N.D. GIRLS HOCKEY QUARTERFINAL: Wake up call spurs Fargo South to win
Sometimes it takes a wake-up call to get you back on the right path.
Fargo South withstood a furious second-period Minot rally en route to a 6-2 victory during the first round of the North Dakota girls hockey tournament Thursday at Ralph Engelstad Arena's Olympic ice sheet.
"It was really a wake-up moment," said South junior Carlie Stellrecht, who finished with three goals and an assist. "We realized we had to continue going and not give up. We had to keep working hard."
The Bruins (19-4-0) sent Minot reeling with a pair of goals less than a minute apart in the first period.
Stellrecht gave South a 1-0 lead at 10:09. Teammate Kara Tupa followed at 10:40 to make the score 2-0.
The shaken Majettes were forced to take a timeout to gather themselves after the barrage.
Stellrecht ripped a power-play goal past Minot goaltender Karlee Galvin to put South ahead 3-0 with 4:15 remaining in the first period.
The rout appeared to be on.
South's first period continued its solid play from the end of the regular season.
The Bruins won nine of their last 10 games against North Dakota competition. The lone blemish during that span was rival Fargo North's 4-3 win on Feb. 8.
"Good teams don't let you play your game," Minot coach Pat Morelli said. "And good teams capitalize on all your little hiccups. ... We were within an eyelash of coming back, we really were."
It wasn't over.
Minot (10-12-2) scored a power-play goal early in the second period to cut the lead to 3-1.
The Majettes picked up the pace on offense to start the second, finally putting consistent pressure on South goaltender Katie Buchholz.
Kaari Burbach made the score 3-2 with 13:39 remaining in the second.
That was the wake-up call.
The response: A backbreaking, short-handed goal by Haley Rheault to put South ahead 4-2 early in the third period.
Stellrecht completed her hat trick with 1:17 remaining.
South will play North or Jamestown at about 11:30 a.m. today in the semifinals.
"We tried to regroup as a team," South coach Josh Rogers said. "Come back together and say, 'Hey, let's not hit the panic button, yet.' ... So I told the girls to be patient and you could see the result. They did well."