Braves maul Midgets
BOTTINEAU – Harrison Aide and Luke Amsbaugh really make hockey look easy when the two are in sync.
The first-line forwards combined for 10 points to lead the Bottineau-Rugby hockey team to a 9-3 win over visiting Dickinson on Nov. 30.
“We worked the last 10 days on not trying to just dance so much on the edges, but really take pucks to the crease,” BR coach David Hoff said, “and I think that’s why I say when, especially those two guys do that we’re gonna get chances.”
The Midgets scored first, but the Braves poured it on soon after. The junior Amsbaugh scored the home side’s first goal on an assist from Noah Grant. Amsbaugh scored the team’s next two goals on assists from Aide to earn the hat trick early in the second period. The first of those was on the power play.
“The power-play passing was a lot better,” Aide said. “We’re making better plays and it’s the second game. There’s times we danced a little bit too much, but we’ll get better on that.”
Aide scored twice in the second period and notched the hat trick on an unassisted goal in the third period. Amsbaugh and Grant assisted on his first two goals. The win was the team’s first of the season after dropping the opener 7-3 to Devils Lake.
“We were worked hard in some defensive drills,” Hoff said. “Really just defending, just trying to keep your butt in the right spot. The only thing I’ll say I didn’t like is we defended so many times tonight with only one defensemen back.
“You want a defenseman jumping in, but you don’t jump in when it’s going the other direction. We’ve got to get better defending in pairs. That’s what I tell them. ‘You’re defensive partners for a reason, so hopefully that’s something.’ “
Dickinson coach Dallas Kuntz was disappointed in his team’s “stupid penalties” but praised the ability of Bottineau-Rugby’s top line to take over games.
“They’re three great hockey players that when they’re on the ice you have to be on your toes the whole time,” Kuntz said. “We weren’t prepared for them, for their power play, the way they see the ice, handle the puck and their speed. It’s just a whole ‘nother level that we gotta practice for that you don’t see very much in high school hockey even with the bigger schools. I thought they were very impressive.”
The Braves improved to 2-1 overall with an 8-3 win over Deloraine (Manitoba) on Monday.