All-Stars finish fourth at state tourney

FORT PIERRE — Three unanswered goals in the second period by the Brookings Rangers created a deficit too big for the Huron All-Stars to overcome during the third-place game of the 2018 South Dakota Varsity Boys’ State Hockey Tournament on Sunday at the Expo Center.
The third-seeded Rangers were able to hold off a rally by fifth-seeded Huron in the third period to secure a 5-3 victory.
Both teams were able to get on the board in the opening period.
An unassisted shot by Mason Gerstner gave Brookings the early advantage, but the All-Stars answered with an unassisted goal by Carson Duba to send the game into the second period with the score tied at 1-1.
The Rangers regained the advantage with a strong second period. Cody Niklason, Dalton Rittershaus and Austin Lesner each had goals in the second period to help Brookings open a 4-1 advantage. Alec Nielson, Trevor  Kuechenmeister and Kobe Ischen each had an assist during the run.
With a stepped up effort early in the third period, the All-Stars were able to cut their deficit to just one goal at 4-3.
Xavier Erickson had the first goal in the final period on an unassisted shot for Huron. Spencer Busch scored the final goal on a pass from Thacher Dramstad.
The Rangers, who improved to 15-4-2, padded their lead with the final goal of the game. Nielson scored, with an assist going to Brandin Heesch.
Tristian Hokenson had 23 saves to earn the victory as the goalie for Brookings.
Jacob Wehde recorded 29 saves in the net for Huron, which ended the season at 11-10.
The second-seeded Rushmore Thunder used a 4-3 victory in overtime against top-seeded Sioux Falls to claim the state title on Sunday. It was the second overtime win in a row for the Thunder.
Fourth-seeded Oahe defeated sixth-seeded Watertown 6-2 on Sunday in the consolation championship game.

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