Corey's Corner 2/21

Posted 2/21/18 (Wed)

               At this point in the year, every high school team in the state of North Dakota has the same exact goal: make it to the state tournament. The paths look different, but the end goal is the same. So let’s continue to dive in as the state participants start to finalize.

               On the Class B side, the Carrington Cardinals are a squad that has the capability to not only make it to State, but win the whole thing. They wound down the regular season with the staple at state the last half-decade: the Indians of Four Winds-Minnewaukan. It’s a younger FWM team that has also had to overcome some injuries. Carrington, on the other hand, is a senior laden squad all across the board. But in this one it was the new guy who took center stage. The sophomore Seth Nelson was outstanding with a double-digit first half. That run was highlighted by a four point play that he knocked down. Trey Rosenau also showed it’s not all about the Carrington seniors, with a mega-efficient first half.

               On the flipside for FWM, Doug Yankton once again shouldered the load for the Indians. With the injuries to some key players, the Indians sophomore has been asked to take a much bigger role. He was joined by Fred Redfox and Frank Gourd with all of them finishing right around 10 in the opening stanza. But the Carrington attack was simply too much. The Red Birds feature one of the deepest rosters in the state, with a ton of different offensive weapons. In the second half, Garrett Bickett did what he usually does and ensured that there would be no comeback. Kolton Vetter and Jayden Shipman joined the group of veteran Cardinals to put away the team that has been to State three straight times. Carrington made it 14 wins in a row, and they’ll put that streak on the line again in the District 5 tourney, which we’ll have in its entirety right here on BEK.

               Next we head to the Magic City and the WDA Hockey Tournament. The route is different from Class B, the goal the same. And we’ll begin on the day where the final four out of the West got decided. The first state qualifier saw the Braves of Bottineau-Rugby take on the Jamestown Blue Jays. And it was the Blue Jays who struck first. A Devin Hoffman strike from Baylee Hatlewick put the Jays up 1-0. Eight minutes later, the eighth grader (who wears #8) Alex Senf put home the second score of the day. The Jamestown defense was outstanding, limiting BR to just one quality scoring chance in the first period.

               The second saw more of the same, and it didn’t take long. Just about two minutes in Easton Hagen hammered one in combining with Hatlewick and Corey Nelson. Then Nelson would be on the scoring end 13 minutes in to the second. Again, the Braves were limited to just a couple big chances. And those were shut down by Matthew Schneider, one of the best net minders in the state. But in the 3rd, the Braves finally had their breakthrough. On the power play courtesy of five minute major, the Braves started the comeback. Landon Rosendahl scored from Handeland and Amsbaugh. Then Jace Scherr, the leading scorer for the Braves, notched a tally a minute later. But after that, Schneider and company put the game away. A very well played final stanza by the Braves wouldn’t be enough to overcome two dominant periods by the Jays. Jamestown advances to the state tourney.

               Our second qualifier was between the Dickinson Midgets and the Minot Magicians. Minot has been one of the premier powers out in the West, and they had beaten the Midgets by seven goals in two matchups in the regular season. But this time, with Minot as the true home team, was wildly different. Dickinson came out with a different energy, and got to the Minot defense. Just 3:50 into the first, Ryan Bren notched the first tally from Urlacher. The Midgets showed they were here to play. Minot was hyper-aggressive throughout this game, sometimes to their detriment. Seven minutes after the first, Dickinson added another from Sheppard with assists to Raatz and Pokorny. The second period was a mirror image of the fist, with two more for Dickinson courtesy of Peter and Joey Pavek.

So each of our state qualifiers was 4-0 after two, with two goal scored in each period. But the ending  of this one was different. Minot provided a flare of comeback hope as two minutes in Mason Diehl put one in from Patrick Heide. But Dickinson responded almost immediately, taking the wind out of the sails of the hometown team and sealing the upset bid. The Dickinson Midgets take Minot out of the state tourney for the first time in half a decade, and our tournament field is set for Grand Forks.

With that, we take a quick detour in the hunt for State glory as the Bismarck State Mystics welcomed in the Williston State Tetons. On the Women’s side, the Tetons are limited from a roster standpoint, where the Mystics have been on a roll with three of their last four. And they showed that early, rolling to an nine point lead in the 1st quarter. Hannah Hanson was great from the field, and Jaycee Walter got nearly 10 free throw attempts in the first half alone. The Mystics would grow the lead out even further by halftime, and they put this one away early. Aulora Severance and Taylor Kappel lead the way for Williston State, but the depth of the BSC roster simply proved to be too much. Nicole Bunting joined Hanson and Walter in the double figures club, and the Mystics secured the win for their final regular season home game.

               The February Frenzy on the high school side resumes this weekend as we begin the District 5 and 6 tournaments right here on BEK!