Bemidji Girls’ Hockey Hitting Their Stride at the Right Time This Season
Bemidji girls’ hockey is coming off of their best season in over a decade. Last year, the Lumberjacks combined young and old talent to jump out to an 8-1 start before finishing 13-9.
This year’s squad is 4-4 through eight games, but now they feel like they’re hitting their stride. After winning three of their first four games, the Lumberjacks found themselves on a three-game skid before righting the ship last night against Thief River Falls.
“I think we’re back in that zone, definitely,” said senior defender Mya Lundeen. “We kind of decided that, ‘We can win this game, we already beat them, we should beat them again.’ And we just came together as a team and locked it down.”
But even before the 7-1 victory on Senior Night, and even in defeat, the girls felt like there was growth.
“I think we learned from the games that we lost ’cause a couple of them were close ones and tough ones that we could have had,” said freshman forward Bailey Rupp. “So I think moving forward, we just learn from the experience and work harder and just give everything we got.”
One of the keys to the Jacks’ success sits between the pipes. Goaltender Peyton Weidemann is holding opponents to a fewer-than-two-goals-per-game average.
“I was just excited, ready to work hard, you know, it’s my senior season, [my] last year,” said Weidemann. “I just wanted to have a lot of fun.”
And she knows she has the support of her teammates.
“When I let in a goal, they just come up to me and help me get through it,” explained Weidemann. “You know, they’re there every step of the way.”
On offense, the Jacks have outscored their opponents 32-14 this season, and Bailey Rupp is leading the way with 13 goals. But even though she’s only a freshman, Rupp understands the importance of playing well.
“I think each year is just as important as, like, every year,” said Rupp. “So, we got to work as hard as we can and every year we got to try to get as far as we can, go to state, play our best.”
And senior leader Mya Lundeen feels they can play their best because of their great team chemistry.
“I think that we all get along really good on and off the ice. We work really good together. We push each other,” said Lundeen. “And my goal is to just enjoy my teammates, enjoy the rest of the season, and play my best for my team.”
The Lumberjacks have a short break before playing at home on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 3 PM. They’ll then take to the road for four games before coming back to play Fergus Falls on Dec. 28.