Magicians need no real magic in victory over Midgets
Dickinson’s gritty play earns kudos, but no cigar, as five-on-three opportunity garners no glory
DICKINSON — A slow start to the match would see Dickinson lose 3-0 to the No. 2 in standings, Minot Braves on Saturday evening. The Midgets, who sit seventh in standings, put on a contentious effort at the West River Ice Center, but couldn't overcome the Magicians sleight of stick with the puck.
Minot scored two goals in the final four minutes of the first period, putting all the pressure onto Dickinson to respond. Unfortunately for the home team, they would slide further into the hole in the second period courtesy of a power play. The Midgets tried to work set plays off faceoffs and had a strong opportunity to respond in the third period, with a five-on-three situation, but it would be fruitless.
“Same story, different day. Can’t start fast,” Dallas Kuntz, DHS head coach, said. “We just need to play 51 minutes. We battled hard to the end, but we can't spot teams with the lead like we have been and expect to come out on the right side of it.”
Dickinson goaltender Bryce Kadrmas was between the pipes for all three periods, stopping 25 shots on goals. Minots three goal scorers were Caelton Eslinger, Eli Hansen and Ben Svangstu.
Esinger scored 13:01 into the first period and Hansen would deliver the second punch, with two minutes left in the first to take the Magicians up two-nil.
Things went from bad to worse in the second period for Dickinson, when Colin Tschetter was sent to the penalty box for slashing at an opponent. As Tschetter made his return to the rink, Svangstu would be scoring the team's hat trick goal.
As gritty as the Midgets played, it was Minot that finished with more players in the sin bin. The Magicians accumulated five in total, two of which overlapped in the third period to give Dickinson a real chance at making ground during a five-on-three chance. The Midgets kept building up to a play, but the chance would be a missed opportunity.
“Last thing we said was, ‘let's settle it down and make sure we get quality opportunities. Don't rush the gun.’ But we ended up taking a one timer that missed the net,” Kuntz said. “It is easy for me to talk about it, but they are the ones on the ice. I thought we generated opportunities, but we need second chance opportunities. Goalies are doing a nice job steering pucks to the corner, we are not getting those dirty goals that can ignite a team. Those are the types of goals we will need if we want to be successful.”
After the match had concluded, Kuntz gave proper recognition to the top-tier Minot team for their team chemistry and said their heads up style of hockey highlights their trust in one another.
With the season’s end closely approaching, Dickinson’s coaching staff are challenging their players to make the necessary steps to finish the season strong.
“99 percent of the game is played without the puck,” Kuntz said. “We got to do a better job of putting ourselves in a position to support the puck when we don’t have it and that is something that Minot does really well.”