In preparation for Hockey Day Minnesota 2019 presented by Wells Fargo, Wild.com will highlight each of the nine teams participating in this year's festivities starting in Bemidji. Today, we take a look at the Bemidji High School girls hockey team.
Conference: Greater Minnesota
Overall record: 4-10-1 (as of Jan. 17)
Head coach: Mike Johnson
Hockey Day schedule: 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 17 vs. Woodbury, Lake Bemidji
In the mid-to-late 1800s, following the decline of the fur trade, timber took dominance in northern Minnesota. Thomas Shevlin and Elbert Carpenter opened the Crookston Sawmill #1 in 1903. Seven years later, it was the second largest sawmill in the nation. Lumber production was once the major industry in Bemidji until a chain of sawmill fires halted operations in the north and instead redirected the industry to the Pacific Coast.
The city's famous, 18-foot Paul Bunyan statue has become a tourist bucket list item. It is said it took over 737 man-hours to create the beloved representation of the American folklore legend, allegedly born in Bemidji, and his sidekick Babe the Blue Ox.
Since its first season on the ice in 1996, Bemidji has made two Minnesota State High School League Tournament appearances, most recently in 2007. Last season, the Lumberjacks completed the season 5-20. While improving this season, the Lumberjacks have struggled at times, compiling an overall record of 4-10-1, but have won two of their past three games.
Bemidji is set to kick of Hockey Day festivities against the Woodbury Royals, who are 3-10-5 this season, at 7 p.m. at Lake Bemidji on Thursday. The Lumberjacks average 1.64 goals per game, and the Royals average 1.72. However, the Royals have a slight upper-hand with a stronger penalty kill and goals-against per game.
Players to watch
Sophomore defensemen Alexis Leitner leads the Lumberjacks with 17 points (13 goals, four assists) in 19 games played, with senior forward Maggie Marcotte right behind with 15 points (11 goals, four assists) in 19 games played. Senior goaltender Brooklyn Delap has played 18 games, has a .876 save percentage and a 2-7-1 record, splitting her time with sophomore Nettie Kimble. Kimble in 19 games played has a .849 save percentage and a 4-5 record for Bemidji.