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Mugwaneza leads Demons past Braves

8/31/16 (Wed)

Mugwaneza leads Demons past Braves


It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish – but getting off to a good start certainly doesn’t hurt.

The Bismarck Demons continued their strong opening to the 2016 season on Tuesday night at the Community Bowl, defeating the Mandan Braves 4-1 to improve to 2-0 in the West Region.

“Well, we got a 4-1 win, that’s what we came here for,” Demons coach Andy Foss said. “I think we have some things to work on. We weren’t very sharp throughout the game. I think that can be attributed to us being a younger team and also the pressure that Mandan was putting on us. We need to find out what our options are before the ball gets to us so we can play a little bit quicker.”


Bismarck, which opened its region schedule with a 4-0 victory over the Legacy Sabers last Thursday, got off to a bit of a slow start against Mandan before exploding late during the first half. Junior midfielder Tresor Mugwaneza rocketed a shot past Braves freshman goalkeeper Alex Allan to give the Demons a 1-0 lead with a little more than two minutes remaining in the first half.

Moments later, freshman forward Mason Stotz chipped in a header to give the Demons a two-goal lead through 40 minutes of play. The offense didn’t stop there, however, as Mugwaneza notched his second score of the contest nine minutes into the second session.

“Tre has the ability to put the ball in the back of the net, and he showed that today,” Foss said. “Obviously we are looking for someone to step into Hunter [Johnson]’s role, but I think that’s a group effort.

“We need to Tre to not only score goals but also be a playmaker for us.”

With Zac Schmidt holding up his end of the bargain in net, Bismarck continued to put the pressure on Mandan. Zach Kessler scored to continue a run of four unanswered goals for the Demons, which proved to be more than enough to earn another three points in the West Region standings.

“We’re just working hard on the field,” Foss said. “Problems can be covered up a little by making sure we’re all working hard out there. I think this is a group that likes to get after it, likes to work hard, so when you have a group with the same mentality, it makes things easier for us.”

Austin Leingang added a late goal for the Braves on a penalty kick to deny the Demons a second consecutive shutout. Schmidt, in his second West Region contest since replacing the graduated Derek Wachter, posted five saves on six Mandan shots on goal.

“We have a whole new back line plus a new keeper,” Foss said. “They have been doing a great job for us. We had a clean sheet against Legacy, we gave up the one on a PK tonight, but through two regional games, I’ll take that for us.

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“As a young team, just trying to find our identity, I think we’re doing pretty good for now.”

Bismarck will carry its 2-0 conference record into a matchup with the Minot Magicians this Thursday at 5 p.m. Mandan, on the other hand, will look to rebound from its 0-3 start in West Region play against the Century Patriots on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Robert Reidell - Bismarck Tribune


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