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Oilers take second in State Hockey Tourney

Posted 3/09/11 (Wed)

The Watford City Junior Gold hockey team brought home second place honors from the NDAHA State High School Hockey Tournament in Watford City this past weekend. The Oilers were downed by the Grand Forks Stallions, 7-1, in the title game.
Junior Bo Yesel scored the Oilers’ only goal, unassisted, early in the second period to close the gap to 2-1. Grand Forks threw 45 shots at Oilers’ goalie, Kalden Heggen, who turned back 38 Stallion shots.
In the quarterfinals, the Oilers defeated the Richland Rangers, 6-1. Richland scored the game’s first goal on the power play at 7:42. The Oilers answered with a power play goal of their own when Chris Larsen put home a rebound off the shot of Bo Yesel. Douglas Nordby put the Oilers up 2-1 with just 1:04 left in the first period when he wristed a shot over the Rangers’ goalie. Douglas Rolfson added the assist on Nordby’s goal.
At 10:13 of the second period, Katie Skarda tipped home a shot off Yesel’s stick to put the Oilers up 3-1. Rolfson also assisted on Skarda’s goal. Jayden Grotte kept the Oilers’ offensive attack rolling when he blasted a slap shot over the Rangers’ netminder on an Oiler power play. Nordby and Larsen added assists on Grotte’s goal.
In the final period, the Oilers scored two more goals, both unassisted. The first at 9:29 by Nordby and sophomore Brandon Taylor closed out the scoring with 6:58 left in the contest. Kalden Heggen turned back 21 Ranger shots.
In the semifinal contest, the Oilers skated against the Fargo Flames scoring a 5-4 victory. The Oilers drew first blood when Douglas Nordby scored on a great individual play. Nordby deked two Flames’ defensemen before snapping a shot over the Flames’ goalie’s shoulder. Fargo answered with 2:30 left in the period, beating Heggen low, stick side. Fargo would take the lead in period two at 11:12 on a nice give and go to beat Heggen. Defenseman Bo Yesel knotted the game at 2-2 when he blasted a slap shot past the Flames goalie unassisted.
Things really became exciting when the Oilers’ center iceman, Brandon Taylor, was fouled from behind and was awarded a penalty shot. Taylor deked to his right, went left and flipped the puck over the stretched out netminder for a 3-2 Oiler lead.
Jayden Grotte put the Oilers up 4-2 just 1:15 into the third period. Grotte took a feed from Larsen and made a nice deke on the goalie. Fargo wasn’t ready to quit as they scored just 2:08 later to cut the Oilers’ lead to 4-3. Yesel put the Oilers up by two with 9:29 remaining in the game on a nice rush up ice. As time was winding down, the Flames scored with 2:54 left in the contest to cut the Oilers lead to one goal. With good defensive coverage and a little luck, the Oilers held on for the victory, sending them to the championship game. Heggen turned back 25 shots while the Oilers threw 50 shots at the Fargo goalie.