The Rushmore Thunder boys' varsity hockey team ended 2017 on a strong note, tying one and winning another game of a weekend series against two-time defending state champions Brookings at the Thunderdome.
Saturday the two teams tied 2-2 and Sunday Rushmore won 4-2.
In Saturday's game both teams were scoreless in the first two periods, the Thunder got the scoring started with Ryan Nolan on a goal 11:05 into the period. He was assisted by Brian Peteriet.
Less than two minutes later Brookings was able to tie the game with a goal from Trevor Kuechenmeister on assists from Cody Niklason and Jamison Honkomp.
Rushmore answered right back, Gavin Gary scored an unassisted power play goal 14:22 into the period. Brookings wouldn't go away, however, as it scored with just over a minute remaining to make tie the game. Dominic Dobesh scored on an assist from Kuechenmeister.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the overtime period.
Rushmore outshot Brookings 35-18 but Brookings goalie Dylan Geraets had a fantastic day, saving 33 shots.
Sunday Rushmore was more convincing, as Derrick Brown scored twice in the Thunder win.
It was Mason Gerstner of Brookings, however, that got the scoring started six minutes into the game on assists from Dobesh and Branden Way.
Brown struck back 11:35 into the first on assists from Jacob Lindblom and Austin Stiles, and that is how the first period would end.
In the second period Rushmore's Blake Devries was the only one to score on assists from Seth Dikoff 2:11 into the period.
The third period was when Rushmore pulled away, Brown scored 7:46 into the period to make it 3-1 on assists from Macintyre and Stiles, Lindblom scored 14:24 into the period on an assist from Gary.
Brookings got one goal back when Brandin Heesch scored 15:48 into the period, but that was all Brookings would be able to do.
Rushmore is now 3-1-1 in South Dakota Amateur Hockey Association play with seven points while Brookings still leads the standings with a 5-1-1 record and 11 points.
The Thunder will head to Iowa to take on Sioux Center this weekend for two games beginning Saturday. Brookings takes on Watertown Friday.