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DL squad breaks 30-year Region playoff drought

A good work ethic and a lot of heart is what brought success to the 2011-2012 Detroit Lakes Bantam A hockey team.

With arguably one of the most memorable season's in Detroit Lakes Bantam history, it is only fitting that DL is sending this team to Regions for the first time in 0ver 30 years.

DL traveled to Brainerd for this year's Bantam A District 15 tournament on Saturday, Feb. 17, as the No. 3 seed and skated past the No. 6 seed Little Falls in the opening round with a convincing 5-0 win.

The win advanced DL to the semifinals to take on No. 2 seed Alexandria.

Entering the game, DL knew a win over Alexandria would guarantee a top two finish in Districts and a trip to Regions.

The semifinal game wasn't looking good early for Detroit Lakes. With a 2-0 deficit and things not going as planned, DL's goaltender Austin Fritz kept them in the game.

As the second period was winding down, DL was sparked by a goal from second-year captain Jonathan Hallisey, making it 2-1 heading into the final frame.

In the third period, DL outplayed Alexandria, but still trailed by a goal with 1:11 to play.

Following a timeout, DL pulled their goalie to get an extra attacker, and with just over 40 seconds remaining, it was Hallisey again that knotted it up at 2-2, thus forcing overtime.

The first overtime came and went with neither team able to score.

Then, in the second overtime, first-year goal scorer Jon Richards caught a puck in the neutral zone, out skated an Alexandria defenseman, and dangled the goaltender to send DL to Regions.

"From day one, our goal was to make it to the regional tournament," says head coach Ben Noah. "It took every guy on this team to accomplish this goal. This is a special group."

DL will travel to St. Cloud March 2-4, for the Regional tournament.

DL's record is 26-18-1, they have reached the Championship game four out of five tournaments this season, and won the Fergus Falls Invitational.

Detroit Lakes top five scorers: Ryan DeConcini  - 58 goals/35 assists/93 points; Jon Richards - 39 goals/40 assists/79 points; Sam Boomgarden - 19 goals/30 assists/49 points; Johnathan Hallisey - 30 goals/11 assists/41 points; Joe Solberg - 11 goals/15 assists/26 points.