Magi continue dominance of Northstars
If recent history was any indication, Tuesday’s boys hockey game between Minot High and Hazen-Beulah would be a one-sided affair in favor of the Magicians.
History held serve as junior forward Matt Flom netted two goals 15 seconds apart within the first two minutes and the Magicians didn’t look back, routing the Northstars 12-3 at Maysa Arena.
“Offensively, it was an explosion,” MHS coach Chad Burckhard said. “We had guys moving the puck well and they were unselfish. We played well at that end of the ice.”
Since a 3-3 tie in February 2010, Minot has won the last six meetings, outscoring the Northstars 54-11. The Magicians (5-2 overall, 5-0 West Region) put up 15 goals in their only meeting with H-B last season.
Burckhard mixed up his starting lineup, putting sophomore Logan Bischof and senior Jersey Kelly alongside senior assistant captain Hayden Schwarz on the first line. Sophomore goaltender Kross Braaten made his first start and second appearance between the pipes for the Magicians.
Yet it was Minot’s typical first line that scored its first five goals of the contest. After Flom netted his two, H-B’s Jakob Parisien got the Northstar’s on the board at 2 minutes, 40 seconds. But Schwarz and senior forward Quinn Fuchs added goals for Minot before the end of the first period for a 4-1 lead.
“I thought we played pretty good,” junior forward Zebulen Pulkinen said. “There’s some things we have to work on in the defensive zone and the neutral zone. We just have to work on that in practice and see how it goes.”
The Northstars (2-6, 2-5) held their own throughout the first half of the second stanza, but penalties allowed Minot to tack on a couple power-play goals. Fuchs scored the first with the extra skater and Kelly netted the other. For Kelly, his power-play goal was more relief than any other emotion as it was his first tally of the season.
“It was good to get off the no-goal streak,” Kelly said. “It felt great. … Quinn left the puck behind the net and I took it around and buried it backdoor.”
Kelly wasn’t the only Minot skater to record his first goal of the year. Sophomore forward Elliott Hopkins scored 38 seconds after Kelly and junior forwards Brent Williams and Pulkinen also tallied their first markers to make it 12-3.
“It’s only going to grow for their confidence,” Burckhard said. “They need to realize you have to get pucks to the net to score goals and tonight kind of showed them some of that.”
The Magicians chased H-B starting goaltender Tyler Murschel with three minutes left in the second period. Murschel finished with 28 saves on 35 shots before being replaced by Colin Johnson.
H-B stayed competitive as Rory Olson scored twice in between Hopkins’ and Williams’ tallies, but surrendered the final three goals of the game.
Flom, Fuchs, Schwarz and Kelly all finished with two goals.
Despite the lopsided score, Braaten faced 31 shots and made 28 saves. The Northstars had two 5-on-3 power plays, but Braaten kept the puck in front of him. H-B was 0-for-8 on the man advantage.
“At the end of the second period, he had that 5-on-3 penalty kill where he made four, five, six really good quality saves,” Burckhard said. “It gets hard when you get late in the game and it’s a lopsided game like that. You shift your focus and that was a good test for him on that aspect.”
Minot travels to play Bismarck High on Friday at 7:15 p.m.
Mike Kraft covers high school athletics and hockey. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.