MHS win over Bruins completes weekend sweep
With the holidays just around the corner, now’s no time to be greedy as the Grinch.
But six points is six points, and Minot High girls hockey coach Weylin Wahlstrom wanted all of them, as covetous as it may be.
Following the Majettes’ 3-0 win over Fargo South-Davies on Saturday afternoon, he strolled the hallways at Maysa Arena with the satisfaction of Cindy Lou Who doling away bow-wrapped gifts.
Coupled with a rout of Jamestown on Friday night, Minot (3-1) completed a weekend sweep and leapfrogged the Bruins (2-3) and West Fargo in the state standings to move into a tie with Fargo North for third place.
“Every time you come into a weekend, you go one game at a time,” Wahlstrom said. “At the same time, as a coach, you’re hoping you can come out of the weekend with six points. … You want to get as many points as you can early in the season and then just ride off that.”
The Majettes allowed one goal all weekend and killed nine of 10 penalties. Senior goalkeeper Sydney Swanson turned away 18 shots against South-Davies for her second shutout of the year.
“I was controlling rebounds and just watching the puck intensely, talking to my ‘D,’ ” Swanson said. “It felt really good to get the shutout.”
At 13 minutes, 34 seconds of the second period, Swanson stonewalled a point-blank shot with a stick save. Then she preserved the shutout with a kick save to stuff South-Davies sophomore Miryley Hartel on a breakaway.
In her first year as Minot’s full-time starter, Swanson owns a 94.3 save percentage and a goals against average of exactly one. Wahlstrom time and again refers to his netminder as “the backbone of our team.”
“We come in with the confidence that she’s gonna make all the saves that she’s supposed to make,” he said. “And then also she’s gonna make some saves that she’s probably not suppose to make. She made three or four of those today.”
Senior forward Makaila Anderson gave Swanson some breathing room 9:51 into the game when she picked off a sloppy pass and finished bar-down stick side to spot the Majettes a 1-0 lead.
“She was coming out of her zone and I poked it away,” Anderson said. “They were in the middle of a (line) change and I took advantage of it. The goalie came out high and I just saw that water-bottle side wide open, so I snapped it right up there.”
Anderson, who’s tied with senior Alaynee Thompson for the team lead with 12 points, also added a power-play goal in the third period.
Freshman forward Mackinzy MacIver notched her fourth goal of the weekend when she chipped in a rebound from 4 feet out. Classmate Bryanna Bergeron notched the assist on the play, which came at 11:30 of the second period.
Thompson, who leads Minot with eight goals, nearly added her ninth when she tapped in a rebound on a power play two minutes before the second intermission. But officials ruled she was in the crease and interfered with the goalie.
Minot travels to play Williston (4-1) at 7 p.m. Tuesday. South-Davies dealt the Coyotes a 4-1 setback Friday evening.
After the Majettes outscored winless teams Devils Lake and Jamestown a combined 26-1 in their first two wins, Wahlstrom said a shutout over a middle-of-the-road South-Davies squad – and a six-point weekend – have him breathing a little easier.
“I knew it was gonna be a tight game,” he said. “Besides the top two teams and the bottom two teams in the league, everybody else is pretty equal. We’re gonna have a lot of close games.”
Ryan Holmgren covers Minot High athletics and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.