Havre Daily News - News you can use

Ice Hawks fall at powerful Missoula


November 26, 2019

It is still early into the high school hockey season, where the window to improve is still open. There are always some struggles to kick off the year, but it is how the team learns and grows from it.

For the Havre Ice Hawks high school hockey team, it was another tough weekend on the ice down in Missoula against the Missoula Bruins.

The Ice Hawks lost to the Bruins 7-2 on Saturday and 7-0 Sunday. Despite the sweep by Missoula, there are a lot of positives to take away from the matches.

Ice Hawks coach Nick Woods was glad to see his team push through the entirety of the series.

"I think the team did really well," said Woods. "They're starting to play as a whole and started putting plays in place. We were able to take advantage on a couple power-play goals from Bridger (Staples). The team did an excellent job playing smart and keeping penalties to a minimum."

Both games were kept close by Havre in the first two periods, but the Bruins were able to escape with the pair of victories. In the end, the Ice Hawks put up a fight till the end and came away with a lot to work on going forward.

Staples scored the two goals for Havre in the first game, continuing to make a name for himself on the ice. On the defensive side of the puck, Woods credits the team for making good plays, including star goalie Trennis Riley.

"Despite being short-handed, the defense did a really good job of recognizing what Missoula was trying to do to get goals on us," Woods said. "We were able to start shutting them down on scoring opportunities. Trennis did an awesome job in the net goaltending."

Despite the score, Havre played a game that will allow the team to have some more working points as the season progresses. Woods knows the team will have a good year as it progresses. The club has a lot to apply in their drills from practices to games.

The Ice Hawks' biggest challenge facing the Bruins came from the tale of the two cities. For Havre, the area is smaller and more compact when in comes to the team. In Missoula, the big city provides bigger openings for more names to play on the squad.

"Missoula has more kids," said Woods. "They have more options to work with than a smaller community like us would have kid's-wise. But, all-in-all, I think our kids held up with them."

There is still a good majority of the season left for the Ice Hawks, who will be eager to find a pair of wins after being swept by Helena and Missoula the last two weeks.

The next series will be at home in the Havre Ice Dome against the Great Falls Americans on Saturday and Sunday.

"It would be great to fill the Ice Dome and cheer them on," said Woods.

The next two games will provide Havre with an opportunity to prove what they have learned from the Helena and Missoula games. There has been some good improvement with the team and now it looks to be applied against Great Falls.

The Ice Hawks step on the ice against the Great Falls Americans Friday and Saturday in the Havre Ice Dome for a two-game series.


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