N.D. state girls hockey tournament semifinals: Spartans eye 3-peat
So far, so good for the Fargo North Spartans. Fargo North will be shooting for its third straight championship when the Spartans take on West Fargo in the title game of the North Dakota state tournament at Ralph Engelstad Arena. North reached the...
So far, so good for the Fargo North Spartans.
Fargo North will be shooting for its third straight championship when the Spartans take on West Fargo in the title game of the North Dakota state tournament at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
North reached the title game with a 3-0 win against Fargo South in Friday's semifinals. It wasn't an easy win, much like the Spartans' opening-round win against Jamestown.
"Anything can happen," North coach Kris Dougherty said.
North easily defeated Jamestown twice this season, but needed overtime in the quarterfinals to edge the Blue Jays. A day later, the Spartans played their rival, one they've beat twice this season by 5-1 scores.
The Spartans scored two goals 31 seconds apart in the first period. Mara Teschdorf scored on a power play at 12:50, followed by Aimee Bala's even-strength goal 31 seconds later. Emily Dahl added an empty-netter at 15:23 of the third.
The quick goals were a relief to North.
"After (Thursday) night, we were a little snake-bit," Dougherty said. "We didn't quite have it. We were inches off here and there so it was nice to see those two quick goals. They give a team a boost in tight games and we're not used to those games."
South played a solid second period, as the Bruins came up with five quality scoring chances. The Bruins also had an advantage on shots on goal for a while during the middle period.
But North goalie Chelsey Sitzmann helped North record its fifth shutout of the season.
"We do a good job of taking care of things when we have to," said Dougherty, whose team improved to 20-2. "We tend to rely on our skill too much sometimes. But it helps when you have a good goaltender, one with experience and one who is solid as a rock."
The Spartans, who outshot South 29-23, now can focus on West Fargo. The Packers have handed North its only two losses of the season, 2-1 and 3-1.
"Our No. 1 goal at the beginning of the season was to get back to the championship game again," Dougherty said. "Not many teams at any level of sports gets a chance to 3-peat. And we're excited to play them for the third time."