Coaches report: MHS girls varsity hockey update
Following a season-opening overtime loss, the varsity girls hockey team at Minot High School has since righted the wrongs and sits in second place in the state with six wins and 18 total points over its first nine games.
Sophomore forward Taylyn Cope has caught fire as of late, tallying seven points in her last four games, including a Jan. 7 hat trick in Minot’s 7-0 blowout of Dickinson. She now owns a share of a sixth-place tie for most points in the state with ten, just one ahead of her teammate Abigail Tallman.
Prior to their next game at home against Bismarck on Tuesday, Majettes co-head coaches MaKayla Neuhalfen and Chris Stokke had some high praise for the club and discussed what they liked about the girls’ first nine contests, as well as where they could stand to improve.
MDN: How are you feeling about where the team is overall at this point of the season?
Neuhalfen: The girls are doing a great job adjusting to the busy schedule and with every game, we have seen improvements. We hope to keep building off of this as the season progresses.
Stokke: We feel very positive about the direction our team in trending towards right now. We starting to find a little bit more stability after and up and down start to the year.
MDN: The club bounced back from a shutout loss nicely with that tough win against Devils Lake Jan. 4, how encouraging is that for you to watch them respond to adversity so well?
Neuhalfen: The girls always need to be ready to bounce back and learn from our mistakes as we move forward. The Devils Lake game was good for our confidence and we need to continue to play a game with three consistent periods to continue to have success.
Stokke: It’s something that’s addressed daily. The past is the past, it’s about what we do going forward. It’s very positive to see the girls move past a tough loss and be successful the following game.
MDN: Abigail Tallman is tied for third in the state in goals scored and fifth in total points entering play Jan. 7. What have you seen from her that makes her such an intimidating force on the ice?
Neuhalfen: Abby is a beast on the ice and part of it is just her knowledge of the game. She is a very smart hockey player and knows how to read the situation and how to react.
Stokke: It really comes down to work ethic and knowledge of the game with Tallman. She is a student of the game, each time she steps on the ice she is determined to get better and help the girls around her get better too. She is not afraid to grab the whiteboard and start drawing up plays or situations for her teammates.
MDN: What would you like to see the team improve upon as the season progresses?
Neuhalfen: We need to improve on capitalizing on scoring opportunities and continue to improve our special teams.
Stokke: A big thing we talk about as a team is consistency. Whether it is in practice or a game, we want to make sure we are preforming at a high level day in and day out.
MDN: What are some encouraging aspects you’ve seen from the team so far that you’re reinforcing?
Neuhalfen: We have cleaned up our neutral zone game and have been doing a better job communicating on the ice. I look forward to seeing the team’s success moving forward.
Stokke: Up to this point in the season we have had 12 girls register a point. It’s very encouraging to see that we are seeing scoring throughout the lineup. On the other end of the ice, our D-core and goaltenders have done a very nice job limiting high-quality scoring opportunities for opposing teams.