First-round disappointment

GRAND FORKS – The Minot High School boys hockey team began its season with a loss to Fargo Davies and saw its hopes of winning the state title end at the hands of the same foe.

Penalties proved to be Minot’s ultimate demise, leading to two power-play goals and the loss of leading scorer Quinn Fuchs to a game disqualification in a 6-2 loss to Davies on Thursday at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Davies’ Aiden Hartness scored the Eagles’ first power-play goal of the game at five minutes, 49 seconds of the first period. Hartness’ goal came a minute into Minot junior defenseman Taran Albright’s high-sticking penalty.

“We came out in the first eight minutes and we weren’t moving our feet,” MHS coach Chad Burckhard said. “We were nervous, we were uptight, gripping the sticks tight and nobody was getting anything done at all.”

The Magicians (15-9-1) fought back to tie the contest when Fuchs beat Davies goaltender Tucker Windels at 10:51 of the first period. Fuchs knocked home a loose puck that careened off the end boards for Minot’s first goal.

Fuchs would not be on the ice for the last half of the game. With the Magicians trailing 3-1 early in the second period following Davies’ second power-play goal of the game, Fuchs was assessed a five-minute major for checking from behind and a game disqualification as well. Fuchs entered the game with just six penalty minutes.

“It hurt a ton,” Burckhard said of losing Fuchs. “Anytime you lose one of your captains and leaders it’s a shock to the bench. He’s not a kid we’re used to playing without.”

Fuchs’ disqualification will keep him out of the lineup for today’s 11 a.m. game against Jamestown, which lost its first-round matchup to Grand Forks Red River 6-0. The Magicians shut out the Blue Jays in both games during the regular season.

The Eagles (20-5) couldn’t take advantage of the extended power play after Fuchs’ penalty, but added their fourth goal at 11:12 of the second period to take a 4-1 lead. Chris Sigurdson scored both goals for Davies in the second.

“He’s been steady all year,” Davies coach Brian Davidson said. “That’s what we expect out of him. He’s been our leading scorer. He’s our captain. That group of guys, including him, we count on every night to get us going.”

The Magicians’ fortunes nearly went from bad to worse when sophomore goaltender Breydan Effertz needed medical attention just 15 seconds into the third period. Effertz remained in the game and finished with 20 saves.

Even with Effertz in net, the Magicians couldn’t keep Davies’ offense in check. The Eagles added two more goals in the third period.

“At times when we got the puck deep and actually moved our feet and played with some heart, we played well,” senior defenseman Morgen Martelle said. “We didn’t do it enough.”

Minot forward Matt Flom scored the Magicians’ second goal.