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DL stomps Kittson 8-1; falls to Lumberjacks 6-2 in home finale

The Detroit Lakes boys' hockey team is starting to shine as the season winds down with a dominating 8-1 win against Kittson Central Friday night at the Kent Freeman Arena.

"We're starting to capitalize on our chances," said head coach Chris Denardo. "We see what we can do and it's giving us confidence."

The game was decided in the first period as the Lakers went into the intermission with a 4-0 lead.

"It's a matter of the kids coming out more fired up," commented Denardo of the explosive first period. "We gained a lot of confidence from the Little Falls game."

Although Detroit Lakes lost to Little Falls, they found that they could get chances against the elite teams.

"In that game we saw that against a team that's been to state the last four years we can get our chances," Denardo stated about the Little Falls game. "That game helped us get confidence for these games."

And confidence was strong for the boys as they had eight goals on 38 shots or 21-percent success rate.

"We're doing a lot of good things," said Denardo. "We have three lines that can go out there and play -- which will help come sections."

Involved in half of the goals Friday night was sophomore Nate Baker who had two goals and two assists.

"If we get him around the net he can bury it," Denardo said of Baker. "He has a very nice shooting touch."

Baker's line consisted of seniors Josh Saunders and Brandon Yozamp.

"Those two are good compliments to him," added Denardo in regards to Yozamp and Saunders. "They can either get Nate the puck of capitalize on his crisp passes."

The Lakers have been rotating goalies this season to create a "friendly competition."

"We don't have a set goalie," added Denardo. "In sections we're going to stick with the hot hand at the time."

The one Bearcat goal came five minutes into the second on a rebound of Craig Lindegard's shot and was capitalized on by senior Dylan Kent.

The Lakers (7-17-0) will close out the regular season in Red Lake Falls Thursday. The Section 6-1A seeding was Wednesday afternoon. The opening round of the playoffs are Saturday at the high seed.

Senior Night ends in 6-2 loss for Lakers

A three-goal first period set a bad trend for the Lakers during their final home game of the regular season.

Bemidji struck twice early, as the Lumberjacks opened a 3-1 first period lead, which ultimately resulted in a 6-2 loss for DL.

"Overall, I thought we played pretty decent, Bemidji just had the speed at times and more experience," Denardo said.

Forward Jesse Nemgar recorded the first of his five points on the night with a goal 58 seconds into the game, after he was able to camp out in front of the Laker net and accept a centered pass by Braden Devescovi. .

Lightning struck twice on DL senior goalie Chris Widme just 2:15 later, as Jared Bergquist buried his shot from the left slot on assists by Nemgar and Devescovi.

The Lakers tried picking themselves out of the hole, as forward Nate Baker picked up a rebound off an Ethan Brekke shot from the perimeter.

Baker was able to dig out the puck out of Bemidji's goalie Derek Dugeon's grip and poke it past him for the 2-1 deficit.

But Bemidji answered on a power play opportunity by Joseph Welle on a blast over Widme's right shoulder to cap the scoring in the first period.

From there DL had to play catch up and pulled to within 3-2 at the 12:00 mark on a nice series of combination passes from Tanner Lane to Baker, who found a streaking Alex Phelps for a one-timer goal.

The Lakers proceeded to launch several nice shots in the second period, but Dudgeon was up to the task, saving the rest, while Bemidji closed the game out by outshooting the home team 17-2 in third period and picking up two goals by Luke Burns and Kris Maggert.

"The team came out hungry in the second period and were focused," Denardo said. "In the third period, Bemidji just was able to capitalize on their opportunities."

Widme finished with 36 saves, while Dudgeon had 13.

(Brian Wierima contributed to the article.)

Laker results

Bemidji at Detroit Lakes, Tuesday, Feb. 17.

Lumberjacks 3 1 2 - 6

Lakers 1 1 0 - 2

First period -- 1. Bem, Jesse Nemgar (Braden Devescovi) :58; 2. Bem, Jared Bergquist (Nemgar, Devescovi) 3:43; 3. DL, Nate Baker (Ethan Brekke) 6:38; 4. Bem, PP Joseph Welle (Mike Rees, Nemgar) 15:35.

Second period -- 5. DL, Alex Phelps (Tanner Lane, Baker) 5:00; 6. Bem, Nemgar (Isaac Bitter) 14:05.

Third period -- 7. Bem, Luke Burns (UA) 4:46; 8. Bem, PP Kris Maggert (Nemgar, Kevin Larson) 16:22.

Saves -- DL (Chris Widme) 36...Bem (Derek Dudgeon) 13.

Shots on goal -- DL 7 6 2 - 15...Bem 12 13 17 - 42.

Power plays -- DL 0-4...Bem 2-4.

Kittson Central at Detroit Lakes, Friday, Feb. 13.

Kittson 0 1 0--1

Lakers 4 3 1--8

First Period -- 1. DL, Tanner Lane (Brett Provo) 1:42; 2. DL, Brandon Yozamp (Nate Baker) 2:30; 3. DL, SH Baker (Unassisted) 6:07; 4. DL, Baker (Josh Saunders, Yozamp) 12:40.

Second Period -- 5. DL, Travis Maristuen (Chad Maristuen) :43; 6. DL, Alex Phelps (Lane, Bryant Swenson) 1:21; 7. KC, Dylan Kent (Craig Lindegard) 5:18; 8. DL, SH Lane (Phelps, Davis Johnson) 6:30.

Third Period -- 9. DL, PP Saunders (Baker, Yozamp) 11:22