Midgets secure win over Blue Jays

The Dickinson High girls hockey team needed a win Friday night at the West River Ice Arena if it wanted any hope of reaching the North Dakota state tournament.

Abby Wandler
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Dickinson junior forward Abby Wandler, front, scores her second goal against Jamestown goalie Ally Dion in a statewide game on Friday at West River Ice Center.

The Dickinson High girls hockey team needed a win Friday night at the West River Ice Arena if it wanted any hope of reaching the North Dakota state tournament.
The Midgets started hot, cooled off late and then stepped up on the defensive end to make it happen.
Rachel Lantz scored two goals in the first 62 seconds, Abby Wandler knocked home a pair in the second and Dickinson held off an onslaught by Jamestown’s Torri Kamlitz in the third to secure a 4-3 victory and, very likely, a bid to the state tournament for the first time since 2009.
“We kept going the whole time,” Midgets head coach Al Takle said. “Certainly our team really wanted this one. They felt like they needed it, and we did.”
The win gave Dickinson 18 league points and gave them breathing room over Williston for the eighth and final seed in the state tournament going into the final week of the regular season.
Lantz’s flurry in the opening minutes set the tone, but the Midgets (6-12 overall, 6-10 state) really got going in the second period.
Dickinson controlled the puck for much of the second. The Midgets outshot the Blue Jays (1-18, 1-16 state) 28-9 and got what ended up being a huge boost from Wandler with a power-play goal just over 6 minutes into the period.
They added another about 3½ minutes later on a nifty play where Jamestown goaltender Ally Dion got caught out of position and Wandler skirted two defenders left of the net to bury what ended up being the deciding goal.
“I kind of just seen it there and said, that’s my shot,” Wandler said with a smile.
But Kamlitz, the Blue Jays’ senior captain, didn’t let her team go down without a fight.
She scored a redirected goal on a power play just 2:42 into the third period to trim the Midgets’ lead to one about 3 minutes later when she caught the puck on a rebound off Dickinson goalie Breanna Chamberlain.
“Torri did a great job putting the team on her back, leading with the C on her chest and doing what she could to impact the game,” Jamestown coach Justin Connell said.
Despite the comeback, the Midgets wouldn’t be denied.
They held back Jamestown after Kelsey Calhoun was sent to the box for elbowing with 1:33 remaining, killing the power play by keeping the puck out of Jamestown’s zone.
Dion finished with 53 saves. Chamberlain had 22.
“We really wanted it bad,” Wandler said.
While Dickinson doesn’t have a bid to the state tournament completely locked up, it’s close and could be ensured if the Midgets beat Fargo Davies - currently the No. 7 seed after a Friday night loss at Mandan - in a six-point game that starts at 2 p.m. today.
Takle said he’s proud of where the girls have led the team this season, especially considering the Midgets won just three state league games in the previous four seasons.
“That’s huge from where our program was just a couple years ago,” Takle said.
Jamestown 1 0 2 - 3
Dickinson 2 2 0 - 4
FIRST PERIOD: 1, D, Rachel Lantz (Kayla Wallace) :18. 2, D, Lantz (Kelsey Calhoun) 1:02. 3, J, Torri Kamlitz 9:42 (pp).
SECOND PERIOD: 4, D, Abby Wandler (Kenadee Fritz, Brittney Chamberlain) 6:09 (pp). 5, D, Wandler (Wallace, Hallie Hoffer) 9:33.
THIRD PERIOD: 6, J, Kamlitz (Haley Hillstrom) 2:42 (pp). 7, J, Kamlitz (Jade Schafer) 5:47.
SAVES: J, Ally Dion 9-26-18-53. D, Breanna Chamberlain 8-9-5-22.
RECORDS: J 1-18 overall, 1-16 state; D 6-12 overall, 6-10 state.

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