GIRLS HOCKEY: South downs KnightRiders for title
It took nine years, but once again the Bruins are North Dakota girls state hockey champions. Fargo South scored five goals in the second period to defeat Grand Forks 7-2 at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Saturday, completing the first undefeated season...
It took nine years, but once again the Bruins are North Dakota girls state hockey champions.
Fargo South scored five goals in the second period to defeat Grand Forks 7-2 at Ralph Engelstad Arena on Saturday, completing the first undefeated season in North Dakota girls hockey history.
The title is the Bruins' first since 2003, when they defeated Bismarck in the tournament's initial championship game.
South senior Lindsay Nagel played a big role in ending the Bruins' title drought, scoring the game's first three goals.
"It's the best feeling in the world that I did that," Nagel said of the hat trick. "We had a tough game (Friday). We got over that hump and came hard today. It's just unbelievable."
South opened with a 1-0 lead after the first period, outshooting the KnightRiders 14-4.
After the first intermission, the floodgates opened for the Bruins.
Nagel scored her second goal 34 seconds into the second period, and 49 seconds later she completed the hat trick.
"The way we responded coming off the break, I couldn't be prouder," South head coach Josh Rogers said. "Couple of big-time goals that really allowed us to relax, and then we started to play our game."
Kristina Provost, Carlie Stellrecht and Alli Thomas each added goals for the Bruins (26-0-0).
Grand Forks (16-10-0) couldn't match South's scoring output.
"They came at us pretty hard and jumped on us right away," Grand Forks hear coach Darin Schumacher said. "We didn't have much legs left after the last two days, and they took advantage. We were holding on as tight as we could, but there was nothing left."
Ashley Becker put the KnightRiders on the board with a goal at the 9:32 mark of the third period and teammate Jaiden Hansen added another goal. Nicole Novak assisted both Grand Forks goals.
Nagel, who was named Senior Athlete of the Year, scored her fourth goal with 29 seconds left in regulation. She finished the season with a state-leading 47 goals.
"The win is awesome," Nagel said. "How our season went is even better. Having the season and the championship is just a good feeling. Going 26-0, no team has ever done that and we are so happy that happened this year."
Senior goaltender Katie Buchholz finished with 13 saves for South.
"It's amazing to know that we beat every team in the state twice," Buchholz said. "Usually that never happens and we never expected anything like that to happen."
The Bruins have qualified for all 10 state tournaments, but had lost in the semifinals the past three seasons.
Rogers, who was named Coach of the Year, said the win was vindication for South's program.
"The team came together this year better than I've ever seen a team come together especially overcoming the adversity," Rogers said. "You get the pressure of being undefeated going into the state tournament and realize everybody is gunning for you ... These girls really earned it and it showed."
Mix reports for Forum Communications Co., which owns the Herald