Sioux Falls Flyers Varsity-2 takes 3rd Place at State


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Sioux Falls Varsity Flyers celebrate their 3rd place trophy at state.

Kate Tollinger, Staff Writer

With last year’s state hockey tournament being canceled last minute due to the pandemic, hockey players were more than ready to compete for this year’s state title. The 2021 state hockey tournament was hosted at the SCHEELS IcePlex in Sioux Falls for the first time in history. The Sioux Falls Flyers Varsity-two team took third place on their home ice this past weekend. 

Players were ready to compete because the opportunity was taken from them the previous year. Just like most activities, this year’s hockey season was yet again affected by COVID-19. Flyers hockey player number 16 Jack Sievert mentions how COVID-19 has slightly changed the game this season. 

“It was definitely affected a little bit at the beginning of the season, but then everything turned back to normal, we just had to wear masks,” said Sievert. 

Sioux Falls Flyers Varsity-two team had to play three games to win their third-place trophy. For their very first game, they beat the other Sioux Falls Flyers Varsity-one team, five to one. After coming off of a win, they were ready to head to the semifinals vs the dreaded Brookings Rangers. With the crowd being outrageously excited and having the home-ice advantage, everyone was pumped. Player for the Sioux Falls Flyers Varsity-two team Number 48, John Mathison, was ready to go after winning their first match and having slight advantages.

“It was great to be at home, we had a little bit of an advantage with the crowd and I was familiar with the ice,” said Mathison.

Although the Flyers lost in the semifinals to the Brookings Rangers three to zero, they fought hard and decided to give it all they had the following day. 

“Saturday night I was pretty down but Sunday felt a lot better,” said Mathison. 

This was their final game of the season, the winner of the game would place third. The Flyers had to take on the Oahe Capitals from Piere at the Denny Sanford Premier Center. With a much bigger rink and fewer people, the Flyers were a bit more confident and were relaxed. 

“For me, it wasn’t so loud and we had a bit more confidence knowing that we knew we could beat Pierre,” said Mathison. 

For some, it might have been hard to find the grit to play another game the following day after a hard loss, but Sievert knew he had to power through.

“I pretty much gave everything I had in the Rangers game, but I tried to find the last little bit of energy to beat Pierre,” said Sievert.

Unexpectedly during the game, a Flyer got into penalty trouble, they were short-handed with 4 players. During that time period, they scored 2 goals, which was very unexpected and does not happen often. 

“I wasn’t on the ice but it was pretty exciting, that was probably one of the reasons we won,” said Mathison. 

After those shots, it was a real big motivator for the Flyers. Throughout the game, both teams were playing hard, and it came down to the wire. With one minute left, the score was tied, six to six, and Freshman Max Mohr scored to win the game. 

“I took the shot, it went in and I was happy,” said Mohr. 

His teammates could not have been happier with his winning shot. 

“It was a great shot and I’m happy to have him on the team otherwise we wouldn’t have won,” said teammate Sievert. 

The Flyers ended up winning the game seven to six and they did everything they could to earn that third-place title. 

“I think what helped us was just working as a team, keeping our heads up the whole time and being positive,” said Sievert. 

Although third-place was not the ideal outcome the Flyers hoped for, they still had a fun time competing in the state tournament hosted in their home rink.