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March Mania

Midgets fall to Jamestown on OT penalty

Dickinson High senior goalie Gabe Vaagen stops a shot against Jamestown on Saturday at the West River Ice Center. (Samuel Evers / The Dickinson Press)

In all, Jamestown High's Cole Burkle heard his name over the loudspeaker three times Saturday night.

Each time — once in the first, then in the second, and finally, in overtime — the announcement was for the go-ahead goal.

The first two were eventually matched, but on the last one, Dickinson High had no chance for rebuttal.

After a dead push in regulation, the contest went to overtime, where 2:30 in, Burkle was tripped on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot.

He skated smoothly toward Dickinson High goalie Gabe Vaagan from the right side, crossed left, and finished off the shot, ending the game, giving himself a hat trick and his Blue Jays a 3-2 victory at the West River Ice Center.

"He's always around the puck, constantly," said Dickinson head coach Dallas Kuntz. "Kudos to him, he's a hell of a hockey player. He worked harder than most everybody on the ice and in the end he got rewarded for it."

The scoring began for Jamestown 8:02 into the game, when on an alley-oop type play, Baylee Hatlewick slapped the puck toward Burkle, who was waiting to the left of Dickinson's goal.

He artfully wristed the puck into the net for a 1-0 lead.

The Midgets (5-4-1) tied the game a few minutes later on a breakaway created and finished by Dawson Kram, who blocked a pass, brought it up ice and scored all in one motion.

Burkle struck again in the second period, and after his score, the game remained a 2-1 count until 9:44 had passed in the third period, when Dickinson's Morgan Wardner reared back and pushed a slapshot into the net for the equalizer.

Just a few sequences before Wardner's shot, Vaagen had momentarily stopped Burkle's hat trick bid with a save on a breakaway.

"He scores that goal there then it's 3-1, and we don't even get into that situation," Jamestown coach Matt Stockert said. "But hats off to Dallas' crew over there. His kids kept fighting back, worked as hard as we did. It was just kind of a back-and-forth game, the scoreboard said it all."

After the Midgets' tied the game late, the shots on net for both teams continued (the two finished an even 31-31), with Jamestown's Cole Bennion whiffing on a close range slapshot in the final seconds that might have put it away.

The Midgets in the first few minutes of overtime appeared to have the slight edge and owned the time of possession, totaling three shots on goal in the short-lived overtime period, but it was the Blue Jays (6-3) that were presented with the best break.

"We had a good game, we did a good job of battling back, obviously it was just the penalty that screwed it up. Tried to challenge him as much as I could, he just kind got around me for an easy one," said Vaagen, who saw much more action than in his team's 13-0 win a night before. "I like games like this, when it's close, when I'm doing stuff. Just wish we could have gotten it."

Jamestown 3, Dickinson 2 (OT)

DHS 1 0 1 0 — 2

JHS 1 1 0 1 — 3

FIRST PERIOD: 1, JHS, Cole Burkle (Baylee Hatlewick, Davin Hofmann), 8:02. 2, DHS, Dawson Kram, 11:08.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, JHS, Burkle (Leo Halko, Connor Fuchs), 8:23.

THIRD PERIOD: 1,DHS, Morgan Wardner (Michael Herauf), 9:44.

OVERTIME: 1, JHS, Burkle, 2:30.

SAVES: JHS, Matthew Schneider 7-10-19—29. DHS, Gabe Vaagen 8-6-10-3—29.