Bruins stun Majettes in state opener

GRAND FORKS Minot High girls hockey coach Weylin Wahlstrom was at a loss for words after the Majettes 5-2 loss to Fargo South-Davies in the first round of the state tournament Thursday at Olympic Arena.

A team as successful as any in the program’s history had its hopes of a state title ended in the first round like so many years before.

The third-seeded Majettes (18-6) surrendered the game’s first three goals and couldn’t muster enough offense to advance to the semifinals. Minot will play Fargo North in a consolation semifinal at approximately 8 tonight.

“It’s hard to express into words,” Wahlstrom said. “You put all the work in during practice, prepare for every game and come out and not execute when it actually counts. Of course it hurts the most. A lot of broken hearts in the locker room as you can expect.”

The fact that the Majettes had won both regular-season meetings didn’t bother the sixth-seeded Bruins (10-14). Neither team had many quality scoring opportunities in the first period, although Minot held a 9-1 shot advantage with five minutes left. But a five-minute major penalty called on Minot sophomore forward Kinsey Hanson for checking from behind set up the only tally of the opening period and swung the momentum in South-Davies’ favor.

South-Davies grabbed a 1-0 lead, capitalizing on the five-minute power play at 15:04 of the first period. Anna Ingersoll knocked home a rebound to the left of Minot senior goaltender Sydney Swanson off a shot from Megan Lorenz. Hanson was also called for a 10-minute misconduct along with the checking-from-behind penalty, stretching Minot’s already-thin bench even thinner.

“That killed us,” Wahlstrom said. “That killed any momentum we had. It drained us. We couldn’t rebound. I’m not going to be as bold as to say that cost us the game, but that cost us the game. I don’t know how else to say it. It cost us our momentum is what it did.”

The major penalty came back to bite the Majettes in the opening seconds of the second period, as well, as South-Davies’ Summer Hayes netted the Bruins’ second goal of the contest just nine ticks in. South-Davies scored one goal total against Minot in the regular season.

“We drew up a faceoff play at the intermission and we were fortunate enough that the stars aligned and we were able to cash in on it,” South-Davies coach Josh Issertell said. “It was a great play.”

The Bruins built a 3-0 lead before Minot sophomore defender Alissa Ewan got the Majettes on the board with 10:02 left in the second period. But South-Davies reclaimed its three-goal advantage in the final minutes of the second and Minot trailed 4-1 heading into the final intermission.

Any chance of a Minot comeback was thwarted by Megan Lorenz’ power-play goal with 3:30 remaining to extend the Bruins’ advantage to 5-1.

Minot senior forward Makaila Anderson scored the final tally at 15:45 of the third.

“We did it with heart and determination,” Issertell said. “The kids were willing to go to the dirty areas and put pucks on net. Swanson’s a great goalie. We knew what we were facing.”

South-Davies advanced to the semifinals, where it will play No. 2 seed West Fargo at approximately 2:30 p.m. at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Mike Kraft covers high school athletics and hockey. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.