FARGO — Likely to the chagrin of the rest of the state, an already unbeaten Fargo North-South girls hockey team only appears to be getting noticeably better.
Katelyn Arman scored two goals in the final 3 minutes, 33 seconds of the first period, and North-South's swarming attack proved too much for West Fargo United in a 4-0 win Tuesday night.
North-South, which outshot United 21-5 in the opening period, finally put a shot in the back of the net 13 minutes, 27 seconds in, when Arman scored a power play goal on an assist from Abby Promersberger, who entered the night tied with United's Madison Hjelden for the state's scoring lead.
Hoping to escape further damage, United instead endured a back-breaking goal by Arman, who scored again with just 6.9 seconds remaining in the period.
Though the late goals put his team in a bind, coach Pat Johnson said United's fate was sealed much earlier thanks to a sluggish effort in the game's early minutes.
"They were moving their feet and we didn't," said Johnson, whose team entered on a four-game win streak. "We did not come out to play right away, we didn't come out to compete. And when you stand around against a team that can skate, then your in trouble."
After finishing with 27 shots in a 4-1 win over United in December, North-South had 42 through two periods and finished the night with a 58-22 shots on goal advantage.
North-South doubled its lead in the second period thanks to goals by Hannah Dorsey and Madelyn Rohrich. Goalie Lauren Harr then completed the shutout by recording 11 saves in the final period.
Hoping to take advantage of some things he saw on film from the first game, North-South coach Chad Christensen felt his team effectively executed a more attack-heavy game plan.
"We noticed some things the last time we played them and we kind of tried to stress a few little changes to our game plan," he said. "We wanted to make sure we got some traffic in front of the net, that we got shots from the point that got on net. Try to find some open areas where we could get some pucks through. And it definitely helped."
Arman felt the offense was as sharp as it looked all season Tuesday, saying the performance was a nice step for a team with serious postseason ambitions.
"We probably played one of our best games as a team cohesively," she said. "We're far from done, but I think we're where we want to be right now.
Brooklyn Myrvik had 54 saves in a losing effort for United.