One of the coldest nights so far this winter did not stop the students, parents and faculty from going to the Edge Ice Arena to watch local rivals Chatfield and Dakota Ridge meet up in an early season Class 5A Foothills League ice hockey match-up.
Although the 8-1 score shows a complete domination by the Chargers, the action on the ice tells a game of two evenly matched sides.
The first period had the Eagles (1-3) and Chargers (2-1) in a stalemate with solid defense on both sides. Goalies Corey Johnson for Chatfield and Bobby Willey for Dakota Ridge stopped several power play chances and were able to end the period tied at zero.
During the first intermission Chatfield coach Bradd Markusch stressed to his team to keep playing hard and to play like they know how to. With the first period jitters gone, the Chargers came out in the second period with that mentality and took it to the Eagles.
“I told them they needed to step up and they needed to come out in the second half motivated to beat a good young Dakota team,” Markusch said.
From the first minute of the second period the Chargers poured it on the Eagles with three goals, started by senior Weston Johnson, who scored a power play goal with 14:25 left in the period. Junior Cody Nahmensen at 5:39 and senior Zachary Amstutz at 4:19 tallied the two other Chatfield goals.
“It was awesome to score in front of all the fans. The rivalry really brings out the students and that was a great motivation factor,” Johnson said.
The third period began with what Dakota Ridge hoped would be a comeback with junior Gordon Nytes scoring at 13:02, drawing the Eagles within two goals at 3-1.
But, after the goal it was all Chargers rest of the way, as Chatfield netted two power play goals and three even-strength goals, making the final score 8-1 in favor of Chatfield.
Amstutz scored in the third again and proved to be invaluable to the Chargers offense the entire night.
“We had a strong team effort after a tough loss to Ralston Valley. Our lines played good and we got our mojo back versus Dakota,” Amstutz said.
The night ended in Chatfield’s favor but a common theme amongst the Dakota players was the anticipation for the rematch Jan. 12, were they get to play Chatfield again.
“Our entire team could not stay out of the box and the mental break downs killed us. Obviously Chatfield is a good team and wanted it more this time and came out on top,” said Dakota Ridge senior Nick Bergman.