Midgets beat Watford City for first victory of the season

Starting the third period stuck in a stalemate, Dickinson exploded for three goals to earn their first win of the season.

Shay Finneman puts it past the goalie and into the net to get the Midgets their insurance goal against Watford City on Saturday Dec.4. (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press )

Dickinson secured their first win of the season in a non-conference matchup against Watford City Saturday night at the West River Ice Center in Dickinson. It ended 4-1 with Midgets taking their first lead in the third period and never relinquishing it.

The Midgets were unable to score in the previous match the night before against West Fargo United , but would go on a run of goals in the final period. The Oilers’ goal scorer was Kayden Samuelson. Dickinson’s scorers were Jenna Decker, Sierra Raatz and Shay Finneman.

“Last night we had a really tough game and we competed really well against West Fargo and to come back today on some pretty tired legs,” Dickinson assistant coach Barry Kraiter said. “It had nothing to do with skill level, it had nothing to do with coaching. It was all having to do with the girls and how they changed their attitude between periods.”


The first period started slowly with both sides sharing possession, but eight minutes in the Oilers would strike with Gracie Hall and Lanie Hall assisting Samuelson for the first goal of the game.

Emma Timlinson and Emma Carlson (goalie) playing for Watford City Oilers U19. (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press)

Rather than succumbing to Watford City, the Midgets became galvanized and played more aggressively and were determined to put it all on the ice.

In the second period, during a power play, sophomore forward Decker responded tying the game at 1-1, assisted by Kyndall Peterson right after an offensive faceoff. Up until the period ending buzzer, the Midgets were on the hunt for a rally that would come in the third period.

“Some of the things we have been trying to work on is being aggressive on our faceoffs,” Kraiter said. “If our center can win a faceoff we need somebody there to pick it up and take quick shots … every faceoff down on the ice is to get someone on the puck because puck possession is key.”


The third period saw three goals by Dickinson, starting with junior winger Raatz, assisted by Peterson, to take the lead. The insurance came with 4:57 left from a wrist shot by Shay Finneman.

The Oilers went on the attack, leaving their goal unattended resulting in an empty net goal for Decker’s second goal of the night with just 17 seconds left in the game.

Kyndall Peterson contributed three assist in their match against the Oilers on Dec. 4 (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press)

Younger players showed their strength in the game, such as Peterson, who is an eighth grader, who contributed three assists in the game. The goalie on the night was freshman Olivia Vaagen, who stopped 26 shots on goal in all three periods.


“Last year we only had one win against Jamestown and this year we have now equalled our win total with most of the season ahead of us,” Kraiter said. “It means a lot. The girls can build off of this.”

Shay Finneman is embraced by her teammates in celebration of scoring their third goal of the night against Watford City Oilers. (Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press)

The next time out for the Midgets will be an away game against Grand Forks Knight Riders on Friday, Dec.10.

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
What To Read Next
Get Local