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Minot's magic prevails in 7-0 win

Dickinson falls to Minot 7-0, extends losing streak to four.

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Despite strong efforts, Midgets' goalie Tierney Yoder was unable to stop Minot's strong offensive push. (Matthew Curry/The Dickinson Press)

Dickinson was shutout for a fourth straight time as the Midget’s first home game of the season brought a Minot team who were on fire from the first drop of the puck.

The Midgets hoped to snap both streaks and split the season series with Minot at one game apiece after losing the Magicians 4-0 on Dec. 21, in an away pairing that saw Dickinson’s goalie Tierney Yoder do all she could with 39 stopped shots.

Sadly, the momentum for the Midgets (0-4) was frozen and its spirits quickly melted as the Magicians (4-2-1) dropped a massive 7 point effort in a competition that kept Dickinson out of the net for all three periods.

Despite checking being not allowed in girls hockey, the Magicians worked their spells on the officials who consistently found ways to miss solid collisions. Dickinson’s lack of responding hard hitting was evident as only one big hit was laid in from a Midget’s player in the game coming in the second period when Taylyn Cope found the ice courtesy of a well placed hip check.

Minot consistently found ways of smashing its opponents on the scoreboard by making use of slot pucks in and behind Midgets’ goalie Tierney Yoder.

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Head Coach Al Takle reflected on the struggles his players endured during the showdown.

“I thought we played really well for the first half of the first period and then we just fell apart for a period and a half, and then in the third period we played better again,” he said. “I’m proud that the girls didn’t stop playing, but we got to get a full 52 minutes of hockey.”

The Magicians were clearly the better team on the night and their upperclassmen proved treacherous with their constant use of pick plays in the offensive end. In a sequence of pain leading up to the fourth Magicians goal, there were no less than three pick plays, two of which bumped Midget’s players out of position in the corner, leading to an easy net.

“Minot is a good team, they were floor checking really aggressively and we just weren’t really able to get the puck out of our zone,” Takle said. “That was really the answer, they would pin us in for minutes at a time and we couldn’t get it out, got tired and they eventually scored.”

The Magicians scored seven goals, but considering the on-ice play really had only a handful of quality chances at the net. Four of their goals came on a tired defence that couldn’t get the puck across the blue line. Goalie Tierney Yoder despite being off her game did rebound late with some remarkable saves in a strong third period performance in a 9-16-9-31 showing.

Minot’s offense continued to heat up the ice in the second period, but waned in the later half and most of the third as the Midgets’ offense which was cold continued to fight back and for the first time since the opening minutes of the first period, began to move the puck.

With a crowd that fell silent early in the game, the West River Ice Center became increasingly more muted as the scoreboard lights showed a 7-0 losing effort.

By the third period, the goal for Dickinson had shifted from any chance of pulling a win and centered instead on not allowing Minot to score again and playing hard. Under Takle’s guidance and motivation, players found themselves able to hold off the Magicians for the remainder of the game before skating off with a devastating loss.

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Like a fisherman cold and tired with an empty net, Takle headed to the back with a silver lining and a team that needed to rally heading into their next match.

“We did well in their zone when we got the puck down there,” he said. “When we get the puck down there and we’re making opportunities, we weren’t just throwing the puck around, we were getting a reasonable number of shots that were pretty quality shots.”

With this being only the fourth game of the season, and nearly closing out the first month of the season, Takle reflected on his team’s performances.

“We are improving, we struggled and having our season interrupted a little bit was hard for us but I thought we’re continuing to get better every day in practice,” he said. “Obviously we still have a long way to go.”

Dickinson will return to the ice on the road against Mandan on Jan. 12, leaving Takle mere days to find something to rally his deflated team — a team that shows promise and needs but a catalyst to spark momentum moving forward.

Related Topics: DICKINSON
Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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