Bismarck High chills Dickinson in chippy 2-1 match
Midgets’ late goal would only serve as a consolation, falling to the Demons 2-1 in gritty performance highlighting signs of season-long improvement
DICKINSON — The Dickinson Midgets faced off against the defensive Bismarck High Demons in a nail-biting 2-1 match at the West River Community Center on Tuesday. With both teams battling for a spot in the middle of the pack, the game was sure to be a high-stakes showdown, and it did not disappoint.
“It's the end of the year, it's a big game for the standings, both teams know what's at stake, so we expected it to be kind of a chippy game,” Kuntz said. “We got to the end of the game and we battled hard, but tonight we couldn't score. Bismarck High did a good job at keeping us away from the net.”
The first period was evenly matched with both teams trading shots, but the Demons managed to sneak one past the Midgets' goalie with five minutes left on the clock. Bismarck’s Carsyn Sebastian lit the lamp, assisted by Owen Haase and Beau Bitz.
“Those are types of plays that are the difference in games like this,” Kuntz said. “We had opportunities too, but we have to string shifts together. It seemed like we had a good shift, where we forecheck hard, then all of a sudden the puck was on our end for a couple minutes. We just need a cumulative effort of grinding.”
Despite a scoreless second period, the Midgets showed their mettle with an impressive 11 shots on goal, but Bismarck's goalie was up to the task. The Midgets struggled to make their opportunities count, but the action was just getting started.
In the third period, the Midgets came out with fire in their bellies and took control of the puck, but Bismarck's defense was relentless, making it difficult for the Midgets to get a shot on goal. The Demons managed to strike again, with Dawson Lentz finding the back of the net, assisted by Hudson Cowley.
“We've had games where we've been up and then give up the lead late, but tonight was just the opposite,” Kuntz said. “I thought we fought until the end, but I don't think we should have been in that position to begin with. The first two periods we came out and Bismarck kind of punched us in the face a little bit. We got to start strong, play strong, finish strong, 51 full minutes.”
The Midgets didn't give up and continued to press forward, finally breaking through with a goal from Tanner Roers, assisted by Sam Stillings. Despite their best efforts, the Midgets were unable to find the equalizer before the final buzzer sounded, leaving them sitting seventh in the standings.