Long January Continues For Braves
The Bottineau/Rugby Braves hockey team opened up the 2016 calendar year with three straight weekends on the road. A grueling schedule for any team, add on a youthful core for the Braves, and things did not add up. The first two weekends saw the Braves drop all four games by a combined score of 34-2.
This past weekend, goals were at a premium once again as Bottineau/Rugby dropped a pair of games to West Region foes as well as a loss to Minot High on Monday.
Last Friday, the Braves took on the Northstars of Hazen/Beulah in Hazen. Despite scoring two goals for the first time since December 30th, and having a 2-1 lead in the 1st period, the Braves defense could not step up. Hazen/Beulah would score 7 unanswered goals for an 8-2 victory. Sophomores Jace Scherr and Nic Costa provided the two goals for the Braves.
Saturday, the 23rd, saw Bottineau/Rugby take on the Dickinson Midgets at the West River Ice Center, in Dickinson. The Midgets recorded a shutout against the Braves, 7-0, as Bottineau/Rugby could only muster 9 shots on goal.
The weekend ended with the Braves third game in four days, as they hosted the rivals the Minot Magicians in Bottineau on Monday night. Costa would score his second goal of the weekend, and third of the season, just over 90 seconds into the 1st period to give the Braves a brief lead. The Magicians woke up after that, adding 5 goals in that same period and 10 unanswered overall for a 10-1 victory.
There certainly has been growing pains for the squad this year, but Coach David Hoff believes that this team is playing better than it was a month ago, as kids continue to get solid playing time.
With the losses over the weekend, and 7 in a row, Bottineau/Rugby stands at 3-12 overall and 1-10 in West Region play. One game this weekend for the Braves as they will be on the road taking on Bismarck Century.
Hauser is the sports director for AM 1450 KZZJ Radio, Rugby.
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