouldn't be shutout however as Matt Blanch scored with 20 seconds left in the game off an assist by Eric Stout.

This was the final game of the regular-season for the Warriors who have lost five of their last six games as they wait for Wednesday to find out where they'll be heading for the Section 8-2A tournament.

Bemidji might have locked up the No. 1 seed, but Brainerd's travel plans have yet to be determined.

"We should be the one seed, Moorhead two and Buffalo and Roseau three and four," Leitner said. "After that it's pretty much a toss-up."

Bemidji will play at 7:30 p.m. Friday at home against Thief River Falls to close out the regular-season and begin the hunt to end a 29-year streak of not winning the section tournament.

"It's in the back of our heads," Leitner said. "We're trying not to think about it."

Brainerd 0 0 1 - 1


Bemidji 5 2 4 - 11

First Period: Bem, Lusby (unassisted) 7:44; Bem, Copiskey (Tatro, Leitner) 8:49; Bem, Gregg (Johnson, Lalli) 14:23; Bem, Leitner (Copiskey) 14:36; Bem, Larson (unassisted) 15:12.

Second Period: Bem, Leitner (Fitzgerald, Copiskey) 9:07; Bem, Pollack (Leitner, Tatro PP) 14:42.

Third Period: Bem, Ch. Hartje (unassisted) 1:02; Bem, Ch. Hartje (Co. Hartje, Lusby) 1:12; Bem, Lalli (Leitner, Tatro) 9:45; Bem, Johnson (McNamara ppg) 13:43; Brd, Blanch (Stout) 16:40.

Shots On Goal: Brd 7-5-4-16; Bem 17-12-10-39.

Goalies (shots-saves): Brd, Engen (15-10), Craven (22-16); Bem, Tharaldson (16-16).

Overall: Brd 8-16-1. Next: Brainerd in Section 8-2A tournament TBA.

What To Read Next
Get Local