FARGO — A four-goal second period lifted Fargo Davies to a 6-1 victory over West Fargo United in the North Dakota state girls hockey tournament quarterfinals on Tuesday at Farmers Union Insurance Center.
Mathilde Vetter, Kylie Autrey, Sage Kracke and Morgan Sauvageau scored in the flurry of a second period.
“For us, we wanted to create chaos in front of the net,” Davies coach Josh Issertell said. “We wanted to put bodies there and find a way to finish. So minimize, simplify our game, get puck and bodies there. I thought our kids did a good job in the second period of staying hungry and hounding pucks in the offensive zone.”
The Eagles advance to the state semifinal where they will meet six-time defending state champion Bismarck at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks. Davies and Bismarck met in the state championship last year. The Eagles beat the Blizzard twice in the regular season, 6-1 on Jan. 23 and 4-2 last Saturday, Feb. 20.
“We’re pretty excited,” Sauvageau said. “We knew West Fargo was going to be good competition. I think we played well and we deserved the win. We’re excited to move on.”
After finishing the first period in a 1-1 stalemate, the Eagles didn’t waste any time taking a commanding lead in the second. They scored two goals a little more than a minute apart in the first four minutes and added two more later in the period.
Vetter gave the Eagles a 2-1 lead 2:36 into the second period with an assist from Josie Froslie. Froslie lost the puck in the slot and passed it out to Vetter, who fired a shot from the left circle.
The Eagles got a power play about a minute after the goal. It took just 13 seconds into the power play for Davies to double its lead with a goal by Kylie Autrey from the left point. The Eagles won the faceoff, and Sauvageau passed to Autrey before she fired on goal.
“With it being tied we were really nervous, but once we got the second goal we were pretty amped up,” Sauvageau said. “I think that helped us get more goals throughout the rest of the game.
“It was huge for us to get the third goal. I think that turned up our attitudes and made West Fargo start to feel down and tired.”
Kracke scored an unassisted goal after an interception just above the left circle to extend the Eagles lead to 4-1 with 6:02 to go in the second. And Sauvageau added the fourth goal of the period with 45.7 seconds to go before the second intermission.
Sauvageau added one more late in the third to finish her night with two goals and an assist. She leads the team in scoring with 47 points with 23 goals and 24 assists. Autrey has also scored 23 goals.
“We didn’t really technically need those last two goals,” Sauvageau said. “But to top it off in the end, it was nice to get.”
Kaylie Zimmerman scored the Eagles’ first goal from the left point 3 minutes, 58 seconds into the first quarter with an assist from Olivia Opheim.
Reegan Bentz answered with United’s lone goal at the 6:58 mark in the first.
“They had a nice response to our first goal and it’s cliche to say but the next goal was huge,” Issertell said. “Finding a way to capitalize on that was big.”
The Eagles dominated the puck, living in their offensive zone. They tripled West Fargo’s shots on goal, tallying 36 to United’s 12.
“The longer we can keep the puck 200 feet from the net, the happier we’ll be,” Issertell said. “We’re a puck possession based team that relies on all five kids on the ice to execute. It starts with the feet and we were going from the drop of the first puck.”
FIRST: 1, FD, Zimmerman (Opheim) 3:58. 1, WF, Bentz (Hareland) 6:58.
SECOND: 2, FD, Vetter (Froslie) 2:36. 3, FD, Autrey (Sauvageau, Froslie) 3:59 pp. 4, FD, Kracke (unassisted) 10:58. 5, FD, Sauvageau (Sampson) 16:15.
THIRD: 6, FD, Savaugeau (unassisted) 15:45.
SAVES: FD, Cook 11; WF, Buchert 30.