Averi Greenwood leading KnightRiders as postseason nears

Grand Forks will recognize Greenwood, Annika Presteng, Sierra Heyd, Quinn Fournier, Lauren Robinson and Kaylee Baker for Senior Night on Tuesday.

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Grand Forks forward Averi Greenwood, center, celebrates her game-winning goal with her fellow KnightRiders in the third period of the 'Stick It To Cancer' girls hockey game against the East Grand Forks Senior High Green Wave at Purpur Arena in Grand Forks on Friday, December 16, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS — Alex Hedlund has accepted that life might be a bit more boring next season.

The Grand Forks girls hockey coach won't have Averi Greenwood on her team anymore.

"She's probably top-three funniest people I've ever met in my life," Hedlund said. "She can make the group laugh, whether it's the coaches or the players. She knows how to keep things light. She knows how to pick up her teammates when they need a laugh. And she plays her best when she's not too tense and things are light."

Greenwood has been at her best frequently the last two seasons.

As a junior, she posted team-highs in goals (17), assists (16) and points (33), while being named all-state.


This season as a senior, she's again leading the team offensively with 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 18 games.

"She's a competitor," Hedlund said. "She can make something out of basically nothing. She backchecks well. When we're getting hemmed in the D-zone, she makes a smart play — whether it's a chip, carrying it out on her own or a good cross-ice pass — to get it out of the zone.

"She's really smart about what she does in the offensive zone. She doesn't force shots. She sees the ice. I'd call her crafty. She's maybe not the flashiest player, but she's smart. She's one of the smartest players we've had in quite a few years. She knows how to put the puck in the back of the net and make things happen for our team."

On Tuesday, Greenwood and classmates Annika Presteng, Sierra Heyd, Quinn Fournier, Lauren Robinson and Kaylee Baker will be recognized for Senior Night during Grand Forks' home game against Devils Lake at Eagles Arena.

The six-player senior class is the program's largest since 2015-16, when it also had six. The last senior class larger than this one was 2008-09.

"It's really exciting, but it doesn't feel real," said Greenwood, who has been playing varsity since her freshman year. "There are six of us and I've played with all of them my whole life."

All six are regulars.

Greenwood and Presteng have played together on Grand Forks' top line. Heyd joins them up front. Robinson and Fournier are defenders and Baker has started in net in 18 of 19 games.


"(Losing) this particular group is going to be tough on me," Hedlund said. "Three of them have been on the team since eighth grade — Fournier, Robinson and Baker. Greenwood, Presteng and Heyd are wonderful people. It will be a big void for our team. Hopefully we can play for them."

Grand Forks currently is 8-8-3 and in position to make the eight-team state tournament, but the standings are tight this season.

The KnightRiders, who have four regular-season games remaining, could finish anywhere from third to ninth.

"We definitely want to win the rest of our games before state, so we're in a good spot for state," Greenwood said. "Then, hopefully, we'll do well at state."

The top two teams have been Fargo North/South and Fargo Davies. However, North/South has tied ninth-place Bismarck Century, while Davies lost to eighth-place Bismarck High/Legacy — a sign of the state's parity.

"We have to really control what we can control," Hedlund said. "Tuesday is huge. We're going to need a team win and we're going to need to rely on our seniors."

KnightRiders' Senior night

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Where: Eagles Arena.
Opponent: Devils Lake.
Records: Grand Forks 8-8-3, Devils Lake 2-15.
Grand Forks seniors: F Averi Greenwood, F Annika Presteng, F Sierra Heyd, D Quinn Fournier, D Lauren Robinson, G Kaylee Baker.

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at
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