Braves on a roll
The goals keep coming and so do the wins. The Bottineau-Rugby hockey team improved to 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the West Region with an 8-3 win at Williston on Tuesday.
The high-scoring Braves had four goals from senior Harrison Aide and two from junior Luke Amsbaugh, who leads the state with 25 points (15 goals, 10 assists). Aide is second in the state with 24 points (13 g, 11 a).
The Braves got off to a slow start and the Coyotes knotted the score at 1-1 at the first intermission. Aide scored twice early in the second period and Amsbaugh notched his first of the game shortly after.
“We just weren’t really aggressive to start the game,” BR coach David Hoff said. “It was pretty good checking period and I think we outshot them about 13-3 in the second period. I thought we got a little bit tougher and got some pucks to the net.”
Hoff said the defense is improving each game. The Braves led 8-1, before the Coyotes added two late goals against reserve goaltender Ethan Clements in the final two minutes.
“We try to emphasize defending hard and getting up the ice quickly,” Hoff said. “If we get it up to our forwards we don’t have to spend as much time in the zone.”
The Braves beat Hazen-Beulah 6-3 on Dec. 13 at Al Wentz Arena in Rugby. It was the first game in 25 years that Hoff missed. He was in Florida conducting a coaching clinic for USA Hockey.
The coach was pleased to return to another strong showing by junior goaltender Riley Monson on Tuesday.
“He’s looking much more comfortable,” Hoff said. “He did a pretty good job of not giving up a lot of rebounds.”
The Braves hosted Jamestown on Friday in Rugby and return to play following the Christmas break with a game at Bismarck Century on Jan. 3.
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