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Dickinson High Midgets girls hockey struggles to find rhythm in loss to Bismarck Blizzard

Dickinson High was efficient in its offense Tuesday night.It just wants to see more offensive chances moving forward. The Midgets struggled to fight through defensive woes and allowed 45 shots on goal as Bismarck defeated them 12-0 at the West Ri...

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Dickinson High freshman forward Alyxaine Mansfield, left, fights to keep the puck away from Bismarck sophomore defenseman Morgan Paul Tuesday at the West River Ice Center. (Press Photo by Colton Pool)

Dickinson High was efficient in its offense Tuesday night.
It just wants to see more offensive chances moving forward.
The Midgets struggled to fight through defensive woes and allowed 45 shots on goal as Bismarck defeated them 12-0 at the West River Ice Center.
“When we did get the puck deep in their zone and we did aggressively forecheck, we held some pressure,” said Dickinson assistant coach Barry Kraiter, who led the team in the absence of head coach Al Takle. “I wanted to play a more aggressive game today.”
Bismarck senior goalie Jordan Picard withstood Dickinson’s 15 quality shots on goal. Midgets freshmen Baylee Kram and Grace Kraitor combined for 33 saves.
But through the battle, it wasn’t an easy go for the Dickinson goalies.
Only 1 minute, 26 seconds into the game, Bismarck took its lead it wouldn’t relinquish with an unassisted, short-handed goal from sophomore forward Britta Curl. The Blizzard added to that lead just over three minutes later with an Alysha Hasche goal on an assist from senior forward McKenzie Carlson. Then, 51 seconds later, junior defenseman Delaney Wolf gave Bismarck (15-3-1, 13-0 North Dakota) a 3-0 lead off assists from senior forward Alexis Neas and junior defenseman Katie German.
Dickinson (2-12, 2-10) fought to keep the puck out of its own zone for the middle of the first period, but the Blizzard extended their advantage one more goal as sophomore forward Felicity Blair scored a goal on assists from Hasche and Carlson 35 seconds before the first intermission.
Bismarck tallied 15 shots on goal to Dickinson’s four after the first period.
“I think we started the game out the right way in the first period by getting pucks deep and away from our net,” Bismarck head coach Tim Meyer said. “We made it tough for them to break it out, and the longer we were able to keep it in their zone, we got some chances.”
Bismarck kept on the gas pedal, as Carlson scored only 3:43 into the second period off assists from Wolf and junior forward Kaitlyn Page. About two minutes later, junior forward Rose Gasper scored a power play goal off a rebound with assists from Curl and German. Not long after, Page scored a goal on assists from Carlson and senior forward Anne Dickson. 

Bismarck’s last goal of the period came from Curl on a power play on assists from German and senior forward Lara Wentz to give the Blizzard an 8-0 lead.
“They’re kind of a juggernaut,” Barry said. “You need to really work hard to get the puck off their stick.
“Today we had shining moments. I recognized it and the girls recognized it where when we do go in and play our game and forecheck aggressively, we show, although not all game, that we can play with the best of them.”
One of those shining moments was Dickinson’s best chance at a score in that second frame, which came on an unchallenged fast break when freshman forward Alyxaine Mansfield came in on a well-timed substitution and took the puck. She went right at Picard, but the netminder made a quick glove-hand save to end the scoring threat with about 5 minutes left in the second period.
That was one of Dickinson’s seven shots on goal in the period, while Bismarck totaled 21.
“I think when you establish yourself with a lead, that puts even more pressure on the defense to make sure they clamp down and don’t get undisciplined or goal hungry in their play,” Meyer said. “I did think the girls did a good job of keeping up with the team defense.”
German scored her own goal a few minutes into the third period. Neas and Curl both scored unassisted - giving Curl a hat trick - in the third, and Carlson scored another goal with 48 seconds remaining in the game.
Dickinson again had a good chance to score in the third period when senior forward Kira Zastoupil snagged the puck, scooted into the offensive zone and took a quick shot. However, Picard saved it and kept her shutout alive.
“I’m just trying to perform as well as I can and help my team out as much as I can,” Picard said. “I’ve just got to keep working hard in practice and work on things that I struggle at.”
In Dickinson’s next game at Devils Lake on Saturday, Barry said he hopes his team can show off that offensive stride - and better defense in the process.
“(Bismarck) is where we as a team and a club aspire to be,” Barry said. “We want to get to greatness, and they showed us greatness today and that’s where we’ve got to go.”

B 4 4 4 - 12
D 0 0 0 - 0
FIRST PERIOD: 1, B, Britta Curl, 1:26. 2, B, Alysha Hasche (McKenzie Carlson), 4:35. 3, B, Delaney Wolf (Alexis Neas, Katie German), 5:26. 4, B, Felicity Blair (Hasche, Carlson), 16:25.
SECOND PERIOD: 5, B, Carlson (Wolf, Kaitlyn Page), 3:43. 6, B, Rose Gasper (Curl, German), 5:53. 7, B, Page (Carlson, Anne Dickson), 8:29. 8, B, Curl (German, Lara Wentz), 9:47.
THIRD PERIOD: 9, B, German (Curl, Anne Dickson), 3:29. 10, B, Neas, 8:13. 11, B, Curl, 11:06. 12, B, Carlson (Hasche), 16:12.
SAVES: B, Jordan Picard 4-7-4-15. D, Baylee Kram 11-7-0-18; Grace Kraitor 0-10-5-15.

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