Ice Hawks open the season with losses to Bozeman at home
Last updated 11/23/2021 at 10:08am
Winter sports are finally here as hockey is back on the Hi-Line with the Havre Ice Hawks high school hockey team hosting the Bozeman Icedogs to begin the season this past weekend. However, the Hawks' season did not get off to the best start at the Havre Ice Dome as they lost to Bozeman, 9-3, Saturday night and then lost, 5-3, Sunday.
"We did alright. I was hoping to see a little bit more out of them," head coach Chase Hanson said. "Overall, we did good. Just some mental errors that will get fixed going forward."
The Hawks and Icedogs began the season Saturday night in a game that was competitive early on. Just over three minutes into the game, Trayden Riley scored the first goal of the season for the Hawks to give them a 1-0 lead in the first period. Ten minutes later in the period, the Icedogs responded with a goal from Brodie Shepardson during a power play to tie the game.
Shepardson carried his play into the second period with another goal just nine seconds into the period. Just 12 seconds later, he scored another goal to give Bozeman a 3-1 lead. A few minutes later on a power play, Michael Emge scored a goal to cut the Hawks' deficit to 3-2.
However, the Hawks could not keep up with the Icedogs in the second period. Just over three minutes in the period, Spencer Wilkinson scored to make it 4-2 in favor of Bozeman. Shepardson then scored his fourth goal of the game to further extend the lead for the Icedogs. Miko Perkins and Alex Steckelberg then scored goals to give Bozeman a 7-2 lead to end the second period.
"It was a complete lapse on our end," Hanson said about the second period. "We just didn't carry over the intensity from the first period into the second period."
Almost 12 minutes into the third period, the Icedogs scored again with Steckelberg's second goal. The Hawks finally scored again with a goal from Ciaran Courtnage a few minutes later. Late in the game, Everett Carr scored a goal to cap off the 9-3 victory for Bozeman.
After the loss Saturday night, the Hawks and Icedogs returned to Havre Ice Dome for a rematch Sunday. Early on it looked like the Icedogs would again dominate. Just over eight minutes into the first period, Finn Chumbler scored on a power play to give Bozeman the lead. Wilkerson then scored a goal to give Bozeman a 2-0 lead to close out the first period.
Despite a 2-0 deficit, the Hawks came back in the second period. Just over ten minutes into the second period, Emge scored a goal to get the Hawks on the scoreboard. Late in the second period, Austin Boyce scored on a power play to tie the game. After their loss Saturday, Hanson thought his players responded well as they played much better Sunday.
"The kids never really gave up," Hanson said. "(On Saturday), we kind of stopped moving our feet, we kind of stopped moving around. (On Sunday), we kept it on them for the most part."
However, the Hawks could not hold onto momentum as the Icedogs roared back. Just over two minutes into the third period, Trey Morgan scored on a power play to give Bozeman a 3-2 lead. Steckelberg and Chumbler then scored a pair of goals to extend Bozeman's lead to 5-2.
"(We had) mental errors on our end," Hanson said about the third period. "We started chasing the puck. We started waiting to see what they wanted to do with it instead of forcing plays. Our defense was getting caught out of position and they made us pay for it."
Boyce scored again in the third period to cut the deficit to 5-3, but the Hawks could not come back. Both Boyce and Emge finished the weekend with three points as both players recorded two goals and one assist in the two games. Goalie Clara Holland started both games for the Hawks and recorded a .777 save percentage.
While the Hawks could have played better to start the season, there were still many positives to build off moving forward. Hanson was impressed with how the team responded Sunday after the 9-3 loss Saturday and he hopes that character will carry through the rest of the year.
"The team stuck together," Hanson said. "They came right back out and they stuck together. That was a little bit of an issue in years past but hopefully it won't be this year."
The Hawks will next play against the Great Falls Americans at the Great Falls Ice Plex on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.