Midgets deliver onslaught: Pavek, Shepard combine to score nine goals in season opener
Before the start of the season, Dickinson High School boys hockey head coach Dallas Kuntz expressed confidence in the group of talented sophomores and juniors he'll guide during the 2017-18 campaign.
Nearly from the first drop of the puck, a pair of those underclassmen made his presence known many times over.
Sophomore forward Joseph Pavek and junior forward Cody Shepard combined to net nine goals as the Midgets captured their first season-opening win since the 2014-15 season, routing Williston 16-2 on Tuesday, Nov 28, from the West River Ice Center.
Pavek collected a first period hat trick and Shepard got his in the second period.
"I just relied on my teammates to get me through it and get those good assists," Pavek said of his first hat trick at the high level. "It's nice for our team to get off on the right foot. It's a game we got after it early, had a better second period and kept playing the way we were suppose to play."
Pavek lit up the scoreboard twice before three minutes had ticked by in the first. On a two-on-one break, Pavek finished a pass from sophomore defender Jaren Hugelen for the game's opening score. Thirteen seconds later after Dickinson (1-0) won the face-off, junior forward Ryan Bren found Pavek all alone by the net for the goal.
Williston (1-2) responded midway through the first period when senior forward Chance Johnson got a backhanded shot by Midgets junior goaltender Riley Wittenberg. Early on, the Coyotes remained competitive.
"The first five or six minutes, I thought that Williston actually came in confident like they wanted to do something," Kuntz said. "Once we settled down; it's our first game, I'm really happy with the good habits that we formed today. We're working, we're doing things the right way."
With 4:41 remaining in the first, senior forward Peter Pavek caught an elevated pass from Shepard into the offensive zone, deked a Williston defender, caught Coyotes sophomore goaltender Jamison Bervig leaning and beat him on the glove-side.
Sixty-nine seconds later, Joseph Pavek completed his hat trick on a breakaway, beating Bervig again on the glove-side for a short-handed goal. Dickinson scored short-handed three times.
After assisting on the final goal of the first period off of the stick on Brayden Groll, Shepard began adding his name into the scoring column. Shepard scored three of Dickinson's eight second period goals, the third on an unassisted rifled wrister to complete the hat trick.
Shepard, who finished with four goals and four assists, was happy to help within the concept of the team.
"It's hard not taking it down and taking it for yourself, but we're all a family here," Shepard said. "We're all a team and we've been playing the last three years together. We know that selfishness is not a part of this team. We kept our heads down and fought together."
Joseph Pavek finished with five goals and an assist while Peter Pavek had two goals and two assists. Wittenberg had 12 saves while his counterpart Bervig had 34 saves.
Dickinson will next play on the road as they'll travel to Mandan on Thursday, Nov. 30.
"I'm proud of the team for a solid start," Kuntz said. "We'll enjoy this one tonight, but we're already looking for Mandan on Thursday."
Dickinson 16, Williston 2
W 1 0 1 — 2
D 5 8 3 — 16
FIRST PERIOD: 6, D, Joseph Pavek (Jaren Hugelen), 2:21, D, Joseph Pavek (Ryan Bren), 2:34, W, Chance Johnson (Quincy LaDue), 8:15, D, Peter Pavak (Cody Shepard), 12:19, D, Joseph Pavek, 13:28, D, Brayden Groll (Cody Shepard, Peter Pavak), 16:54.
SECOND PERIOD: 8, D, Dylan Pokorny (Jaren Hugelen, Tanner Giese), 2:15, D, Dylan Pokorny (Cody Shepard), 3:50, D, Cody Shepard (Jaren Hugelen, Brayden Groll), 5:18, Joseph Pavek (Ryan Bren, Austin Raatz), 6:11, D, Cody Shepard (Peter Pavak), 8:57, D, Cody Shepard, 13:25, D, Chris Zubke (Joseph Pavak), 15:11, D, Tanner Giese (Jaren Hugelen), 16:21.
THIRD PERIOD: 4, D, Joseph Pavek (Chris Zubke), 3:56, D, Cody Shepard, 8:15, W, Dalton Tangedal (Hayden Kemp, Braedon Borseth), 9:48, W, Peter Pavek (Cody Shepard), 11:04.
SAVES: W, Jamison Bervig 9-13-12 34. D, Riley Wittenberg 4-2-4 10.