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Braves start season in second place for West Region hockey

By Sue Sitter - | Dec 26, 2020

Sue Sitter/PCT The Bottineau-Rugby Braves score a goal against the Beulah-Hazen North Stars at Al Wentz Arena.

The Bottineau-Rugby Braves started the first week of a shortened season with two wins after a loss against Minot in their opening game Dec. 15.

The wins put the Braves in the number two spot in the west region for North Dakota high school hockey teams.

All three games took place on their home ice in Bottineau and Al Wentz Arena in Rugby.

Coach Jesse Nostdahl described the one-point loss starting the season as “a defensive game.”

Although the Braves dominated the Beulah-Hazen Stars when they faced them at Al Wentz Arena for their second game of the season, Nostdahl said, “I thought some pucks weren’t bouncing our way. I thought we had nice puck possession, but there were a lot of instances where that puck just wasn’t sticking to our tape. There were a lot of missed opportunities because of that.”

Forward Ian Amsbaugh, who led the state in goals last year, scored his first goal for the Braves against the Stars in Rugby Dec. 18, assisted by Colton Getzlaff and Landon Rosendahl. Getzlaff scored the second Braves goal just shy of four minutes later, assisted by defender Rylie Rybchinski and forward Maicen Heisler.

The Stars struck back with 1:02 on the clock when Stars forward Roland Klindworth shot one past Braves’ goalie Robert Dibble with Parker Sayler assisting. Dibble only allowed one more shot from the Stars in the game – a Sayler goal with assistance from Adam Graney. Dibble logged 40 total saves in the game.

Meanwhile, Landon Rosendahl connected with the puck for two goals, both with assistance from Amsbaugh. Rybchinski assisted on Rosendahl’s second goal in the third period. Forward Adam Nelson scored the final goal for the game, assisted by Getzlaff and Heisler.

“It’s tough to get into a rhythm coming off a COVID break, but we’re having some good practices and we want to take it one day at a time,” Nostdahl said. “We’ve got Dickinson tomorrow, and that’s a big game for us.”

The Braves met the Dickinson Midgets in Bottineau Arena – their other home rink.

Rosendahl again played a key scoring role in the game, shooting two of the four winning goals for the Braves. Rosendahl’s first goal followed the team’s first shot into the net by Getzlaff, with Heisler assisting. Amsbaugh and forward Matt Olson assisted Rosendahl’s first quarter goal.

After second period goals by Taylor Giese and Levi Jerome for the Midgets, Olson shot the go-ahead goal for the Braves, assisted by Amsbaugh and Adam Handeland. Rosendahl wrapped the game up with a fourth Braves goal, assisted by Amsbaugh.

After the 4-2 win against the Midgets, the Braves would travel to Williston to take on the Coyotes. Results from that game will appear in next week’s Tribune.

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