Blizzard freeze Majettes
In a game littered with penalties, the Minot High girls hockey team was unable to put a stop to the defending three-time state champion Bismarck Blizzard. The Blizzard won 2-0 in a physical, back and forth contest.
The first goal of the game was scored at 3:46 into the first period, as Blizzard junior forward Kenley Anderson scored unassisted.
The Majettes picked up the heat after this goal, stepping up their defense and stopping the Blizzard from getting to the net.
Minot sophomore forward Kaya Shaw earned the first penalty of the game at 5:40 into the first for high sticking. The Majettes were able to step up and stop Bismarck from scoring another goal.
After the Majettes came back to full strength, Bismarck sophomore forward Riley Ball earned the Blizzard’s first penalty of the game for slashing.
With Ball in the box, the Majettes came close to scoring, but Bismarck held them back.
On the power play, Minot’s Breanna Svangstu and Bismarck’s Anderson got tangled up in Minot’s zone, each earning two minute penalties at 8:37 into the period. Svangstu was called for holding while Anderson was called for cross checking.
The puck continued to dance up and down the ice as each team struggled to score. With 6 seconds remaining in the period, Bismarck’s Amanda Baerlocher, a senior forward, was called for body checking, giving the Majettes a power play to begin the second period.
“(This game) was one where we didn’t think we started out very well,” Bismarck Blizzard’s head coach Tim Meyer said. “We scored that first goal and we kind of sat back. I didn’t think the first period was our best period of hockey.”
While the Majettes began the second with the power play, they were unable to make it a goal, though there were many close calls by junior Olivia Weisberg and sophomore Carson Abrahamson.
“We had some opportunities to put the puck in the back of the net,” Minot High head coach Weylin Wahlstrom said. “We didn’t, and that came back to haunt us.”
No scoring occurred in the second, though there were many attempts. Freshman goalkeeper Amber Borkhuis made 13 saves in the second period alone. At 4:13 into the period, Bismarck’s Anderson came barreling down the ice and Borkhuis was able to jump on the puck right away. Less than a minute later she had a glove save that even she seemed surprised by.
“I thought Amber Borkhuis had a really good game,” Wahlstrom said. “She’s played well for us all season so far and she’s really showing us that we have somebody that can give us an opportunity to win.”
Junior defender Svangstu made a hard shot at the goal at 8:25 into the second, however sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Watkins on the Blizzard was able to dive on the puck.
Tensions were high on the ice with neither team being able to score. Out of frustration, Minot’s Parker Larson and Bismarck’s Amanda Baerlocher broke out in a small fight on the ice with 40 seconds remaining in the second. The two broke up as the whistle was blown, though Baerlocher was unaware of the official skating towards her. The official ran into the senior forward, knocking her back to the ice. She was then taken out of the game and Larson went to the penalty box. Baerlocher was able to rejoin the game a few minutes into the third.
“Ice is slippery and sometimes things happen,” Meyer said about the incident.
After an intense period, the Majettes were able to hold Bismarck to one goal going into the third.
At 3:34 into the third, Abrahamson was called to the penalty box for body checking. The Blizzard took advantage of the power play with a goal by junior defender Taylor Lenertz.
“Overall I was impressed with the way (Minot) played team defense and the way that they committed to not letting us get anything easy. We had to work for it and that’s a credit to the way they played tonight,” Meyer said.
Svangstu earned two more penalties for the Majettes, served simultaneously, for interference and body checking. Paige Ackerman earned her first for the Majettes at 14:14 for high sticking.
“That was a tough game to swallow,” Wahlstrom said. “Even though (Bismarck has) all these state champions and all these kids to choose from in their town, it’s still tough to swallow. I think if we would’ve played better hockey, we would’ve given them more of an effort.”
The Majettes are back in action against Jamestown 7 p.m. Friday at Maysa Arena.