Second period outburst powers Majettes hockey over Williston

Alex Eisen/MDN Minot High junior forward Parker Larson (18) takes a shot through traffic in a WDA girls hockey game Tuesday evening against Williston at Maysa Arena. 

Two teams came in craving a victory, but only one could snap its five-game losing streak Tuesday evening at Maysa Arena. The Minot High School girls hockey team made sure it was them with a 5-2 win over Williston in its first home game since Dec. 9, 2017.

The Majettes (6-7-0, 6-4-0 N.D. League) needed a convincing first intermission pep talk and had to see the puck hit the back of the net to topple Williston (3-8-0, 2-8-0 N.D. League).

“We just came out sluggish and slow,” MHS coach Weylin Wahlstrom said. “We expected things to happen without creating them… We talked about how extremely important that first goal is. Our team, usually after scoring our first goal, changes gears. It’s a different team than the ones that I have coached in the past. Usually, it’s when they score, then you step up. But, for our team, we need a goal for us to get comfortable.”

The Majettes were pinned in their own zone early on and didn’t register a shot on goal until just over four minutes into the game.

Both goaltenders, Minot freshman Amber Borkhuis and Williston senior Kennon Schmit, stoned breakaway attempts and shots from close range to keep the game scoreless.

Alex Eisen/MDN The Majettes hug it out after scoring a goal Tuesday against Williston at Maysa Arena.

Yet, it was an unfortunate break against Borkhuis that broke the deadlock with 2:14 remaining in the opening period. Williston senior forward Kaia Wenstad directed the puck toward the goal from just inside the blue line and alongside the boards, it bounced off Borkhuis awkwardly and found the net for Wenstad’s third goal of the season.

“It takes a crazy knuckle bounce and goes over her shoulder,” Wahlstrom said. “Those are tough on a goaltender, especially when you aren’t seeing a lot of shots. To come back and making some big saves, she played really well tonight.”

The Majettes had Borkhuis’ back as well with an explosive five-goal second period.

“After the first period, we knew we had to pick up the intensity,” MHS junior defender Mahlee Sem said. “I think just having the pep talk in the locker room and our coaches hyping us up really helped turn things around.”

Minot’s leading scorer Dessa Flom got the Majettes going with a goal 13 seconds into the second period. It was her 16th goal of the season with senior Maggie Sem picking up the assist.

Junior Olivia Weisberg put the Majettes into the lead with two more goals in the next three minutes.

“It definitely was a wake-up call for us,” Weisberg said about the first period. “We weren’t really doing our best, but it was motivating to keep pushing and it worked, obviously. I think it was just out of angry and anticipation to go and score because this our rink and everyone is here to support us. So, we don’t want to let them down.”

MHS junior Lily Bonebrake poached a goal from a scrum in front of the net to give Minot a three-goal lead, 4-1. Then, after a brief break in the high-scoring action, the Majettes got goal No. 5 on a perfectly executed two-on-one with Flom passing the puck off to sophomore Kaya Shaw for a snipe over Schmit’s shoulder. Flom recorded two assists in the game.

Minot took its 5-1 lead into the second intermission, but a pair of penalties committed by Flom and Paige Ackerman had the Majettes down two skaters to start the third period. However, they weren’t going to let the Coyotes back into the game and easily killed it off.

Williston’s Alea Bublitz concluded the scoring with a wrist shot in the slot with 6:50 remaining, 5-2.

The Majettes outshot the Coyotes heavily, 47-18.

“I think this means a lot to us and the coaches,” Mahlee Sem said. “Just knowing that we are going into our game on Friday not on a losing streak.”

The Majettes are back on the road once again for a 7 p.m. contest against Dickinson on Friday.

Alex Eisen covers Minot High School, Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.