Mandan Girls Hockey off to top-3 start, continue to grow with game

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 8:25 PM CST
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MANDAN, N.D. (KFYR) - The Mandan Girls Hockey team is right in the mix for the state’s best team. Two months into the season, they’ve won nine times compared to only three losses, and are only eight points out of first place.

They rattled off four straight wins to begin the year, the first time the program has done so. Their offense has been stellar, scoring five or more goals in each of their nine wins. Defensively, they’ve only let up more than three goals twice.

Coming off an overtime loss to the number one team in the state, Head Coach Ben Hertz says this year’s team is as deep as ever.

“I think the confidence is coming from maturity. The girls believe in our system and believe in ourselves. This weekend was a prime example of that, taking (Fargo) North-South to overtime. Ended losing that one in overtime but if you can take the number one team in the state to overtime, I think you have enough reason to be confident. It’s the ability to play the bench. The team’s deeper than it’s ever been. Everyone contributes on a nightly basis. If someone’s not feeling it that night, there’s another line or another group that is feeling it, so it’s been very fun to coach,” said Hertz.

One thing coach Hertz has liked is how his girls adjust as the nights go on.

“How we’re approaching a game in-game. So, if a team is doing a certain forecheck, or we’re doing a certain forecheck, or if we slide a player to a spot a little different, we’re able to make those adjustments now, and we have the hockey IQ to do it. I had a light bulb moment with the players this weekend. They were on the bench telling each other what they needed to do better or what they were doing correctly. So, when you can hear the bench talking to themselves, it put a smile on my face,” said Hertz.

Mandan Girls Hockey looks for win number 10 on the year this Friday when they travel to Devils Lake.