Bismarck girls set up rematch in the state championship with Fargo North-South
FARGO — Bismarck senior forward Jordyn Kisse was originally used as more of a defensive forward and on the penalty kill when she first started with the Blizzard.
On Friday, Feb. 22, her offense sent the Blizzard to the championship game of the North Dakota state girls hockey tournament. The defending champs had their backs against the wall, as Fargo Davies tied Bismarck late in Friday's semifinal at Scheels Arena.
Madison Brown stole the puck just outside the blue line, drove to the net, but her shot was deflected by Davies goalie Kennedy Cook. The puck flipped over Cook's head and Kisse was there to get a stick on it and punch it in with 1 minute, 22 seconds remaining in the third.
"I thought she was going to get a goal, but I saw that thing in the air and I just waited for it to land, so I could just hit it home," Kisse said. "I saw the ref on the ground say goal and I screamed with joy."
Bismarck added an empty-net goal in the final minute for a 4-2 win.
"That was probably one of the big nail biters, that's for sure, but that's how it should be this time of year," Bismarck coach Tim Meyer said. "I think we're seeing a lot more parody throughout the state. We're seeing anybody can win any game, so you need to understand, when you show up at the rink, nothing is given."
Bismarck (19-3-3) will go for its fifth straight state title on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. back at Scheels Arena. Standing in the way is top-seeded Fargo North-South, the only North Dakota team to beat the No. 2 seed Blizzard this season.
"It's not easy to score on them and they have a lot of offensive punch," Meyer said. "It's going to be a matter of trying to play our game and not really fall into the traps they want to set for you. They're probably the most skilled team in the state. Anybody can beat anybody, so it's about showing up."
The loss marked the third straight season Davies was knocked out in the semifinals.
"I'm really proud of the effort," Davies coach Josh Issertell said. "We asked them to play smart and fast for 51 minutes and never stop believing. They did it. They showed up and did what we asked."
Bismarck goalie Skylar Ackerman entered Friday 8-0 with six shutouts in state tournament games. No. 3 seed Davies (20-4-1) eliminated the chance of her getting her seventh shutout quickly, scoring on its first shot of the game. Morgan Sauvageau put the Eagles up 1-0 less than two minutes into the game.
Bismarck answered late in the first on a power-play goal. Riley Ball stole the puck near the goal, slid it across the slot to Kenley Anderson and Anderson buried it to tie the game with 4:27 remaining in the first.
Bismarck took the lead late in the second when Brooke Nelson's shot from the point was stopped by Cook, but Brown was there to stuff in the rebound with 5:14 remaining in the period.
Paige Hanson's blast from the left point tied the game for Davies with 6:51 remaining in the third, but Kisse had the answer and Ball fired in the empty-netter with 48.1 seconds remaining in the third.
"This is one game we put all our fight into," Kisse said.
FIRST PERIOD: 1, D, Sauvageau, 1:42. 2, B, Anderson (Ball), 12:33, pp.
SECOND PERIOD: 3, B, Brown (Nelson), 11:46.
THIRD PERIOD: 4, D, Hanson (Morris), 10:09. 5, B, Kisse (Brown), 15:38. 6, B, Ball, 16:12, en.
SAVES: D, Cook 4-5-8—17. B, Ackerman 7-8-7—22.