Midgets show grit despite 3-0 loss to Legacy-Bismarck

Dickinson's goaltender Olivia Vaagen had a strong performance in the game, stopping 41 shots, as Sabers claimed victory Tuesday. 

Dickinson girl's hockey team shutout by Legacy-Bismarck High School.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

DICKINSON — The West River Ice Center was the site of a highly anticipated girls' hockey game between the Dickinson Midgets and the Legacy-Bismarck High School Sabers. The game promised to be a hard-fought battle between two evenly matched teams, and it did not disappoint. In the end, the Sabers came out on top with a 3-0 victory over the Midgets, but the game was far from one-sided.

From the opening face off, both teams were aggressive and showed a willingness to battle for every inch of ice. The Midgets were especially physical, looking to establish their presence early in the game. They were determined to prove that they were not going to be pushovers, and they succeeded in doing just that. Their physical play made it difficult for the Sabers to create scoring opportunities, but they did manage to find a way to get on the board.

With 9:34 left in the first period, Madison Flemmer got the Sabers on the board with a well-placed shot that beat the Midgets' goaltender, Olivia Vaagen. Flemmer's goal was the result of a well-executed play that involved precise passing by Olivia LaVallie and Ella Mortenson. Mortenson made a quick pass to , LaVallie who then found Flemmer in the slot. With a quick release, Flemmer was able to beat Vaagen, giving the Sabers a 1-0 lead.

Despite the early deficit, the Midgets did not give up. They continued to battle hard, showing a relentless spirit that kept the game much more competitive than the scoreboard would suggest. Vaegen was a big part of her team’s growing confidence and successes, as she made save after save, keeping the Midgets in the game. She was a wall between the pipes, stopping 41 shots in the game — 19 coming in the first period alone.

Goalie Olivia Vaagen with a stop.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

The second period was a physical battle, with both teams looking to establish their dominance. The Midgets were especially aggressive, and their physical play resulted in three penalties. One of these penalties resulted in a power play goal for the Sabers, as Anne Hulst scored with the man advantage. The goal was the result of a beautiful passing play that involved Ava Krikoriah, who was able to find Hulst in front of the net. With a quick release, Hulst was able to beat the impressive Vaegen, giving the Sabers a 2-0 lead courtesy of a 2-hole finesse shot.


Despite the setback, the Midgets continued to battle, showing their renewed toughness and a never-say-die attitude. Dickinson had a few chances to get back into the game, but they were unable to capitalize on their opportunities.

Dickinson player making a break away.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

In the end, Krikoriah sealed the win for the Sabers with a goal in the final minutes of the third period. Krikoriah's goal was the result of a breakaway, and she was able to beat Vaegen with a quick release.

Krikoriah continues to be one of the top goal-scorers in the West Region, with 11 goals to her name this season. Her offensive prowess was on full display in this game, and she was a big reason why the Sabers were able to come out on top.

In the North Dakota Girls Hockey League standings, the Sabers are in eighth place, while the Midgets remain at the bottom of the standings having been unable to find a win in conference play to date.

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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