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Rangers tip DHS in 2nd period

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson senior Kennedy Takle, right, takes a shot as Richland (Mont.) defenders Erin Harris, left, and Aubrey Kessel, center, play defense on Tuesday night during a girls hockey game at the Dickinson Recreation Center.

The Dickinson High girls hockey team struck first, but Richland had the final word.

The Rangers from Sidney, Mont., scored two goals in the second period to defeat the Midgets 3-1 on Tuesday at the Dickinson Recreation Center.

"I think the girls played great," Dickinson head coach Lauren Hansen said. "Obviously it's frustrating that it was loss, but I think it was also a good thing for the girls to hang their hats on."

Dickinson accomplished one aspect that it has been striving toward all season -- it played a strong first period.

"It's the best start that we've ever had," Hansen said. "It felt like the girls carried themselves really well in the first period."

The Midgets scored the opening goal with 45 seconds left in the first period. Megan Weidner patiently waited for a rebound shot from junior forward Madison Kinzel and the freshman was rewarded with a goal.

"The first (period), we did pretty good and worked as a team," Weidner said. "I feel like we just lost it in the second. We tried to regain it in the third, but it just didn't look good."

Between periods, Hansen didn't have much to say to her team, but Richland head coach Damon McLaughlin knew his team was still within striking distance.

"We just tried to pick it up that second period," he said. "We had a lucky break to start the second period."

The Rangers' break came 24 seconds into the period as Abby Balcer knocked in the team's first goal. Richland added another goal in the second period on an Aubrey Kessel breakaway.

"(Breakaway goals) definitely lift up the team," McLaughlin said. "It gets them going a little bit."

Dickinson had scoring opportunities throughout the game, but couldn't find the back of the net after the first period.

"I think it's good for the girls to get that kind of action and that kind of time in the offensive zone," Hansen said.

Richland shored up the win with 1:05 left in the game after an Erin Harris goal.

Midgets seventh-grader LeAnne Brydl had 22 saves, while the Rangers' Mikala Morehouse faced 25 shots, saving all but one. Hansen said her goalie's performance continues to impress.

"LeAnne had a great game," Hansen said. "It's great to get her some playing time being that's she's really young."

Dickinson hopes to use the positives and negatives of this game to help with the final games left in the season. The Midgets travel to Devils Lake at 2 p.m. Saturday.

"I think it shows the girls that when they are working hard, they get some goals going and they get momentum," Hansen said. "It only takes a few minor technical errors to get goals scored on us. In the future, we just need to tighten up our positioning."

Richland 0 2 1 - 3

Dickinson 1 0 0 - 1

FIRST PERIOD: 1, D, Megan Weidner (Madison Kinzel) 16:15.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, R, Abby Balcer (Bryanna Christiansen, Maci Holst) :24. 3, R, Aubrey Kessel 9:22.

THIRD PERIOD: 4, R, Erin Harris 15:55.

SAVES: R, Micala Horehouse 6-11-5-22. D, LeAnne Brydl 6-6-12-24.