The Dickinson girls hockey team had a cold finish in its home game against Mandan on Monday. The team was able to ignite in the second period and showed strong promise but ended with a 7-3 loss.
The Midgets fought hard to control the puck and put offensive pressure on the Braves, but played defense throughout the game and relied on eighth grader Tierney Yoder to hold strong at the net, in which she did very well. Mandan heavily outshot Dickinson with a 41-20 ratio.
“I thought for whatever reason we didn’t come out with energy to start the game. I don’t know if we thought it’d be easy and they’d let us do whatever. Second period seemed to look better for us, and we were able to stay with them, got a couple goals in. And we came out for the third period, we just ran out of gas,” head coach Al Takle said.
The Midgets’ defense attempted to limit the Braves’ shots-on-goal in the first period, but the Braves got into the score column after junior forward Emily Froelich scored an unassisted goal on a backhand attempt nearly midway through the period.
Mandan continued to put pressure on the young goalie, but Yoder continued to hold strong at the net. Near the end of the period, with a penalty on the verge of being called and the Braves’ goalie coming off the ice in order for the Braves to gain an extra skater, a miscommunication with Yoder and the team left the goal wide open for the Midgets. Trystin Nuestel obtained the puck at center and sped across the ice to the open net, just being able to get the puck across the red line before Yoder could return to the net, giving the Braves a 2-0 lead at the end of the period.
The first penalty of the game came as an interference against the Braves with 2:32 left in the first period. The Midgets were only able to manage one shot on net by senior defenseman Taia Klaman, ending the first period heavily outshot 13-2.
The Braves started the second period with two shots on net. The Braves tallied their third goal of the game with a goal by Kenlee Edward, assisted by forward Anna Ross, nearly two minutes into the second period.
Midgets senior forward Ali Landford was the first athlete for the Midgets to be put in the penalty with a body check. The Braves swarmed the Midgets defense but were unable to record a goal.
With 7:59 left in the second period, Klaman, while being heavily contested, fired a shot at Braves goalie Jayli Wandler. The puck propelled off of Wandler’s pads and was rebounded by Midgets sophomore forward Taylor Reap, who fired a shot that found its way in the back of the net, narrowing the gap 3-1, igniting the teams and the fans.
The Braves attempted to get a slap shot by Marci Berg but were blocked by Klaman. Klaman then darted past the defense and prepared to have a one-on-one encounter with Wandler. Klaman gave a solid left-to-right deke, juking out Wandler and scoring the Midgets’ second goal of the game near the end of the period.
The Braves countered with an unassisted short-handed goal by eighth grader Belle Hoelle, ending the period with a 4-2 score. The Braves just outshot the Midgets 13-10 in the second, but the team had its motivation back.
The motivation seemed to fade as Braves junior forward Ana Ross scored a goal early in the third, with an assist by forward Madison Hertz. Junior forward Emma Meduna was then able to add on to the lead with a goal of her own minutes later. The Braves scored one final goal, with the puck squeaking underneath Yoder, giving the team a 7-2 lead.
Midgets eighth-grade defender Jenna Decker was able to score one final goal on a hard unassisted slap-shot goal late in the third, but the deficit was too much.
Despite the large amounts of goals, Takle was very proud of his young goalie.
“She kept us in the game, for sure. We weren’t helping her very much, and Tierney did a nice job of really, really playing well. I thought she had a really nice game,” he said.
The Midgets return to action on Saturday, Dec. 7, against Fargo North at 12 p.m. and Bottineau at 2 p.m.