Braves drop a pair
The Bottineau/Rugby hockey team dropped a pair of decisions on consecutive days after starting its season 3-0.
The Braves dropped a 7-2 decision to Jamestown in Rugby on Nov. 30 and fell in a shootout by a 6-5 score to Dickinson on Dec. 1.
Dickinson earned the win when their fifth skater of the shootout scored.
B/R could only muster 21 shots in the loss to Jamestown, as Harrison Aide and Cody Longie notched goals.
“We took a couple of tough penalties in the first period that allowed Jamestown some powerplay time,” Braves head coach David Hoff said. “They took advantage of it. The other part that was tough on us in the first couple of periods was that we gambled and got caught in the offensive zone. Jamestown had a couple of odd-man rushes and took advantage of it.”
Although the Braves played better later in the game, Hoff said it shows the team needs to emphasize defense.
“We kept battling in the game and were able to stay in it but I really did not like our compete level,” he said. “I thought they won too many battles, especially early in the game. We have to battle harder – we just can’t rely on trying to outscore someone – we have to make it tougher for our opponents to score.”
B/R was locked in a back-and-forth battle with the Midgets on Dec. 1, with the teams tied after every period and the overtime.
Longie and Luke Amsbaugh each had two goals for the Braves.
Those two players, along with Aide, who had a goal and three assists, have been responsible for nearly all of B/R’s scoring in the early part of the season.
That will have to change if the Braves are to have success as the season progresses.
“That is one of our biggest challenges right now,” Hoff said. “We have scored 25 goals through 5 games and Harrison has been in on 19 of them. We have to find some ways to get more guys involved. That has definitely been a priority in practice. Hopefully it will improve with time.”
Riley Monson had 34 saves for B/R in the loss.
The Braves are in action on Dec. 14 as they play host to Hazen/Beulah in Rugby.
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