By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
If you're going to drive seven hours to play two hockey games, you might as well win them both.
The Havre Ice Hawk Midget hockey squad made the long trip to Salmon, Idaho for a pair of conference games and came away with a pair of wins on Jan. 29-30.
The Ice Hawks opened the weekend with a 4-3 win over the Salmon Rapids on the strength of a dominant performance from Mark Larson.
Larson, who took care of the goaltending duties last year, has moved to offense this season and flourished, scoring all four of Havre's goals in the win.
Larson got Havre on the board with an unassisted goal just minutes into the game. Salmon answered with an unassisted goal from Will Livingston later in the period to tie the game at 1-1.
Larson broke open the tie two minutes later with his second goal and an assist from Josh Morse. Havre pushed the lead to 3-1 in the second period as Larson scored an unassisted goal.
Salmon cut the lead to 3-2 on a goal from Michael Brownlee with a minute left in the second period. But Larson added a big insurance goal with 13 seconds remaining the period.
Havre goalie David Zentmire gave up a late goal to Livingston, but stopped 16 shots on goal to help secure the win.
Sunday's game against Salmon didn't have quite as much drama as the Ice Hawks skated to a dominant 5-0 win.
Andy Hanson got Havre on the board with a goal on an assist from Morse at the 1:42 mark of the first period.
Havre added another goal with one second remaining in the first as Ted Well scored unassisted. Morse pushed the lead to 3-0 with an unassisted goal of his own early in the second period.
In the third period, Hanson notched a hat trick scoring a two more goals - one with an assist from Morse.
The Ice Hawks gladly returned to Havre for some home games last weekend against Great Falls at the Havre Ice Dome.
Havre made the most of being on home ice, scoring a 5-3 victory on Friday.
The Ice Hawks rolled to a 3-0 lead in the first period as Tyler Boyce scored the first goal on an assist from Andrew Linquist. Morse scored the second goal of the period with an assist from Hanson. Morse returned the favor to Hanson minutes later.
Great Falls tried to cut into the lead as Jared Hunt scored in the second period. Havre got an insurance goal in the third period as Hanson scored his second goal of the game. Ben Erickson added another insurance score late in the third period on an assist from Scott Ladenburg.
Mark Larson returned to his goalkeeping duties for the game and was solid, recording 44 saves. The win not only avenged two earlier losses to Great Falls earlier in the season, but was also big considering that the Great Falls squad also features top Helena players, since their team disbanded.
Havre's winning streak came to an end a day later as Great Falls picked up an 8-2 win. GF rolled to a 6-0 lead before Larson got Havre on the board at the 9:54 mark of the third period on an assist from Michael Erickson. Boyce scored Havre's other goal with an assist from Hanson.
The Ice Hawks Midgets weren't the only team in action as of late. The Ice Hawk Pee Wee squad also completed a four-game run.
Havre made trip south to Butte for a pair of games on Jan. 22-23. The Ice Hawks got the trip off to a good start with a 3-1 win over the Butte Blues. Jesse Majeres scored two goals, Chase Rolf added a goal and an assist and Dillon McLain chipped in with an assist in the win. Goalie Alex Sinclair led the defense with 19 saves.
Butte got a little revenge the next day, scoring a 5-0 win over Havre. Sinclair had a busy day in net, stopping 23 shots.
Havre returned home last weekend for a pair of games with Salmon, Idaho at the Havre Ice Dome.
The two squads skated to a 3-3 tie on Saturday with Jon Austin, Blaine Grisak and Majeres all scoring goals. Rolf, McLain and McLain all had assists, while Sinclair picked up 17 saves.
Havre got back to its winning ways on Sunday with a 3-1 win over Salmon. McLain, Austin and Majeres all recorded goals while Grisak, McLain and Andrew Bradshaw had assists. Sinclair was solid in goal with 20 saves.