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Majettes fall 3-1 in close game to visiting Bismarck

Ryan Ladika/MDN Abigail Tallman (14) with possession of the puck in the offensive zone during the first period.

Fresh off shutout wins in two of its last three games, the Minot High School girls hockey team welcomed the undefeated Bismarck Blizzard to Maysa Arena Tuesday night for a matchup featuring two of the state’s top schools.

The suddenly-hot Taylyn Cope has been the leading force for the Majettes’ offense as of late, finding the back of the net four times and scoring seven total points since Minot’s 7-0 rout of Dickinson January 7 entering play Tuesday.

The offensive fireworks proved scarce for the Majettes in the first 17 minutes, though. The Blizzard may have only played four games entering the contest, but its 4-0 record didn’t happen by accident.

Bismarck controlled the tempo for much of the first period, taking advantage of Minot turnovers and playing suffocating defense. Minot got a chance when the Blizzard committed an interference penalty 11 minutes and 45 seconds into the period, but couldn’t find that magic touch to crack the scoreboard.

Neither team had scored by the end of the first stanza, but the Blizzard had put Majettes netminder Amber Borkhuis to the test with 10 shots on net.

The second period brought more of the same. Borkhuis continued to block shot after shot in the absence of quality scoring chances for her offense. The Blizzard’s 22nd shot of the evening finally found its way past the stingy Minot goaltender, and Bismarck took a 1-0 lead with three minutes and 46 seconds remaining in the period.

The Majettes were able to generate a few more offensive chances in the second period, but they entered the locker room trailing Bismarck 1-0 in goals and 23-11 in shots.

Bismarck added a second tally on the power play with 12 minutes and 11 seconds to play in the third period, and it was looking hopeless for the home five.

Cope had had enough. With just under nine minutes on the clock, she flicked one past Bismarck goalie Karsyn Hellman to finally get Minot on the board.

The sophomore forward’s tally was her 7th of the season and extended her point streak to five consecutive games.

The goal ignited a furious Majettes possession spanning two ensuing power plays, peppering the visiting goaltender with shots. Most of the final five minutes of the third period was spent in the offensive zone, but Minot was unable to find the equalizer. An empty net goal by Bismarck sealed the loss for the Majettes, their fourth of the campaign.

Borkhuis, entering the game with the sixth-best save percentage in the state, was solid all night long. She blocked all but two of the 29 shots she faced, and her 27 saves were her second-most of the season.

The Majettes’ next contest is scheduled for January 14 on the road against Williston. Puck drop is slated for 7:30 p.m. from Agri Sports Complex.

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