The Minot High School boys hockey team didn't have to worry about a third straight last-second loss and it has its top line of Quinn Fuchs, Matt Flom and Hayden Schwarz to thank.
The Magicians' No. 1 line recorded seven goals and 10 assists and Fuchs and Flom each netted hat tricks in their 8-4 victory against Jamestown at Maysa Arena on Saturday.
Flom - a junior forward and assistant captain - needed only two periods to record his hat trick, with his third goal giving Minot the lead for good at 5-4 with 17 seconds remaining in the second frame. He also tallied four assists for a seven-point night. Fuchs - a senior forward and team captain - scored an empty-netter with 2:58 remaining to earn his first high school hat trick, adding two assists as well.
Minot High School sophomore forward Ethan Czaplewski handles the puck in the offensive zone as Jamestown’s Nick Urquhart defends Saturday at Maysa Arena.
"That's what you expect from them," MHS coach Chad Burckhard said. "They're three very highly-skilled kids. When they're moving their feet and they're working and playing the game the way it's supposed to be played, they're good. I'm not going to go as far as saying they're unstoppable, but they're close to it."
In the West Region opener for both teams, Minot (1-2 overall, 1-0 region) and Jamestown traded goals in the first period, with Flom opening the scoring on the power play at 4:49. With time winding down on Jamestown senior Austen Meyer's interference penalty, Schwarz wristed a shot from the blue line that hit Flom in front of the net and got by goaltender Brian Wenzel.
"We came into the game ready to go, so that really helped a lot," Flom said.
The Blue Jays (0-2, 0-1) responded with a power-play goal of their own two minutes later. An interference penalty on Minot junior forward Zebulen Pulkinen set up Jamestown's first of two equalizing goals in the opening period. The first came off the stick of Jamestown forward Brady Hoggarth at the left faceoff circle. Hoggarth placed a shot over the stick-side shoulder of Minot junior goaltender Breydan Effertz just inside the post.
"We got off to a pretty slow start tonight I thought," Burckhard said. "We gave up a power-play goal and a short-handed goal. I thought 5-on-5 we were pretty good. We were moving our feet. We were fast. We were quick. We were strong. We just have to do a better job of staying out of the penalty box."
Minot was whistled for eight penalties.
Jamestown took its first lead of the game when Jakobi Lux capitalized on a Minot turnover in its defensive end, but the Magicians responded with Flom's second goal. Fuchs found Flom in the slot with a centering pass from behind the net and the 5-foot-7 junior tied the game with 1:32 remaining in the period.
"Back door seemed to be really working," Fuchs said. "We seem to open up the ice back there by moving their defenseman up, so that just opened up space."
With Jamestown leading 4-3 midway through the second period, Minot's top line scored the final five goals. Fuchs netted his first goal of the contest with 7:11 remaining in the second period, knocking in a rebound in front of the net to tie the game 4-4. Flom and Schwarz were credited with assists.
Flom's goal with 17 seconds left put Minot in front heading into the third period and Fuchs and Schwarz sealed the Magicians' first win of the season with tallies 44 seconds apart to extend their lead to 7-4. Flom had the primary assist on both goals.
"We responded really well in the third period," Fuchs said. "We got those two quick ones and we seemed to feed off that toward the end and pulled away."
The Magicians host Mandan on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. at Maysa Arena.
Mike Kraft covers high school athletics and hockey. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.