Bemidji took home the Minnesota North Region Bantam B Championship in Two Harbors on Sunday, March 3rd with a 2-1 overtime win over East Grand Forks. The win pushed their record to 27-9-4 and punched their ticket to the Minnesota Bantam B State Tournament in Prior Lake on March 17-19.
The Bemidji Bantam B boys squared off with Duluth East Black in the opening quarter-final game of the regional tournament. Even though the boys out shot Duluth 34-10, it took a goal with under two minutes to play in the third to break a 1-1 tie to send the team to the semi-finals. Final score: Bemidji 2 - Duluth East Black 1
Bemidji faced off against the host team, the North Shore Storm, on Saturday in the semi-finals. Despite scoring first and out shooting North Shore at a 2-1 clip the Storm scored at the end of the second period to tie up the game 2-2. But, Bemidji came out of the locker room for the third period and scored three unanswered goals while shutting out North Shore to advance to the region championship. Final score: Bemidji 5 - North Shore 2.
Sunday's championship versus District 16 rival East Grand Forks was a tight defensive battle from the opening face off. The teams skated off at the end of the second period deadlocked 0-0 with 16 shots a piece. Midway through the third, EGF got on the board with the first goal of the game, but Bemidji answered back with a little over three minutes to play ultimately sending the game into overtime. With less than a minute into the overtime period, Bemidji withstood an EGF rush and then created one of their own, held the point, got the puck low and then banged home a rebound goal that sent the arms up and equipment flying and the boys to state. Final score: Bemidji 2 - EGF 1 (OT).
Bemidji will face Edina Green in the opening quarter-final game at Dakotah Ice Center in Prior Lake on Friday, March 17 at 2 p.m.
Top row (left to right): Ryley La Venture, Hunter Elting, Coach Vinny Huerd, Steven Pribula, Chase Fillipi, Cole Matetich, Rhett Seeger, Braden Grinde, Coach Darren Matetich. Bottom row (left to right): Lincoln Huerd, Darius Stamps, Brycen Olson, Josh Nyberg, Carson Kelm, Grant DeClusin.