Ice Dawgs Can't Get On Same Page
By J. Levi Burnfin
Published: Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
Inconsistency plagued the High School Ice Dawgs as they dropped each of four games at the MAHA State Tournament.
The High School Ice Dawgs knew that they faced an uphill battle in Bozeman against three of the top teams in the state, but they were hoping to steal a couple of wins anyway. Instead, they never were able to put a full game together.
“It was disappointing. Pretty much everybody played well at times, but not consistently and at the same time,” said Head Coach Mike Eliason.
“It was kind of a microcosm of our whole season, just couldn’t put it on the ice at the same time.”
The tournament started rocky with Glasgow allowing three first period goals to third-seed Bozeman, trailing 3-1 after the opening frame. Glasgow’s defense held firm the rest of the game, allowing only a single tally in both the second and third, but their offense couldn’t get going, dropping the game 5-1.
Ryan Padden scored the lone goal with assists from Dillon Pankratz and Braden Barstad. Harley Eliason made 68 saves in the loss.
The second game was the biggest downturn for Glasgow.
The second-ranked Missoula Bruins came out in dominating fashion and scored six goals in the first period on their way to a 14-1 win.
Padden again scored for Glasgow with Barstad and Sam Schultz recording assists. Nate Sharrett was in between the pipes for Glasgow this time around and made 34 saves.
“Missoula’s a hell of a team. They shouldn’t have beat us 14-1 and I just think that game killed us emotionally,” said Mike Eliason.
The Dawgs responded well early against Whitefish, holding a 1-0 lead after the first and trailing only 3-2 after two periods, but six Whitefish goals in the third gave them a 9-2 victory.
Pankratz and Padden each scored with Parker Kulzych and Barstad earning assists. Sharrett was still in the net for Glasgow and made 58 saves in the effort.
The story was all too similar in the Dawgs’ last game of the tournament, and their season.
Glasgow and the Great Falls Americans were tied at one after the first and Great Falls led 4-3 after two. But Glasgow let it slip away in the third again. Great Falls scored five goals in the period, including two short-handed, to pull away for the 9-3 win.
Padden scored twice and Barstad tallied three points with a goal and two assists. Schultz also recorded a pair of assists. Harley Eliason was in net this time around and saved 50.
It seemed like everything would go wrong in the third for Glasgow.
“I have no explanation. It was the craziest thing ever,” said Eliason. “They’re passionate kids, hard-working kids. We just couldn’t put it all together.”
It wasn’t the ending the Dawgs were looking for out of their season-ending tournament.
“I bet we lingered in the locker room longer than I’ve ever seen kids just hanging around – didn’t want to leave. I think a lot of them felt like we had better to give and they just wanted to hang out and get the most out of that experience before they realized their season was completely done.”
As the saying goes, there’s always next year. And next year will come with higher expectations.
The Dawgs lose two, Sharrett and BJ Briggs, off this year’s team but are also expecting to have five more players that were in Bantams this year.
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