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Mandan posts 4 unanswered goals in 3rd to down Midgets

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson sophomore defenseman Hallie Hoffer, middle, tries to bring up the puck against a pair of Mandan defenders during a statewide game on Thursday at Dickinson Recreation Center.

Less than 20 seconds into the game, the Mandan girls hockey had a blue-line wrist shot ricochet off the top cross bar.

Dickinson caught a break, but the Braves’ missed opportunities only lasted for so long.

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Mandan scored four straight third-period goals en route to a 6-2 win over Dickinson in a statewide game on Thursday at Dickinson Recreation Center.

“In the third period, I just feel like we ran out of gas,” Dickinson head coach Al Takle said. “We were in penalty kill for so much of the period that just bats all your energy.”

Mandan head coach Dewitt Mack added: “We told them in the locker room after the second period that we needed to win the third. If we were going to win the game, we needed to win the period.”

The Braves and Midgets traded goals back and forth as no team scored back-to-back throughout the first five points.

Mandan’s streak of four straight goals started with Paige Lillis at the 13-minute, 6-second mark of the third period and lasted for the next 10 minutes. The Braves also received goals from Mariah Marsh, Jordyn Bossert and Maiah McCowan during the stretch. Marsh finished with two goals and two assists, while Bossert and McCowan each had a goal and an assists.

Dickinson junior forward Rachel Lantz — who scored a short-handed goal with 15:29 left in regulation to tie the game 2-2 — said it was disappointing to have the momentum and lose it after Mandan scored four straight goals.

“It was a big letdown,” Lantz said. “We all just kind of put our heads down and we weren’t able to pick ourselves up after that. It was unfortunate.

“After the game, we all pointed out the things that we did wrong and realize that if we want to go to state. We’ve got to improve the little things like not letting ourselves down.”

Mandan’s sophomore forward Rebecca Helbling scored the opening goal in the final minute of the first period. Dickinson sophomore forward Kira Zastoupil responded to tie the game in the first two minutes of the second period.

In the second period, Mandan sophomore forward Mariah Marsh scored a power-play goal to take a 2-1 lead. Lantz scored the opening goal of the third period. However, Lillis responded less than two minutes later at 13:06 with a game-winning goal.

Senior goalie Paige Fahlstrom kept the Midgets in the game making 33 saves. Fahlstrom was also aided by each post and the cross bar throughout the game.

“In the first period, Paige was phenomenal,” Takle said. “In the whole game, she played extremely well. That was the best I’ve ever seen her play.”

Dickinson biggest deterrent to maintain any type of momentum was the number of penalties. The Braves had a five-on-three advantage twice in the game. The Midgets committed nine penalties, while Mandan had one in the second period.

“You can’t play full force when you only have four players on the ice,” Lantz said. “It seemed like we only had four people on the ice for over half the game. That was a big disadvantage.”

Despite committing nine penalties, Mack felt the team didn’t capitalize on enough opportunities. The Braves only scored a pair of power-play goals.

“Dickinson is a very aggressive team,” Mack said. “They play physical and that put us in the power play quite often.”

The Midgets are looking toward the future hosting Minot in a statewide game at 2 p.m. Saturday.

“Minot is a better team, so we are going to have to play better,” Takle said. “We’ll have a light practice (today) and we’ll try to fix those little things and see how we play on Saturday.”

Mandan 1 1 4 – 6

Dickinson 0 1 1 – 2

FIRST PERIOD: 1, M, Rebecca Helbling (Madison Ripplinger), :59.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, D, Kira Zastoupil (McKenna Love, Kennadee Fritz), 15:29. 3, M, Mariah Marsh (unassisted), 9:34.

THIRD PERIOD: 4, D, Rachel Lantz (Kayla Wallace), 15:29. 5, M, Paige Lillis (Marsh), 13:06. 6, M, Marsh (unassisted), 6:08. 7, M, Jordyn Bossert (Maiah McCowan, Samantha Bussman) 5:50. 8, M, McCowan (Marsh, Bossert), 2:52.

SAVES: M, Sara Zachmeier 2-5-4–11. D, Paige Fahlstrom 15-8-10–33.