WATCH: Kinney, Emineth lead North-South to girls hockey win
FARGO — Looking to bounce back from a tough loss, a balanced Fargo North-South girls hockey team overcame a few lapses to earn a needed conference win.
Grace Emineth had two goals and an assist, goalie Alex Kinney had 16 saves and North-South pulled away for a 4-1 win over West Fargo United Tuesday at the Coliseum.
Emineth started the scoring with 9 minutes, 45 seconds remaining in the opening period, taking a pass from Abby Promersberger and sneaking a shot past goalie Brooklyn Myrvik.
Top United scoring threat Madison Hjelden had good looks at the goal twice in the opening three minutes of the second period, but was turned away by Kinney on each occasion. The junior keeper made a glove save on a breakaway attempt by Hjelden just 23 seconds into the period, then jumped on a loose puck in front of the net just before a charging Hjelden could corral it.
North-South's offense struck again 7 minutes, 38 seconds into the second period on an unassisted goal by Jerica Friese. A battle that carried over into the third period went Hjelden's way, as she converted an open shot 37 seconds into the period to cut the North-South lead to 2-1.
With just over eight minutes to play, Hjelden looked to have another clean look to potentially tie the game, before Kinney turned her away with a kick save.
"It was pretty nice to play some equal competition," Kinney said of facing Hjelden, the state's second leading scorer coming in. "(I got) some good, hard ice time, hard shots, shots that were actually challenging. (It went) pretty good. One little goof led to a goal, but whatever."
Any momentum United may have had went away just seconds after Kinney turned Hjelden away, as Emineth raced down the ice and slid a shot past Myrvik on the ensuing possession.
With 2 minutes, 31 seconds to play, Emineth helped put a cap on the night, assisting on a Katelyn Arman goal. After surrendering a two-goal lead in a shootout loss to Bismarck Saturday, North-South Coach Chad Christensen was hoping for a more consistent response, but says his girls brought the needed intensity when it mattered.
"We were kind let our foot off the gas pedal a little bit and didn't keep the end goal in mind of playing hard all the time," Christensen said. "We definitely kind of backed off a little bit and it took us a couple shifts to remind the girls we need to play to the final bell no matter what the score is."
Also coming off a poor weekend performance against Bismarck, in which his team lost 6-0, United Coach Pat Johnson liked the effort his depth-deprived team put up against one of the state's strongest teams.
"When we played Bismarck, we didn't compete," he said. "(Tuesday) they came out and they competed and gave the effort that we're supposed to. "We've got the smallest roster in the state, so if we can keep with the best team in the state (that's good).
FIRST PERIOD: 1, FNS, Emineth (Promersberger and Arman), 9:45.
SECOND PERIOD: 2, FNS, Friese, 9:22
THIRD PERIOD: 3, WFU, Hjelden (Schoenberg), 16:23, 4, FNS Emineth (Hanson, Hell), 7:49, 5. Arman (Emineth), 2:31.
GOALIE SAVES: WFU, Myrvik, 7-10-6-23. FNS, Kinney, 4-7-5-16.