Bantam state hockey tournament crowns its four champions

Justin Martinez/MDN Rugby’s Austin Dibble (left) gets within range of the net during the Ice Hawks’ 5-4 win over the Crosby Comets on Sunday in the championship game of the Bantam Gold state hockey tournament at the Maysa Arena.

After three days of competition, the champions have been crowned.

The Bantam state hockey tournament came to its conclusion Sunday afternoon at the Maysa Arena, as all four classes (AA, A, B Gold and B Silver) played out their respective championship round. Twenty-five teams came into Minot with dreams of a state title, and four teams turned those dreams into a reality.

Here’s a look at how Day 3 played out:

Bantam AA

Grand Forks was the last team standing in the Bantam AA tournament.

After beating the Fargo Freeze on Saturday night in a high-scoring 8-4 win, the Aviators upped their defensive intensity when they faced the Freeze once more on Sunday in the championship game.

Grand Forks completed its perfect tournament run by keeping Fargo off the scoreboard for all three periods in the 3-0 victory.

Bantam A

Another Grand Forks team emerged victorious in the Bantam A championship round.

The Grand Forks Wheatkings made quick work of the JVC Prowl to earn the 4-1 victory. Finishing in third place were the Grand Forks Sugarkings, who bested the Fargo Freeze (Black) by a score of 2-1.

Bantam Gold

The Bantam Gold championship round proved to be a nail biter, as the Crosby Comets attempted to pull off a late comeback against the Rugby Ice Hawks.

Trailing 5-2 with under five minutes left in regulation, the Comets scored two quick goals to make it a 5-4 contest with 2:30 remaining. Crosby emptied its net in an all-out attack down the stretch, but the Ice Hawks’ defense didn’t break.

Rugby got a few key stops in the closing moments to prevail, 5-4, and win the title.

Bantam Silver

After defeating the Bismarck Capitals by a score of 6-2 in the semifinals, the Fargo Freeze (Maroon) saw the same result in the Bantam Silver championship game.

The Freeze secured a convincing 6-2 win over the JVC Prowl to earn the title. The Capitals rebounded in the third-place match with a resounding 7-1 win over the Northwood Ice Storm.

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