Rushmore Thunder prepare for State Boys Hockey Tournament

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The boys varsity state hockey tournament is set to kick off on Friday in Fort Pierre.

The Rushmore Thunder enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed and will play the Mitchell Marlins in the opening round on Friday at 11:05 a.m.

The Thunder defeated the Marlins twice during the regular season by identical scores of 8-1.

Ryan Nolan leads the Thunder this season with 18 goals and 25 assists for a total of 43 points.

The Rushmore boys won the state title in 2014 and 2015 and finished runner-up in 2017.

Thunder head coach Dick Novak feels his team will have to play solid defense in order to bring home another championship.

"We've got to play good solid team defense," Rushmore coach Dick Novak said. "Usually with this team with our forwards, we have three good solid lines. The offensive end of the rink will take care of itself. So we have to remind them a little bit about playing good team defense. Get back in their positions there. And when we're on the offensive end, we want to get after it. We want to really push their defensemen hard. Get them to make some mistakes and hopefully capitalize on them."

Schedule for Friday, March 9

#3 Brookings vs #6 Watertown   8:35 a.m.

#2 Rushmore vs #7 Mitchell       11:05 a.m.

#4 Oahe vs #5 Huron                  1:35 p.m.

#1 Sioux Falls vs #8 Sioux Center   4:05 p.m.

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