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Junior Gold takes 3rd at State

Posted 3/08/16 (Tue)

The Watford City Oilers took third place at the Junior Gold State Tournament in Langdon this past weekend.
The Oilers needed an overtime to win their first round matchup with the No. 3-seeded Sidney Rangers. Goaltender Kallen Ladue-Bruington came up huge making 59 saves in the 6-5 victory.
After ending the first period down 1-0, Rait Elliot tied the game with an assist from Eric Hellandsaas at 1:49 into the second period. Sidney took the lead again, and 51 seconds later, team captain Derrike Hayden tied it again with an unassisted goal. Later in the period, the Oilers took their first lead of the game when Austin Johnson scored on a play set up by Bridger Morken and Jackson Voll.  Sidney would retake the lead after putting in two more goals, including one with only eight seconds left in the second period.
After going into the locker room down 4-3, the Oilers came back in the third period with another goal from Elliot, this time assisted by Hellandsaas and Brett Skarda. The Oilers then took a third period lead when Hayden netted his second goal of the day with assists from Elliot and Skarda.
After Sidney’s goaltender suffered an injury halfway through the third period, Sidney rallied and kept the Oilers to only three shots on their backup net-minder in nearly 12 minutes of action. The Rangers put in the game-tying goal not long after having to make the switch.
In a fast-paced overtime period that looked like it was going to be pushed to double OT, Oilers Hellendsaas was able to end it, scoring with 21 seconds left with an assist from Elliot.
In the semifinal game, the Oilers fell to the eventual state champion Grand Forks Stallions, 2-1. The Stallions opened the scoring with 14 seconds remaining in the first period, and scored the eventual game winner in the second.
The Oilers started a comeback in the second period with a goal by Colton MacDonell, set up by Johnson and Adrian Castaneda. The Oilers had several more chances, but could not get another one past the Grand Forks goaltender.
Ladue-Bruington had another solid game in the net stopping 25 of the Stallions’ shots.
After the game, at the state banquet, Watford City seniors Derrike Hayden and Eric Hellandsaas were named to the All-State Team. As All-Staters, Hayden and Hellandsaas have the opportunity to represent Team North Dakota in “America’s Showcase” in Pittsburgh, Pa., in April.
In the third place game on Saturday afternoon, the Oilers drew the home-town Langdon Blades, and beat them decidedly, 8-2.
Hayden started the scoring early in the first period with an unassisted goal followed by a second goal by   Castaneda with an assist from Skarda.
The Blades answered near the end of the period, but then Hellendsaas scored the eventual game winner with nine seconds remaining in the first period.
In the second period, it was all Oilers with goals from Dominic Ferrari, assisted by Voll, and another goal from Hellandsaas, assisted by Hayden. The Oilers continued to dominate the Blades in the third period with another unassisted goal from Hayden, and a goal by Morken, set up by his linemates Johnson and MacDonell.
Langdon scored their second goal of the game with just over three minutes remaining in the final period, but that was answered quickly with the final goal of the season being scored by Castaneda with assists form Morken and Skarda.
Ladue-Bruington wrapped up a fantastic state tournament with another solid showing with 27 saves against the Blades, for a three-game tournament save percentage of 92.5 percent.