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Pat Miller / Forum News Service, Published December 05 2013

Moorhead secures overtime victory over Bemidji

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Austin Skjefte scored 41 seconds into overtime to lift Moorhead to a 2-1 victory over Bemidji in Minnesota boys hockey Thursday at the Bemidji Community Arena.

After Bemidji forced the extra session with a goal late in the third period, Skjefte ended the suspense early in overtime when he grabbed a loose puck, skated between the circles and zipped a shot past Bemidji goalie Grant Tharaldson.

The shot capped a hard-hitting and fast-paced game that saw both teams deliver and absorb numerous hits.

The first period featured that style of play, but the Lumberjacks held a territorial edge most of the period. Despite spending the majority of the time in the Moorhead defensive zone and outshooting the Spuds 8-6, the Jacks could not get a puck past Moorhead goalie Jacob Dittmer.

The junior made a handful of great stops and also was the beneficiary of some favorable bounces.

Moorhead had its chances against Tharaldson but the junior was able to make the necessary saves.

With 3 minutes, 45 seconds to play in the first period Tharaldson denied Skjefte, who worked his way ahead of the defense for an open shot from the lower-left circle. Tharaldson also robbed Alex Mehnert, who had an open look from the same spot.

Bemidji squandered one power play early in the second period and Moorhead began to take charge after that successful penalty kill. The pressure eventually paid dividends when the Spuds scored on a 3-on-1 rush nine minutes into the period.

Aaron Herdt did the honors and he blistered a wrister from between the circles over Tharaldson’s shoulder. Mehnert and Will Borgen assisted on the goal.

FIRST PERIOD: No scoring.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, M, Herdt (Mehnke), 9:00.

THIRD PERIOD: 2, B, J. Leitner (Copiskey), 12:34.

OVERTIME: 3, M, Skjefte (Herdt), 0:41.

SAVES: M, Dittmer 6-11-10-2—29. B, Tharaldson 8-7-13-1—28.

Miller writes for Bemidji Pioneer