Lantz leads Dickinson into state
The last time the Dickinson High girls hockey team went to the North Dakota state tournament was in 2009. At that time, Rachel Lantz's older sister, Christina, was the team's leading scorer. Rachel Lantz didn't want to go through her high school ...
The last time the Dickinson High girls hockey team went to the North Dakota state tournament was in 2009.
At that time, Rachel Lantz’s older sister, Christina, was the team’s leading scorer.
Rachel Lantz didn’t want to go through her high school career without reaching the state tournament. She didn’t have to as the senior forward and captain helped the Midgets claimed the No. 8 seed this season.
“It’s a great feeling to know that all of our hard work finally paid off,” said Lantz, who has a team-high 30 points with 19 goals and 11 assists. “This was our goal from the start.”
The Midgets (6-14) play top-seeded Bismarck (19-2) in the state tournament quarterfinals at 10 a.m. today at Veterans Memorial Arena in West Fargo.
Dickinson has dropped all four of its previous games against Bismarck - which included one loss against the varsity team and three to the Blizzard’s junior varsity. The Midgets’ lone meeting against the Bismarck varsity team resulted in a 13-0 defeat on Jan. 20.
“It’s going to be tough, but we can’t go into it thinking that they are better team,” Dickinson senior forward Kayla Wallace said. “We’ve come a long ways and we can definitely compete against them.”
Though the Midgets more or less reached the state tournament after a 4-2 win against Mandan on Jan. 15, Dickinson head coach Al Takle knew there was still a month left in the regular season.
Though Dickinson went 2-8 in the final month of the season, the team picked up wins against Devils Lake and Jamestown to hang on to the No. 8 spot in the state tournament.
“It was a long-drawn out process,” Takle said. “The girls thought we were in before we really in. Once we beat Mandan, that’s what put us over the top.”
A majority of the team has played at the varsity level since they were either eighth-graders or freshmen.
Wallace, who began her high school career as a freshman, said the team has been through some tough years, which included back-to-back one-win seasons. In her senior season, Wallace has seven goals and 14 assists.
“Me and Rachel have both been on the same lines for most our hockey careers,” Wallace said. “We’ve been improving and we are getting better.”
Joining Lantz and Wallace as seniors are Kenadee Fritz, Victoria Kuntz, Brittany Chamberlain and Kelsey Gillen.
Though they are pretty senior dominated, three of the Midgets’ top five scorers are underclassmen.
Junior forward-defenseman Kira Zastoupil has supplied 16 points, sophomore forward-defenseman Paige Schweitzer had 12 and junior defenseman Hallie Hoffer posted 11.
Lantz’s goal at the beginning of the season was to surpass her sister’s season total points of 32.
Whether Lantz surpasses that goal during the state tournament or not, she’ll still be happy with the season.
“If the points are there, I’m definitely going to try to get them,” she said. “My goal is to end with as much as her, but if it doesn’t happen, I know she’ll still be proud of me.”