Fargo North-South girls hockey keeps rolling, ready for Bismarck
FARGO — Fargo North-South's girls hockey team is destroying any team in its path. North-South's 7-2 win over Mankato East-Loyola (Minn.) Friday night at John E. Carlson Coliseum pushed N-S to 15-0-1 this season, outscoring opponents 38-5 in its last five games.
There is one team standing in the way of North-South. Bismarck has won four straight state titles, beating N-S last season in the North Dakota title game. The Blizzard are responsible for N-S not being perfect this season, winning in a shootout on Dec. 8. The game went down as a tie, but N-S doesn't see it that way.
"You gotta finish a game," N-S head coach Chad Christensen said. "Even with a two-goal lead, you can't take a shift off, you can't rest. We found that out that the hard way, giving up two goals in the last 30 seconds and losing in the shootout.
"It's a hump that we gotta get over even though we beat them out there last year and years past in the Coliseum, the state tournament last year left a bad taste in our mouth."
Senior Mackenzie Hanson hasn't forgotten the loss in last season's state championship game to Bismarck.
"That's a game we look back to and remember all the little mistakes and all the little things," Hanson said. "I don't think we were necessarily ready last year, but I think we are this year. We're ready to take it to them tomorrow."
Outside of the Bismarck game, no North Dakota team has got within three goals of North-South. N-S will get another shot at Bismarck on Saturday, Jan. 26, on the road. They are ready for it.
"I think there's a lot more team chemistry this season," Hanson said. "People are connecting a lot more and that makes the difference whether you're a team or not."
North-South first had to take care of business on Friday.
N-S dominated the first period, pouring 18 shots on ME-L goalie Andrea Schreiber. Abby Promersberger found the back of the net on a wrister with Katelyn Arman screening Schreiber midway through the first to put N-S up 1-0.
ME-L had a golden opportunity in the first minute of the game, as Madison Davis broke loose for a breakaway, but her backhander hit the crossbar.
The Cougars would get no closer in the period, putting just one shot on North-South goalie Lauren Harr in the first. Schreiber's 17 saves kept the Cougars alive at the break.
The floodgates opened in the second period, as North-South scored four goals in a matter of 3 minutes, 38 seconds. Katelyn Arman poked one in with 11:49 remaining in the second to make it 2-0. Mackenzie Hanson scored on a breakaway two minutes later, Promersberger punched in a rebound 51 seconds after Hanson and Samantha Martin made it 5-0 just 47 seconds after Promersberger scored her second of the night.
Promersberger moved into the top spot in the state for points with her second goal. She called the loss in last season's state championship game one of the worst feelings she's ever had.
"It was not a good feeling," Promersberger said. "It makes us want to work a lot harder going into the next season to get revenge on that."
The Cougars (13-6-2) took a timeout, but no timeout was going to save them. They would score with 22.4 seconds remaining in the second with a 5-on-3 advantage. Davis would go top shelf on a breakaway less than four minutes into the third to cut the lead to 5-2, but Promersberger got the hat trick less than three minutes later to push the lead to 6-2 and Chloe Bry added the dagger.
"She is one that absolutely loves the game of hockey," Christensen said of Promersberger. "She has the biggest smile on her face all the time. She's an absolute competitor, but she's also one of the nicest kids that you're ever going to find. She goes hard all the time, gives 110 percent all the time, every shift. She's only a sophomore, so she's only going to get better and better and better."
North-South is looking for a better result against Bismarck.
"We definitely need to go hard the whole game," Promersberger said. "We can't let up because we were ahead and I think we stopped working hard. We need to work hard until the end."
FIRST PERIOD: 1, N-S, Promersberger (Tatum, Arman), 8:10.
SECOND PERIOD: 2, N-S, Arman (Friese, Tatum), 5:11. 3, N-S, Hanson (Myers, Emineth), 7:11. 4, N-S, Promersberger (Arman, Tatum), 8:02. 5, N-S, Martin, 8:49. 6, ME-L, Kanstrup (Stockman, Adams), 16:38, pp.
THIRD PERIOD: 7, ME-L, Davis, 3:42. 8, N-S, Promersberger (Arman), 6:15. 9, N-S, Bry (Hanson, Myers), 9:52.
SAVES: ME, Schreiber 17-7-10—18. N-S, Harr 1-6-5—17.