Braves face ‘grind’ in away games
The Bottineau-Rugby Braves’ grueling hockey schedule has been filled with tough opponents and road games to venues as far away as Williston.
However, according to Braves’ Coach Jesse Nostdahl, “The grind we are going through is going to make us resilient and tough down the stretch.”
The Braves’ record now sits at three wins and six losses.
In their last home game until Feb. 11, the Braves faced off against the Bismarck Demons at Bottineau Arena Jan. 16.
The game saw three first-period goals. Demons defender Miles Stiefel scored first with forward Owen Haase assisting, followed by forward Hunter Acker with assistance from Brady Korsmo, then by an unassisted goal by forward Nicholas Mortenson. Haase shot another goal in the second period, assisted by Beau Bitz.
Braves defenders held the Demons to one second period goal, stopping all their attempts in the third period. Braves forward Alex Lorenz scored a third period goal, stopping a shutout.
The Braves traveled to Williston two days later, where they lost to the Coyotes 2-3.
“We have flashes and then go silent in certain periods,” Nostdahl said of the Braves’ play. “The goal that we as a team want to get to is just being a competitive team for an entire 51 minutes and it really is just a mindset.”
“Against Bismarck we had a bad 1st period,” Nostdahl said. “It ended up costing us the game.”
“Tonight out in Williston we thought we limited our mistakes and played our best 51 minutes of the year. I thought we were the better team last night, but we didn’t catch any favors out there.
We aren’t getting the results on the scoreboard right now, but we are becoming a better hockey team,” Nostdahl added.
The Braves prepared to head for Hazen Jan. 22, where they would face the Hazen-Beulah Northstars. Another game would follow Jan. 23 in Bismarck.
The Braves will play their next home game at Rugby’s Al Wentz arena Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m.
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