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'Best We Have Ever Played': Braves Halt Dickinson's Winning Streak in 2-0 Affair

Jan. 11—DICKINSON — In a showdown that had the ice buzzing with anticipation, the Dickinson Midgets girls' hockey team's winning streak met its match on Tuesday night as they faced off against the formidable Mandan Braves. Despite their valiant efforts, the Midgets couldn't keep the Braves at bay, ultimately falling short with a 2-0 loss.

Head coach Lance Knudson knew that facing Mandan was never going to be a walk in the park. Having suffered two shutouts against them earlier in the season, with a whopping 15 goals scored against his team, the Midgets were determined to turn the tide. And this season, they made significant strides, as the Braves managed to find the back of the net only eight times in both encounters.

Knudson praised his team's performance.

"That was probably the best we have ever played against Mandan," Knudson said. "We played them very tough, and in the second period we actually got a good amount of shots. Couldn't quite finish a couple of goals, which would have been nice, but we had opportunities and good effort all around."

The game's first goal came in the closing minutes of the first period when Madison Hertz capitalized on an opportunity, assisted by Mallory Brahos and Tayah Myhre. However, the Braves weren't content with just one goal. In the early stages of the second period, while Brenna Bauman served time in the penalty box for interference, the Mandan penalty kill unit stunned everyone with a breakaway solo goal courtesy of Kenlee Edland.

Throughout the game, the Braves adopted an aggressive style of play, racking up a total of five penalties, three of which were incurred in the second period alone. Despite the adversity, the Midgets remained resolute in their pursuit of scoring opportunities, firing off eight shots on target in the second period, compared to Mandan's six. Dickinson prided themselves on setting the tempo, with three lines of forwards relentlessly attacking their opponents.

In total, the Midgets registered 18 shots on target, thanks in no small part to their goalie, Olivia Vaagen, who made an impressive 25 saves. This season, Dickinson has shown their mettle by allowing fewer than three goals in five games.

Reflecting on the game, Coach Knudson couldn't help but commend the Braves, saying, "[Mandan] are honestly a top two or three team in the state, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are playing in the state championship."

The Braves (9-2-0-0, 8-1-3-1) continued their impressive run, securing their seventh consecutive victory and their third consecutive shutout. Meanwhile, the Midgets (1-7-0-0, 3-7-1-0) are eager to bounce back and will hit the ice once again to face Minot on Saturday, Jan. 13, at the West River Ice Center. The battle continues as the Midgets look to regain their winning form and make their mark in the league.