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Braves’ defense put to test on home ice

By Staff | Dec 20, 2019

Sue Sitter/PCT Braves Jesse Mattern (left) and Adam Nelson scramble for the puck against Bismarck's Demons Saturday in Bottineau.

After a tough away game in Williston, the Bottineau-Rugby Braves defended their home ice against west region leader Bismarck High Demons Saturday in Bottineau.

The Demons brought a small contingent of cheering fans with them, and the players skated onto the rink with confidence from the start, leaving the Braves to keep up with them.

Just over five minutes into the first period, Demon Greyson Farnsworth fired the puck past the Bottineau-Rugby goal line, followed by another goal for Bismarck from Caiden Schwehr with an Avery McMahon assist.

The second period followed the same pattern, when Farnsworth assisted a Joseph Heinert goal five and a half minutes in. McMahon followed with another goal at 9:14 in the period, assisted by Nicholas Martinson.

The Demons seemed ready for more when they returned to the ice in the third period. Remington Richardson shot one across the Braves’ goal line almost as soon as the period began, assisted by Martinson.

But the puck seemed to slip from Bismarck’s possession, and Demons wound up in the penalty box, setting the stage for Braves power plays.

Bottineau-Rugby’s Ian Amsbaugh, who still tops the list of North Dakota state score leaders, seized control of the puck and scored three minutes into the period, assisted by Riley Tuenge. Another Braves goal followed two minutes later, when Amsbaugh assisted Rugby High freshman Dalton Veitz-Reile. The Braves kept control of the puck to score another goal, this time by Landon Rosendahl, assisted by Amsbaugh and Riley Rybchinski.

The Demons managed another goal at 11:18 in the period to stop the Braves’ rally and wrap up the game 7-4.

The Braves’ goaltenders stayed busy, with Robert Dibble logging 12 saves and Adam Lorenz credited with 20 saves.

Braves’ coach Jesse Nostdahl told the Tribune both goalies split their time on the ice.

“Lorenz played the first half and Robert Dibble played the second half,” Nostdahl said. “One of our goals defensively was to keep a lot of shots outside, and try to make it as easy as we can on our goalies so they see the puck, and luckily, we have three good goalies on this team, and when they see the puck, they can make a save.”

“I thought we did a good job keeping it outside for them.”

Nostdahl described the Braves’ play style as “defensive” and said the game looked similar to their loss to Williston’s Coyotes.

“When we get into these games when we’re not possessing the puck a lot, we end up defending quite a bit. We were short handed in Williston, so we were really kind of on the defensive the whole game. We couldn’t really get anything going,” Nostdahl noted.

“And that kind of leaked over into this game a little bit, I thought. Those first two periods were just a lot of defending. And the boys did a good job defending, but if you’re not possessing the puck, you’re not going to score. And you’re eventually going to let some through.”

Nostdahl said of the Braves’ third period rally, ” I thought they came out in the third and our puck possession numbers went up and we got those power plays, and that really helped.”

“They’re comfortable with what they’re doing on the power play, and we were lucky to get some good bounces and good plays there, and unfortunately, we couldn’t defend as well in that third period, but I thought we did a nice job changing the tide of that game,” Nostdahl added.

The Bottineau-Rugby Braves faced the May-Port Area Patriots Thursday at Al Wentz Arena in Rugby. Results from that game will appear in next week’s Tribune.

Stars fall, 4-2, to Minot JV

Bottineau’s 19U Stars Hockey team recently competed against Minot High’s junior varsity squad in an exhibition match Monday night at the Al Wentz Arena. The Stars lost, 4-2, to the Majettes.

The Majettes got to a 1-0 lead at the 7:22 mark in the first period, with Allyn Newbury (assisted by Jacie Fagerland) scoring a goal.

The second period would see Newbury in the penalty box for tripping.

The Majettes would get their second goal of the night at the 10:20 mark, with Kinsey Feld scoring and Jaycee Schnaible providing the assist.

The Stars responded less than two minutes later, with Samantha Hill scoring the goal and Sophie Open and Madison Thompson providing the assist.

Minot would then widen the lead to 3-1 after an unassisted goal from Alyssa Enns.

Less than two minutes into the third period, Minot chipped in another goal credited to Dessa Flom, with an assist from Emily Thiele.

Both teams would also see a bite from the penalty bug, with Bottineau’s Drew Marsden drawing a penalty for tripping, and Thiele for interference.

Bottineau would add another goal at the 5:29 mark credited to Adyson Jelleberg, with Tallie Fedje and Marsden assisting.

The Stars would end the night with 29 goalie saves.

Bottineau lost a previous exhibition game at the Al Wentz Arena, 5-1, to Pembina Valley.

– Tribune Staff Report

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