Less than 48 hours after enacting some revenge against Bismarck Century, the Minot High School boys hockey team got even with West Region rival Bismarck High, disposing of the Demons 5-1 on Thursday at Maysa Arena.
MHS sophomore forward Matt Flom continued his scoring streak with two more goals and sophomore goaltender Breydan Effertz - still nursing flu-like symptoms - stood tall in net with 23 saves.
"Our goaltender came to play for us tonight and made some really big saves in the first two periods that let us get our feet underneath us," MHS coach Chad Burckhard said. "We were riding a pretty high emotional wave after Tuesday and I don't think we responded extremely well early, but as the game went on we got bigger and stronger."
Minot High junior Jersey Kelly slides the puck around Bismarck’s Jared Spooner during the second period Thursday at Maysa Arena.
After a scoreless first period that featured limited scoring chances from either team, Flom and the Magicians (9-4-1 overall, 7-2) broke through on the power play to give Minot the one-goal lead at 2:07 of the second frame. With the man advantage, Flom fired a shot on net, tracked the rebound and swatted the puck past Bismarck goaltender Brett Malkmus' glove-side skate.
"I have a couple really good guys on my line - Hayden (Schwarz) and Quinn (Fuchs) - who work hard to get me the puck and I return the favor," Flom said. "The first goal really got us going, got us into the game. We came into this game a little laid-back and once we got the first goal we knew the game was going to be hard fought."
Despite striking first, the Magicians found themselves in their defensive end for large spurts, resulting in several good looks for Bismarck's forwards on Effertz. But Effertz came up with a few key saves to keep the Demons (9-6, 7-3) off the scoreboard for more than two-thirds of the contest.
"I was seeing the shots well," Effertz said. "The defensemen did a really good job of clearing the puck from the net the entire night."
Minot pushed its lead to two before the second-period intermission on a 2-on-1 break resulting in a goal by senior forward Morgen Martelle. Leading the rush, Martelle sent a pass to junior forward Quinn Fuchs, who gave the puck right back to the senior for the goal.
"We're starting to see the maturity of a young hockey team," Burckhard said. "Even in games we're not doing particularly well in, we find a way to get things done and that's encouraging."
The teams exchanged goals to open the third period as Bismarck's Jared Spooner put the Demons on the board following Minot defenseman Hayden Schwarz's fourth goal in two games.
Burckhard said Flom felt responsible for Bismarck's goal after being caught out of position, but the sophomore made up for it on his next shift. Flom iced the game with his second goal with 4:07 remaining, scoring with one hand on the stick while fighting off a Bismarck defenseman with the other.
"Some people just have that ability to score and Matt Flom is in the right place at the right time and I don't think that happens by accident," Burckhard said. "He's a smart kid away from the puck and he puts himself in good situations."
Minot's victory over the Demons avenged a 3-0 loss at Bismarck earlier this season. More importantly, it keeps the Magicians tied atop the region standings with Century and drops the Demons into third place.
The Magicians play at Bottineau-Rugby on Monday.