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Braving the storm

Majettes hockey outlasts Mandan at home, 5-3

Justin Martinez/MDN Sophomore Madison Knudson zips a shot past a Mandan defender during the Majettes’ 5-3 win over the Braves at home on Thursday.

The first period went to Mandan. Everything else was all Minot High.

The Minot High School girls hockey team skated off the ice after the first period with an uphill battle to overcome. Despite salvaging the period with a late goal by junior Alyssa Aguirre, the Majettes still found themselves trailing the Mandan Braves in Thursday’s home exhibition game by a score of 2-1.

But the home team responded with its best period of the season thus far, lighting up the scoreboard with four goals en route to a convincing 5-3 win.

“We knew we needed to correct some things (after the first period),” MHS head coach Weylin Wahlstrom said. “But I thought we progressively got better tonight. The team was very coachable, and I thought everyone gained some confidence tonight.”

Not much seemed to have changed for the Majettes to start the second period, as they found themselves still trailing 2-1 after nine minutes of play.

Little did the Braves know, that was merely the calm before the storm.

The equalizer came with 7:59 remaining. Kaya Shaw collected a pass from fellow junior Brenna Abrahamson and capitalized from close range to knot the score at 2-2.

The game didn’t stay tied for long, though, as Aguirre got her second goal of the night thanks to a costly error by the Braves.

Aguirre launched what appeared to be a savable shot from around ten feet out. Instead, the puck bounced off the Mandan goalie’s glove and found the back of the net to give the Majettes a 3-2 lead with 4:46 left in the second period.

It took just three minutes for Minot High to add to its lead, as Shaw managed to defy physics by scoring despite practically being parallel to the net. The puck collided with the crossbar and went in to double the Majettes’ lead with just under a minute left in the period.

Convinced the storm was over, the Braves got caught snoozing one more time. Sophomore Paige Ackerman broke free 30 seconds later and scored, capping off a four-goal period and giving the Majettes a commanding 5-2 lead entering the third period.

“We really started to come together (in the second period),” Ackerman said. “We were moving the puck, breaking out of the zone and just doing all the things we’ve been trying to do this season.”

The Braves managed to add a goal to their total midway through the third period, but Minot High’s lead proved to be more than enough as the home team secured the 5-3 victory.

Aguirre and Shaw each totaled two goals in the win, while Ackerman chipped in one goal and tallied two assists for good measure in a statement performance that the team hopes will lead to more production just like that moving forward.

“I thought Paige Ackerman had a breakout night tonight,” Wahlstrom said. “She’s always been good on our team, but she’s gaining that confidence that we need from her as a player with her skill level. I was really excited to see that.”

The Majettes will look to build on the win as they attempt to make a splash in the second half of the regular season. Minot High will hit the ice again Saturday at 5 p.m. for a non-counter match with Williston at the Maysa Arena.

“(This win) is just going to push us for the rest of the season,” Ackerman said. “We just want to keep going up (the standings) and become a force to be reckoned with.”

Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.

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