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Braves eke by Mandan

By Staff | Feb 13, 2015

Tim Chapman/PCT Bottineau-Rugby senior Hunter Haakenson (right) moves the puck in a game earlier this season at Al Wentz Arena.

In a battle of the West Region hockey Braves, the Bottineau-Rugby side got the best of Mandan in a 3-2 game Feb. 6.

A strong first period was key for Bottineau-Rugby, as five different players recorded points on the team’s two goals. Senior Luke Amsbaugh scored less than four minutes in on assists from Noah Grant and Ethan Kippen. With about a minute left in the period, Austyn Lorenz scored on an assist from David Arstein to break a 1-1 tie.

Mandan notched the game a 2-2 early in the second, but Amsbaugh scored again less than two minutes later for the game-winner.

“I was very happy with how we competed on Friday night in the win over Mandan,” B-R coach David Hoff said in a press release. “I have talked a lot this year about the frustration of not competing and playing full games. I thought that might have been our best competitive effort of the season by the team as a group. We were able to win a 3-2 game, which we had not done to this point of the season.

“We had solid goaltending, our defensemen really defended hard, and our forwards were effective putting pucks deep into the offensive zone, especially as the game wore on.”

Rugby High School junior Ethan Clements had 34 saves in the win.

The Braves improved to 6-7 in the Region, but fell to 9-9 overall with an ugly 11-0 non-conference loss to West Fargo the next day.

“We seemed to get into the flow of the game for the first 13 minutes, but gave up two in one shift and the wheels really fell off,” Hoff said. “I don’t know if we ran out of gas because we played two lines both nights, but we played like we wanted to get it over with. I know it was frustrating for the guys because we had talked about trying to be more consistent in our play at this point of the season.”

B-R has 18 points and sits sixth in the West Region standings, five points behind Mandan as of Feb. 9. The regular season concludes this weekend. The Braves played at Minot on Thursday and hosted Bismarck Century on Friday.

Bantams continue to roll

The Rugby-Bottineau Bantams improved to 22-3-1 with a convincing 5-0 win over Fargo Freeze Gray on Feb. 7 at Al Wentz Arena.

The team continued to share the puck as five different players scored and five others had assists. Joey Brossart and Jarek Dolbeare scored in the first period. Carter Dockter, Joe Khalifa and Kyler Odden added third period goals. Riley Olson led the team in points with three assists.

Micah Hershey made 20 saves to notch his ninth shutout of the season. It was the team’s seventh straight win.

– Tribune Staff Report

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