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Midgets come back on Thunder again, finish tourney 3-0

Just like the first meeting, in Dickinson High's rematch with Rapid City's (S.D.) Rushmore Thunder on Friday, a late penalty opened the door for the Midgets to mount a comeback.

Dickinson High's Mike Herauf skates with the puck on Friday against the Rushmore Thunder at the West River Ice Center. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson High's Mike Herauf skates with the puck on Friday against the Rushmore Thunder at the West River Ice Center. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)

Just like the first meeting, in Dickinson High's rematch with Rapid City's (S.D.) Rushmore Thunder on Friday, a late penalty opened the door for the Midgets to mount a comeback.

On Wednesday, a five-minute penalty in the third period yielded three goals for Dickinson in an eventual win. On Friday, Rushmore's Brian Petereit was whistled for holding and Dante Heredia was charged with unsportsmanlike conduct and was subsequently ejected with 11:27 remaining in the final period.

The Midgets had gotten a goal from Dawson Kram just 23 seconds earlier to tie the game at 3-3, and roughly a minute into the power play, Mike Herauf put Dickinson ahead for good, finding some room in a crowded crease to bounce the puck past Rushmore goaltender Alex Robin.

Logan Karsky scored a minute and a half later to put a bow on Dickinson's 5-3 victory at the West River Ice Center, giving the Midgets a spotless 3-0 record coming out of its Dakota Border Battle Holiday Tournament and ending the calendar year on a high note.

"We knew it was going to be hard this weekend," said Herauf, whose game-winner was his second goal of the year. "We got a big talk that we need to really work as a team and not as an individual, and I think mostly throughout the game, we played as a team and really got through it."

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The team effort was necessary after the Thunder challenged the Midgets in the second period.

After Ryan Bren scored 44 seconds into the game and 1:35 into the second period for a 2-0 lead, Rushmore came alive and started getting more pressure on Dickinson's sophomore goalie Riley Wittenberg, who went virtually untested in the first period.

Rushmore got on the board after Jacob Lindblom exited the box following his tripping penalty and found himself in a one-on-one with Wittenberg, who stopped the initial shot and the rebound attempt from Zach Bender. Lindblom found the puck again and beat Wittenberg to his right to cut the score in half.

Heredia and Parker Sundby each scored over the next six minutes to put Rushmore ahead 3-2 through two periods.

"I got kind of scared when I saw the ref raise his arm for the penalty, and after the first goal, I said, 'It's fine, it's fine,'" Wittenberg said. "After the second one, I got a little more nervous, and the third one, I just messed up and let that one in."

Wittenberg stopped six shots in the third period while his teammates made a comeback.

Kram scored right in front of the net while falling down 11 minutes into the period to tie the game, and Herauf and Karsky battled in the same area for their goals to put the team ahead.

"Those are garbage goals in front of the net. It's not the ESPN highlight snipe that is always the best. My favorite goals are garbage goals," Dickinson head coach Dallas Kuntz said. "That means those guys are working hard. I'm proud of the guys for coming back. We battled a lot these last few days."

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Wittenberg had 17 saves in his first varsity win.

"(The comeback) calmed me down but also got me really pumped up because I knew I couldn't let anything else in," he said.

Kuntz added: "He stayed focused. The hardest game for a goalie is not the 50-shot barrage because he's in a zone there. It's five, six shots in a short span. For him to stay focused, he made some key saves for us at the end, and our defense finally protected in front of our net and protected our young goalie."

 

Dickinson High 5, Rushmore 3

R 0 3 0 - 3

DHS 1 1 3 - 5

FIRST PERIOD: 1, DHS, Ryan Bren (Jerzy Martin), 0:44.

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SECOND PERIOD: 2, DHS, Bren (Jaren Hugelen, Kaymen Kitchen), 1:35. 3, R, Jacob Lindblom (Zach Bender), 8:44. 4, R, Dante Heredia (Hunter Stewart), 11:03. 5, R, Parker Sundby, 14:42.

THIRD PERIOD: 6, DHS, Dawson Kram (Hugelen), 11:04. 7, DHS, Mike Herauf (Martin), 12:21. 8, DHS, Logan Karsky (Cody Shepard), 13:54.

SAVES: R, Alex Robin 33 saves. DHS, Riley Wittenberg 17 saves.

Dickinson High goaltender Riley Wittenberg, right, congratulates Ryan Bren following Bren's goal in the second period on Friday against the Rushmore Thunder at the West River Ice Center. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson High goaltender Riley Wittenberg, right, congratulates Ryan Bren following Bren's goal in the second period on Friday against the Rushmore Thunder at the West River Ice Center. (Parker Cotton / The Dickinson Press)

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