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Majettes hockey uses shootout heroics to top Fargo Davies

Alex Eisen/MDN The Minot High School girls hockey team swarms goaltender Amber Borkhuis after she prevents a shootout goal to secure a 3-2 victory for the Majettes over Fargo Davies Saturday afternoon at Maysa Arena.

A worn-out sheet of ice separated Minot High junior goaltender Amber Borkhuis from Fargo Davies skater Olivia Opheim.

All eyes were on Opheim as she skated in from the center circle. Borkhuis prepared herself the best she could.

“You don’t know what is going to happen,” Borkhuis said. “It’s kind of like a breakaway, but the pressure is intensified.”

Opheim moved in close and released a shot. The puck eluded Borkhuis, but not the post. Clink, and a sigh of relief.

“I was like, ‘Oh thank God, that’s my friend right there,'” Borkhuis said. “Then, I was wondering if we had won or not because I didn’t know if we did. I saw my team jump over the boards and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, we won.'”

The Majettes on the bench paused and looked around for a brief moment — unsure if the contest was actually over. It was.

The Minot High School girls hockey team snapped a three-game losing streak against Fargo Davies (beating the Eagles for the first time since Jan. 27, 2018) with a 3-2 shootout win Saturday afternoon at Maysa Arena.

“This was a big team win for us,” MHS co-head coach MaKayla Sandvold said. “Davies is one of the top leaders in the state right now, so we knew we had to come out and play three full periods. We did that, and even played a little more with overtime.”

Fargo Davies forward Josie Froslie had a golden chance to put the Eagles (5-0-0-2, 3-0-0-2 N.D. League) ahead in the opening minutes, but she sent a breakaway shot sailing above the head of Borkhuis.

Instead, the Majettes (2-2-1-0, 2-2-1-0 N.D. League) scored first. Seconds after an MHS power play had ended, freshman forward Taylyn Cope slotted in her team-leading fifth goal of the season by waiting near the back post.

O’Malley Eslinger and Abby Tallman picked up the assists with 7:07 left in the first period.

Minot fended off 1:48 of a second power play for the Eagles before reaching the first intermission with the slim one-goal lead.

“We have been playing (from behind) the last few games,” Sandvold said. “So, we knew it was going to be crucial for whoever got the first one.”

Power-play goals were traded in the second period. Senior Kaya Shaw scored the Majettes’ tally by forcefully hacking away at the puck in front of the net.

Kaia Johnson finally put a puck behind Borkhuis with 2:14 left in the second period to get Davies within a goal again going into the third period. The Eagles outshot Minot 23-15 through two periods.

“We got up two goals, but it’s still nerve-wracking,” Tallman said.

Pushing for the game-tying goal, Davies secured the equalizer on another power play with 13:04 remaining in the third period. Paige Hanson skated in from the blue line and sniped a shot over the right shoulder of Borkhuis.

Twenty-one minutes of intense, scoreless hockey followed with no more goals coming in regulation or the eight-minute overtime period — onward to a shootout.

“We definitely knew who we wanted in that moment, and Amber (Borkhuis) did her job for us as well,” Sandvold said.

The first round of the shootout saw both of the team’s leading point getters this season, Eslinger and Morgan Sauvageau, get denied.

Then, a pair of Paiges scored in the second round: Paige Ackerman for Minot and Paige Hanson for Davies.

Tallman put the pressure on the Eagles to score after she found the back of the net to open the third round.

“I saw the blocker side open, so I had to make a move on her and had to put it home,” Tallman said. “We (practice shootouts) a couple of times a week after practice. So, we do practice it.”

The post wasn’t kind to Opheim, and the Majettes won the shootout 2-1 and the game 3-2.

“Nobody expected us (to win) around the state,” Borkhuis said. “We just showed what we can do.”

The Majettes return to the ice at Maysa Arena on Dec. 28 for a non-counter contest against Williston. Puck drop at 4 p.m.

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

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