Bottineau-Rugby Braves take Mandan in 8-0 shut out
An 8-0 shutout at Rugby’s Al Wentz Arena Feb. 11 against the Mandan Braves gave the Braves of Bottineau-Rugby the sendoff they needed for west regionals in Jamestown.
Bottineau-Rugby Head Coach Jesse Nostdahl said the win in Rugby represented a “stretch of our best hockey.”
“We talked about wanting to be playing our best hockey, and we’ve had stretches of that,” he said. “We found it again this week and I was glad we could put together a good, solid effort here.”
The evening began with a tribute to Tyler Olson, Riley Biberdorf, Riley Rybchinski, Adam Handeland, Ian Amsbaugh, Landon Rosendahl and Robert Dibble, all seniors at Bottineau or Rugby High Schools. The players posed for photos with their parents on center ice.
Defender Rybchinski struck the first blow for the Braves of Bottineau-Rugby after about eight minutes of battle against Mandan’s defense. His goal came with assistance from freshman defender Lane Tiffany. Just over three minutes later, forward Amsbaugh shot the puck past Mandan goalie Zane Clausen, assisted by forward and fellow Bottineau High senior Olson. Less than two minutes later, forward Colton Getzlaff landed a goal to pad the lead with assistance from forward Adam Nelson.
The Bottineau-Rugby Braves went to the locker room after the first period with a 3-0 lead. They came back for the second period to build on it.
Rugby High sophomore and forward Macen Heisler took an opportunity for a shot early in the period, landing a goal with Olson’s assistance. As Mandan scrambled to recover, Rosendahl landed another, assisted by Amsbaugh and forward Alex Lorenz. Bottineau-Rugby dominated their home ice, keeping the puck in their possession and away from Mandan. Passes hit their marks and Braves swarmed around Mandan’s net. With 11:24 remaining in the period, forward and Rugby High junior Dalton Vietz-Reile landed a goal, assisted by defender Adam Handeland and forward Jacob Shriver.
The Braves of Mandan pushed back but could do little to stop Bottineau-Rugby’s onslaught. With 3:04 on the clock, Bottineau-Rugby’s Rosendahl scored another goal, assisted by Olson and Amsbaugh.
With a 7-0 Bottineau-Rugby lead, both teams intensified their fight. However, the few penalties for either side were minor. Mandan had one in the penalty box for tripping, while Bottineau-Rugby had one in the first period for hooking and one for interference in the second period.
Most of the game had Bottineau-Rugby setting a fast pace and Mandan struggling to keep up. In the final 48 seconds, Biberdorf scored Bottineau-Rugby’s eighth goal.
Nostdahl said he hoped Bottineau-Rugby would repeat their Feb. 11 performance in Jamestown.
To prepare for their fight against the Blue Jays, Nostdahl said, “We’ll watch some video. Jamestown’s a team that gets up and down the ice fast. They’re a really skilled team. We’ve just got to commit to what we’re good at and work hard and bring an effort like we had today.”
Goalie and Rugby High senior Robert Dibble, who made 27 saves for the game against Mandan, said of his total, “I think it was nice. The defense did a really good job making it nice and easy for me and I could just see the puck all the way through.”
“(Mandan) had a lot to play for tonight and we knew that coming in, but we knew we had to play hard. Our defense really stepped up tonight, blocking shots, stopping passes and it was just a well-rounded performance,” Dibble added.
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