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Midgets boys roll against Minot, punch ticket for state tournament

MINOT -- The Dickinson High boys hockey team and its season were on the brink. Facing an opponent on its home ice who won two previous regular season matchups by a combined score of 17-3, the Midgets' chances of advancing past the state qualifier...

MINOT - The Dickinson High boys hockey team and its season were on the brink.

Facing an opponent on its home ice who won two previous regular season matchups by a combined score of 17-3, the Midgets’ chances of advancing past the state qualifier appeared bleak.

In resounding fashion, the third time for Dickinson was certainly the charm.

Scoring the first four goals of the game, the Midgets dominated en route to a 6-1 victory over Minot High on Saturday, Feb. 11 from the MAYSA Arena.

It is the third consecutive year Dickinson has qualified for the state tournament.

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“The boys would not be denied today, great team win” Midgets head coach Dallas Kuntz said via text. “Everyone did their job and did it well. Beating Minot in their own barn with a trip to the state tourney on the line feels great. Every team wants to be playing their best hockey at this time of the year and today, we took a step in the right direction.”

Sophomore defender Brayden Urlacher collected his first of three assists after connecting with junior forward Ryan Bren for the game’s opening goal less than four minutes into the first period. Junior forward Cody Shepard doubled the lead with a goal midway through the frame.

Dickinson put the game away in the second period. Junior goaltender Riley Wittenberg stopped all 18 Magician shots on goal. With 3:10 remaining before the second intermission, Peter Pavek added to the advantage with a score by Magicians junior goaltender Odin Nelson while sophomore forward Joseph Pavek continued the Midgets command, scoring 91 seconds later.   

Minot got on the board early in the final frame following a power play goal by Mason Diehl. However, the Pavek duo responded, connecting a pair of third period goals, with Joseph Pavek finishing with the hat trick.

Picking up his eighth victory of the season, Wittenberg ended the day with 33 saves. Nelson had 21 stops in net for Minot.

Dickinson High 6, Minot High 1D 2 2 2 - 6M 0 0 1 - 1 FIRST PERIOD: 1, D, Ryan Bren (Brayden Urlacher), 3:50. 2, D, Cody Shepard (Austin Raatz, Dylan Pokorny), 10:42. SECOND PERIOD: 1, D, Peter Pavek (Urlacher, Joseph Pavek), 13:50. 2, D, J. Pavek (Urlacher), 15:21. THIRD PERIOD: 1, M, Mason Diehl (Patrick Heide), 1:59, PP. 2, D, J. Pavek (P. Pavek), 5:16. 3, D, J. Pavek (P. Pavek), 13:21. SAVES: D, Riley Wittenberg 7-18-8-33. M, Odin Nelson 10-5-6-21.

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