U19 Girls Run Into 'Buzzsaw'
By J. Levi Burnfin Courier Sports
Published: Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
Going into the past weekend, the U19 Ice Dawgs knew they had a big challenge ahead in Sidney on Saturday. They didn't realize though, that they faced an even bigger challenge on Sunday at home against Watford city.
"We ran into a buzzsaw" against the Watford City Oilers, said Head Coach JR Rasmusan.
There were quite a few more girls on their roster than they've had in the past, according to Rasmusan. And coming off a physical game in Sidney against the Richland Rangers the day before, the Ice Dawgs had a physically demanding weekend.
Both teams are quasi rivals for the Ice Dawgs and while both play a more physical style of hockey – as much as they can be in non-checking women's hockey – they were that much more physical against Glasgow.
The Dawgs were up to the challenge early against the Rangers. The two squads exchanged early scores to open the contest. Richland scored again at the end of the first to make it 2-1 heading into the second.
Glasgow was held scoreless in the second period while the Rangers scored two more to make it 4-1. The Rangers added another early in the third and Glasgow answered to pull within three at 5-2. But they weren't able to hit the back of the net again and Sidney scored once more to make the final 6-2.
"The girls played a very good game. Maybe not the best they could play but for all three phases – offense, defense and goaltending – we were pretty close. And it showed, we played them well and were in the game through the whole thing," said Rasmusan.
It was the first time all year the girls had their full team on the ice after nursing injuries to key players from the very beginning. That took some pressure off goaltender Autumn Gault, who has been very good between the pipes this season.
Gault saved 37 of 43 shots on goal against the Rangers.
The team's health didn't last for long, though.
Carley Wesely and Debra Griebel both re-aggravated injuries early in the game against Watford City, which led to a few easy goals for the Oilers' Katie Skarda.
Skarda is one of the best skaters in NDAHA and the Dawgs have had an effective game plan the last few years to neutralize her by keeping a shadow on her at all times.
In this contest, Wesely and Griebel were supposed to swap duties as that shadow. However, once they were knocked out of the game with injuries, Skarda was able to get free.
"Without having regular shifts and keeping an eye on Skarda, she's going to light you up," said Rasmusan.
The Rangers led 1-0 with less than a minute to go in the first but the Rangers scored three times – Skarda had two of those – in 36 seconds to bust the game open. The Rangers scored twice more early in the second before Glasgow was able to get on the board. The damage was done. The Rangers took the 8-1 win and Skarda finished with six goals and an assist on the day.
Gault again finished with 37 saves.
The biggest loss was Wesely and Griebel, though. Both will sit out at least this upcoming week in hopes they can be ready to go for the state tournaments in February.
The Dawgs travel to Rugby, N.D. to take on U14 West Fargo and U19 West Fargo on Saturday and Sunday. Don't let the U14 moniker fool you, though. They are probably the best team in all of NDAHA, according to Rasmusan. They beat their U19 counterparts on a regular basis.
It's back to being a mash unit for the Dawgs as they will bring up a couple of U14 girls of their own to fill out the roster as Greibel and Wesely sit out. It'll be a big challenge for a team that hasn't been and won't be healthy.
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