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Williston tops Midgets behind three second period goals

Regardless of a first period with lots of shots for Williston but no scoring for either side, Coyotes head coach Mat Ekblad saw no reason to panic. He liked the energy his girls brought in the first 18 minutes against Dickinson High at West River...

Dickinson goalie Baylee Kram attempts a save in the second period of the Midgets game against Williston Thursday night at the West River Ice Center. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson goalie Baylee Kram attempts a save in the second period of the Midgets game against Williston Thursday night at the West River Ice Center. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)

Regardless of a first period with lots of shots for Williston but no scoring for either side, Coyotes head coach Mat Ekblad saw no reason to panic.

He liked the energy his girls brought in the first 18 minutes against Dickinson High at West River Ice Center Thursday night, he just thought it needed to be coerced into a better strategy.

So in the second period, instead of firing away straight on shots against Midget goalie Baylee Kram, who finished the first period with 14 saves, he implored his team to get more girls in front of the net, to set screens and create diversions.

That tweak in-part created three Coyote goals in the middle period, and fueled a 4-1 victory over Dickinson.

"Baylee was playing very well for them. She did a great job of tracking, so for us, we just talked about getting more screens in front of her," Ekblad said. "We were confident in the way we were playing, but she was seeing the puck real well. We just made had to make some adjustments in terms of getting in front of the net when you have a goaltender playing like that."

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The first goal broke through on the 21st shot of the game for Williston, and came 10 minutes into the second period on a power play. It was a wrist shot by Kaia Wenstad that, as planned, wasn't picked up by Kram until it was too late.

The Coyotes struck again 14:30 into the same period, and once again a minute later. Both were shots by Carly Collings, who finished with a game-high three points on two goals and an assist, and both came while Williston was playing shorthanded.

"Credit to them, they really controlled the puck for a lot of the game," Dickinson head coach Al Takle said. "We actually played pretty well I thought for the first half or so of the second period. They got one by us, then they got those two other ones shorthanded, which just shouldn't have happened."

The best stretch of offense for the Midgets came about midway through the third period, when, in the span of two minutes, Dickinson rallied for a total of five of their 20 total shots on net.

Still, Coyote goalie Madison McLees didn't relinquish the shutout until there was only 1:11 left to play in the game on a nice unassisted goal from freshman Taia Klaman, who got the puck around mid ice and navigated her way down the left wing for wrist shot score.

"It felt good to finally get one up on the scoreboard and bring our team back up a little closer," said Klaman, whose goal brought the score to 3-1. "We brought our intensity back a lot more in the third period."

After the score, Takle pulled Kram from the net, which eventually resulted in a fourth Coyote goal.

"It didn't work out like we wanted it to, obviously," Takle said. "But a minute left, we were there. Down two, we had them reeling a little bit; didn't work out, but it doesn't matter if you lose 3-1 or 4-1, so it was fun to be in it at the end."

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Williston 4, Dickinson 1

WHS 0 3 1 - 4

DHS 0 0 1 - 1

FIRST PERIOD: No scoring. 1, xx, xxxxx (xxx), xxxx.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, 8:00, Kaia Wenstad (W), Bethanie Pippin. 2, 14:30, Carly Collings (W), Pippen. 3, 15:30, Collings (W).

THIRD PERIOD: 1, 16:49, Taia Klaman (D). 2, 17:32, Wenstad (W), Collings, Jana Mischke.

Related Topics: DICKINSON MIDGETS
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