2023 Bantam Elite League Minor Division champions, North Dakota.
It's officially been one week since the North Dakota lost a game in Bantam Elite League Minor Division play, and the sixth straight victory in the streak proved to be the sweetest.
Hours after topping the second-seeded Sharks 6-4 in the semifinal round, North Dakota sprinted to a 4-1 lead over the North Stars in the afternoon's championship, scoring all four goals in the first 16 minutes of play.
After the North Stars' Cy Hjelmen staked his team a 1-0 lead, Noah McGauvran, Logan Mosser, Joe Linstaedt, and Grayden Peterson scored in rapid succession for North Dakota. Nolan Marto handed out two assists in the first-half barrage.
In a continuation of the opening stanza, Marto and Aven Bredviak scored early in the second half to push North Dakota's lead to 6-1, by rule moving the game into running time. Eleven minutes of ticking clock later, the North Stars found life, scoring twice in 66 seconds to make the score 6-3 with just under seven minutes to play thanks to Easton Dozark and Tyler Potter.
Unfortunately for the North Stars, the comeback attempt flamed out in the final minutes of the second half, as North Dakota clamped down defensively and repeatedly cleared its defensive zone.
With the win, this year's group of North Dakota BEL Minor players becomes the first from the Peace Garden State to take home a Bantam Elite League championship in either age group.
Logan Mosser celebrates after his goal in the championship game. He also earned POTG honors.
Cy Hjelmen had the eventual game winner for the North Stars in their semifinal win over the Rangers.
Ethan Wise had a goal and an assist for the Rangers in their semifinal loss to the North Stars.
Grayden Peterson had two goals and an assist for North Dakota in their semifinal win over the Sharks.
Avery Hanowski had a big game for the Sharks in their semifinal loss to North Dakota.