Dickinson left in neutral: Lady Midgets outshot by 35 in loss to Bismarck High
Last playing a game on Dec. 12, the Dickinson High girls hockey team was a step behind its opponent all night long.
Struggling to create any scoring chances, the Midgets were shutout by Bismarck High 4-0 on Tuesday, Jan. 2 from the West River Ice Center.
Dickinson was outshot by a 44-9 margin. Some of the shots attempted were well behind the offensive zone and easily tapped away by Blizzard sophomore goaltender Lauren Watkins.
"They are obviously a good team, five-time state champion and they looked like it," Midgets head coach Al Takle said. "We really struggled getting the puck out of our zone. We had good effort, even though our execution wasn't that good."
Four minutes into the first period, Dickinson (2-5) was rewarded with a power play when Blizzard sophomore forward Madison Swenson was whistled for a trip on Midgets freshman defender Madison McChesney. However, the early opportunity was for naught as they struggled to carry the puck beyond the neutral zone even with the skater advantage.
Soon after the Blizzard (8-3) went back to full strength, Dickinson faced a 5-on-3 penalty kill when junior forward Kennedy Kuntz was called for interference and senior forward Emily Winch was sent to the box for too many skaters on the ice.
Midgets junior goaltender Baylee Kram did an excellent job keeping Bismarck off of the scoreboard, making a couple of glove saves and covering up the puck with Blizzard players lurking, but the tone of the game was set.
With shots sitting at 8-1 in favor of Bismarck, they cracked the Kram code on their ninth shot when sophomore Marissa Shae jammed one by the goaltender off of a rebound.
It was more of the same in the second period as the Midgets played on their heels against Blizzard attack. Kram made an excellent right pad on a breakaway backhanded chance from senior forward Amanda Baerlocher, but that would serve as Dickinson's biggest highlight.
"I'm really impressed with their goaltender," Blizzard head coach Tim Meyer said. ""That's a lot of pucks to see in the course of a game and we talked to our girls about that. She sees a lot of pucks but she manages to make a lot of saves so I'm really impressed with the way that see plays and they did a really good job making sure we had to really work hard to get any goals tonight."
Junior forward Kenley Anderson added to the Bismarck advantage after being assisted by sophomore forward Riley Ball at the midway point of the period. Two minutes later, after intercepting a pass in the neutral zone, Blizzard junior forward Jordyn Kisse beat Kram on the glove side, pushing the lead to three.
On the other end, Dickinson was only able to muster a single shot during the period to Bismarck's 16 shots.
"I would say tonight one our biggest assets in terms of defense was actually our offense," Meyer said. "We you are able to sustain pressure in the zone, you're able to keep the puck 200 feet from your own net, it just makes it hard for your opponent."
Blizzard junior forward Chloe Hertz added a goal in the third period while Watkins needed just nine saves for the shutout.
Kram had 40 saves in defeat. The Midgets were without junior forward Kamryn Kuntz, their fourth leading scorer.
After the loss, Takle said he believes his team's performance was partially affected by rust, but the bigger reason behind the loss was simply their opponent and the Midgets inability to give themselves a chance.
"I think that has some to do with it, that we haven't played for a while, but again, they're a good team," Takle said. "We really struggled getting the puck on our stick and executing plays to get out of our zone. Our breakout was mostly nonexistent the whole game."
Bismarck High 4, Dickinson 0
BH 1 2 1 — 4
D 0 0 0 — 0
FIRST PERIOD: 1, BH, Marissa Shae (Anika Butts, Grace Cleveland), 10:32.
SECOND PERIOD: 1, BH, Kenley Anderson (Riley Ball), 7:26. 2, BH, Jordyn Kisse, 9:29.
THIRD PERIOD: 1, BH, Chloe Hertz (Kisse, Brooke Nelson), 11:59.
SAVES: BH, Lauren Watkins 4-1-4—9. D, Baylee Kram 13-14-13—40.