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Midgets overcome early penalties, put seven past Mandan

There was a moment, down 2-0, when Mandan High had a path back into its game Thursday night against Dickinson High at the West River Ice Center. An influx of three straight Midget penalties late in the first period that spilled into the second pe...

Dickinson forward Tyler Kostelecky lines up a shot Thursday night at the West River Ice Center. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson forward Tyler Kostelecky lines up a shot Thursday night at the West River Ice Center. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)

There was a moment, down 2-0, when Mandan High had a path back into its game Thursday night against Dickinson High at the West River Ice Center.

An influx of three straight Midget penalties late in the first period that spilled into the second period gave the Braves an extended advantage and, on two separate occasions, a 5-on-3 attack.

But a sturdy penalty killing Dickinson defense, plus an answer by goalie Gabe Vaagen for everything Mandan had, ended the threat, and after two more Midget goals later that period, effectively ended the game.

The Midgets added another three in third for good measure, and took a decisive 7-1 victory from the Braves.

"I'm pretty confident in our penalty, though I'm guessing we're probably one of the most penalized teams in the state," said head coach Dallas Kuntz, whose Midgets thwarted seven power plays in all. "But our penalties tonight were hard-working ones, I had no problem with that. Our penalty killers set the tone for us, we kill those off, grab some goals, and just went on to play a full three periods of hockey."

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Jerzy Martin, who would gather up a hat trick with a goal in each period, was the offensive catalyst all night, and got the goal scoring underway with a slap shot 2:36 into the game.

Dawson Kram was next - about nine minutes later on an unassisted breakaway finish - and once the Midgets were done killing off all those penalties, Martin again got on the board 8:03 into the second.

Toward the end of the same period, the Midgets played their most aggressive stretch of hockey, peppering Mandan goalie Maysion Mattern with nine straight shots that brought the shots on goal discrepancy from three to 12 in Dickinson's favor.

Matthew Tessier finally finished off the flurry 15:19 into the period, stretching the lead to 4-0.

Martin got got his hat trick a few minutes into the third, and, for insurance measures, senior Kaymen Kitchen came on and notched his first and second scores of the season.

"I think it was our best game of the year. It was great out there, we moved the puck great and I got my first two so that was awesome," Kitchen said. "Personally, I was on cloud nine. It's taken me awhile to score, but I finally broke through, lots of credit to my teammates for that."

The one Mandan score came with four minutes left in the game, on an aimless shot by Alexander Horner that made its way through Vaagen's legs and slowly trickled into the goal.

The goalie finished with 21 saves and was up to task all night against frequent advantaged attacks by Mandan.

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When Horner's shot found the net, he threw up his hands in delight, having just spoiled the shutout-a small victory for Mandan on a night firmly in Dickinson's control.

"We won pretty good, I guess, so I'm not too mad about it," Vaagen said, laughing. "One of those things I try not to care about, never bad to get a shutout, though."

Dickinson 7, Mandan 1

MHS 0 0 1 - 1

DHS 2 2 3 - 7

FIRST PERIOD: 1, DHS, Jerzy Martin (Joseph Pavek), 2:36. 2, DHS, Dawson Kram, 11:18.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, DHS, Martin (Joshua Stengel), 8:03. 2, DHS, Matthew Tessier, (Cody Shepard, Peter Pavek), 15:19.

THIRD PERIOD: 1, DHS, Martin (J. Pavek, Ryan Bren), 4:29. 2, Kaymen Kitchen, 6:50. 3, Kitchen (J. Pavek, Bren), 9:45. 4, MHS, Alexander Horner (Quinn Halstengard), 12:45.

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SAVES: DHS, Gabe Saaven 9-9-3-21. MHS, Maysion Mattern 14-13-6-33.

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