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Bozeman women's Icedogs win 19U state championship for first time in almost a decade

“It didn’t hit me until the whole team came onto the ice that we just won the whole thing.”
Posted at 7:14 AM, Mar 09, 2024

BOZEMAN — On Feb. 25, the Bozeman Icedogs amateur hockey team took on undefeated Missoula. After a season of being the underdogs, these girls knew they were going to have to play with everything they had to win this title.

“Right after we scored, like, I know it went in but it just did not feel real. I turned around and I looked at my teammate and I just ran up and hugged her,” is what Danika Johnson explained went through her head when she scored a game-winning goal.

“Throughout the season we worked so hard. And at the beginning of the season, I honestly didn’t know where we would be in state. And then when it came and we ended up being in the championship, we were all just so excited and ready to win,” said Mylie Innes, who had the assist to the game-winning goal.

Going into the 19U state tournament, the girls played hard. And although they lost to Missoula the night prior, by only allowing 2 goals, they still qualified for the championship game.

Do or die, the game started hot, and by the third period, Missoula led 3-1. But the Icedogs didn’t let that get in their heads. With seven minutes remaining, Emerson Krueger scored, giving the Icedogs that boost they needed.

Then, with about two minutes left, just as the coaches were about to pull the goal keep...

“Danika Johnson scored the tying goal. So then we were looking at each other thinking, oh we actually have a chance to win this game,” said head coach Evans Innes.

A surreal moment for the Icedogs as they entered overtime, where the girls play 3 on 3, which coach Evans tells me is not something they practiced much.

“I told the girls the big thing was to get possession of the puck and keep that possession of the puck. That’s gonna give us an opportunity” says Coach Evans.

And possession is what the Icedogs got. After one Missoula breakaway and an unbelievable save by goalie Addison Henry, the Icedogs were dominant through overtime.

“I was in the boards in the corner, and I had a girl on me, and I kinda just took the puck and threw it towards the net and Danika happened to be there, and she just pulled it out and scored,” says Mylie as she describes how that game-winning goal happened—a moment these girls will never forget.

“It didn’t hit me until the whole team came onto the ice that we just won the whole thing,” said Danika.

And considering this is the first state championship in almost a decade, these girls are going to have a reputation to keep up with next season.

“I think it gives us so much more confidence going into next season and knowing like, ya we can win. And next season we can improve even more than we did this season” said Mylie.