Early goals spark Midgets to win over Capitals
On Thursday evening, the Dickinson High boys hockey team wasted no time in getting the drama out of the way. After mounting a comeback and winning via shootout on Wednesday, the Midgets tallied two early goals against Pierre Oahe (S.D.) and stave...
On Thursday evening, the Dickinson High boys hockey team wasted no time in getting the drama out of the way.
After mounting a comeback and winning via shootout on Wednesday, the Midgets tallied two early goals against Pierre Oahe (S.D.) and staved off the Capitals after that in a 4-3 win in the Dakota Border Battle Holiday Tournament at the West River Ice Center.
"We showed up on time for once. Getting the two goals is big for us because discipline-wise, we weren't very good," Dickinson head coach Dallas Kuntz said. "I take some of that on myself, but the undisciplined play, taking penalties, that's kind of who we are right now. Our start was huge for us in that it got us over the hump."
The Midgets were whistled for 10 penalties and managed to kill them all. No penalty kill was more critical than the final one, when Dickinson worked a man down for two minutes with less than three minutes to play in the third period.
The Capitals pressured Dickinson goalie Gabe Vaagen - and once the penalty ended, Oahe pulled its goalie for a six-on-five advantage - and still got nothing.
"When you're playing short-handed as much as we are, we have a lot of experience at it," Kuntz said. "And we have a lot of guys I feel comfortable putting out there in that situation. ... For us to kill that off at the end says a lot about a few of the guys we have in the locker room that did play short-handed today."
Dickinson started early, seeing Ryan Bren score off a Jerzy Martin assist less than three minutes into the game.
After Oahe's Coleman Varty tied the game with an unassisted goal 9:23 into the first period, the Midgets went ahead again on a goal by Dawson Kram. With less than a minute to play in the opening period, the Midgets killed a penalty and Kram took the ice as the penalized teammate returned to the bench. Not 30 seconds later did Kram find himself in a breakaway, where he slid left and beat goaltender Brody Hultman for a 2-1 lead.
"To start out and you get those two goals right away, it just adds motivation. We want to go out there and keep grinding at it," said Tyler Kostelecky, whose goal 28 seconds into the second period put Dickinson ahead 3-1. "Playing well at the start really helps throughout the whole game."
Kuntz said the strong play from Kostelecky, Logan Karsky and Treven Hopfauf was one of his highlights from the game.
"I thought they were outstanding for us," Kuntz said. "They were probably out there 12, 14 minutes, and I bet they spent less than two minutes in our own end. Lines like that, when they're going for us, we're going to be good."
An aggressive play on a forecheck from that line led to Kostelecky's goal.
"It was in the corner and Logan passed it up," Kostelecky said. "I was wide open in the slot, so I just took it."
Oahe's Spencer Wedin beat Vaagen over his left shoulder to cut the lead to 3-2 with five minutes gone in the second period, but Dickinson's Jaren Hugelen scored unassisted to create a 4-2 cushion.
The Midgets allowed a third goal later in the second and held the Capitals off from there.
"You have to dig and think about that this is the last period, and we have to do everything we can so they don't get that goal," Kostelecky said.
The Capitals' attack wore down as the game aged on. Vaagen stopped 10 shots in the first period but just six in each of the final two to finish with 22 saves.
Dickinson High 4, Pierre Oahe 3
O 1 2 0 - 3
DHS 2 2 0 - 4
FIRST PERIOD: 1, DHS, Ryan Bren (Jerzy Martin), 2:30. 2, O, Coleman Varty, 9:23. 3, DHS, Dawson Kram, 16:38.
SECOND PERIOD: 4, DHS, Tyler Kostelecky (Logan Karsky), 0:28. 5, O, Spencer Wedin, 5:02. 6, DHS, Jaren Hugelen, 12:19. 7, O, 12:38.
THIRD PERIOD: No scoring.
SAVES: O, Brody Hultman 6-18-10-34. DHS, Gabe Vaagen 10-6-6-22.