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Janey Sandoval (6) of West Fargo scores past Fargo South/Davies goalie Emily Grothmann to open the scoring in the first period of their Semifinal game of the North Dakota girl's state hockey tournament Friday in Grand Forks.JOHN STENNES/GRAND FORKS HERALD

GIRLS STATE HOCKEY: West Fargo collects 6-2 win over South-Davies

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The way the third period started Friday at the North Dakota state girls hockey tournament did not favor West Fargo.

It was one of very few stretches in the game when the Packers did not enjoy the comforts of a two-goal lead over their semifinal opponent Fargo South-Davies.

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The Bruins got to within one goal of the Packers two minutes into the third period, but West Fargo recovered to collect a 6-2 win over South-Davies at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

After jumping out to a 3-0 lead, the No. 2-seeded Packers (20-4-1) allowed the Bruins (10-15-0) to score two straight goals — the second coming off a power play scored by junior defenseman Carissa Wigginton.

“We made a few big mistakes and they capitalized on them,” West Fargo head coach Pat Johnson said. “We have to make sure that those mistakes do not come in our zone, and we have to stay out of the (penalty) box.”

Less than a minute after Wigginton’s goal, West Fargo senior Kelly Krahn got an unassisted goal past South-Davies junior goaltender Emily Grothmann.

Krahn scored three goals and added three assists for West Fargo, which advances to the state championship game for the second straight season. The Packers meet Bismarck at 5 p.m. today at Ralph Engelstad Arena — a rematch of last season’s title game the Blizzard won 4-0.

“We made some silly mistakes that allowed them to get back into the game,” said West Fargo freshman Janey Sandoval, who scored a goal and assisted on two goals. “We knew we couldn’t give up anymore, and we had to get the momentum back. It really helped when Kelly (Krahn) scored that goal.”

West Fargo led 2-0 after the first period and outshot the Bruins 16-0. South-Davies finished the game with six shots on goal compared to the Packers’ 36 shots on net.

“We knew we were going to get outshot in this game,” South-Davies head coach Josh Issertell said. “That made it important for us to capitalize on the chances we did get to score. We did that, but unfortunately we didn’t get enough of those quality scoring chances.”

South-Davies plays Grand Forks at 11 a.m. in the third-place game.

Megan Berginski and Paige Lazorenko also scored goals for the Packers.

Bismarck has a regulation and a shootout win against West Fargo this season.

“Last year we overlooked Bismarck,” Sandoval said. “They scored on all their chances in that game. It will be a different experience this year, and we know anytime we play them it is going to be a close game. We need to stay focused, and if we work hard, we should do well.” 

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