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Severson scores twice as Davies outlasts North-South to remain undefeated in North Dakota play

The Eagles ultimately came away with a 4-2 win, but Fargo North-South certainly didn’t make it easy.

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Fargo Davies’ Kylie Autrey fights for control of the puck against Fargo North-South’s Olivia Olson in the corner of the rink during the annual Stick It To Cancer hockey game on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at Farmers Union Insurance Arena at Scheels Arena in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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FARGO — Saturday’s matchup between the top two teams in the North Dakota statewide standings lived up to its billing.

Fargo Davies had a three-goal lead, but almost saw the game slip away. The Eagles ultimately came away with a 4-2 win, but Fargo North-South didn’t make it easy.

“We knew we were playing against a good squad today and that they were going to give us a good push,” Davies senior Kaylie Zimmerman said. “It's always fun playing a crosstown rival, so being able to take care of business today feels pretty good.”

Heading into Saturday, North-South (10-6-0) was four points behind first-place Davies (14-1-0) in the statewide standings. Though it got close down the stretch, the Eagles survived and remain undefeated (12-0-0) against North Dakota opponents.

“There's some things that we can learn and grow from and clean up. But all in all, it's a massive three points,” Davies head coach Josh Issertell said. “The things that we can improve upon, we'll use those as teachable moments to push us forward.”

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Fargo Davies’ Morgan Sauvageau watches her goal attempt miss the net against Fargo North-South goalie Savannah Wuitschick during the annual Stick It To Cancer event on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at Farmers Union Insurance Center at Scheels Arena in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

Davies downed North-South 4-1 earlier this season, and Saturday looked to be headed toward a similar outcome in the game's first half.

Davies put its power-play unit to work early, as North-South went to the penalty box twice in the first four minutes. The Spruins killed the first penalty, but weren't able to turn away the Eagles on the second.

Zimmerman ripped a shot from the high slot 45 seconds into Davies' second power play of the game that hit Spruins goalie Savannah Wuitschick’s shoulder and deflected in off the crossbar. The goal, scored 4 minutes, 23 seconds into the game, gave Davies a 1-0 lead that would stick until the second period.

Wuitschick faced a flurry of Davies shots late in the first period, but turned away all of them. It would eventually pay off for the Eagles, though, as they carried that momentum into the second period and lit the lamp 41 seconds into the frame.

Olivia Opheim chased down a puck deep in the offensive zone and sent a pass to Kylie Autrey, who spun around and found the back of the net from the left faceoff circle.

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Fargo North-South’s Rylee Bartz looks for an opening to pass the puck while being surrounded by Fargo Davies’ Abigail Voeleer (6), Mathilde Vetter (20), and Taylor Klassen (21) during the annual Stick It To Cancer event on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at Farmers Union Insurance Center at Scheels Arena in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

“I thought our start was fantastic. We were moving our feet, playing in layers, pressuring pucks,” Issertell said. “Found a couple good looks on the power play and got some momentum early. I think that helped us build our game early on. We were playing pretty simple, playing with speed. Our transition game looked clean.”

The Spruins went five minutes without getting a shot on net in the second period. Meanwhile, Davies stretched its lead to 3-0.

Taylor Severson pushed the puck up the left side of the ice and cut in on a broken 2 on 1. She fired a low shot that got past Wuitschick for Davies' third unanswered goal.

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Halfway through the frame, the Spruins killed a penalty and tilted the ice. Freshman Olivia Kalbus buried a shot from the bottom of the left circle to get the Spruins on the board at the 11:41 mark of the period.

“They're a skilled team. They have a lot of depth. They have the state's leading scorer who is lightning in a bottle,” Issertell said. “So anytime you can build any bit of cushion, it's a benefit, but you don't take anything for granted because they can score at will.”

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Fargo Davies goalie Noelle Lewis fights to keep the puck out of the net during the annual Stick It To Cancer event on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at Farmers Union Insurance Arena at Scheels Center in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

While North-South junior Rylee Bartz, the state’s top scorer, didn’t score on Saturday, she had assists on both Spruins goals.

North-South stole the momentum in the third period and made it a one-goal game. The Spruins came out fast and smothered Davies in the offensive zone. Davies goalie Noelle Lewis had a number of big stops in the third period, including a 40-second flurry of back-to-back rebound attempts.

Davies gave up a goal less than 30 seconds after it killed a penalty. Lewis stopped the initial close-range shot by Bartz, but North-South’s Julia Puhl was right outside the crease to smash home the rebound. The goal brought the Spruins within one with six minutes remaining.

North-South, which was outshot 20-12 in the first two periods, outshot Davies 17-3 in the third period.

“It definitely got a little panicky, a little stressful. But I think we held strong,” Severson said. “We just had to get it together, get our feet moving, go out there and execute.”

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Fargo North-South’s Allie Emineth lines up a shot during the annual Stick It To Cancer event on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at Farmers Union Insurance Center at Scheels Arena in Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

Severson buried an empty-net goal with 32 seconds remaining to secure the win.

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FIRST PERIOD: 1, FD, Zimmerman (Severson, Sampson), 4:23.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, FD, Autrey (Opheim), :41. 3, FD, Severson (Sauvageau), 5:37. 4, FNS, Kalbus (Bartz), 11:41.

THIRD PERIOD: 5, FNS, Puhl (Bartz, Olson), 11:00. 6, FD, Severson (Zimmerman), 16:28.

SAVES: FD, Lewis 5-6-16—27. FNS, Wuitschick 10-7-3—20.

Carissa Wigginton is a high school sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. A Fargo native, she graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Wigginton joined The Forum’s sports department in August 2019.
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