GRAND FORKS - The Minot High School girls hockey team held its own against West Fargo when Thursday's state tournament quarterfinal was played at even strength.
When the No. 5 Majettes sent a girl to the penalty box, they couldn't keep up.
The No. 4 Packers scored on all four of their power plays, executed a stifling defensive performance and advanced to today's semifinal against No. 1 Fargo South with a 4-1 win at the Ralph Engelstad Olympic Arena.
Minot High School sophomore goalie Sydney Swanson is protected by senior defender Bradi Sveet on Thursday in the first round of the state tournament at Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks. The Majettes lost 4-1 to West Fargo.
Minot plays No. 8 Williston at 5:30 p.m. in the losers' bracket. The Coyotes lost 10-1 to the Bruins.
"Special teams we knew was gonna be huge this weekend and, yeah, it killed us," Minot coach Weylin Wahlstrom said. "We've done a real nice job on the (penalty) kill all year and they were just getting good looks at the net and putting them in the back."
Minot's first penalty came late in the first period and the Majettes (14-8-1) cleared the puck three times in the first 90 seconds of the Packers' advantage.
West Fargo (17-7) advanced into Minot's end a fourth time and junior Rachel Monkman buried a low shot. It was one of two goals scored by the Packers' second line.
"They were patient, they got the puck down to the net and crashed a little bit," West Fargo coach Pat Johnson said. "They moved the puck, that's what we wanted and they did what they were asked of. And that's a nice thing to have kids play hard the whole time."
Minot wasn't short of effort offensively, but was outshot 38-13. The numbers aren't indicative of Minot's chances, rather a product of West Fargo's stout defense, which held Minot to two goals in the teams' three meetings this season.
The Packer defenders blanketed Minot senior MaKayla Sandvold, the state's leader in total points, and routinely blocked shots well before they could reach junior goalie Andrea Klug's net.
"They did a good job of keeping us outside again," Sandvold said. "Almost every shot I had it seemed like it was blocked, so that was probably the worst feeling."
Minot senior Jenna Luedke scored at the three-minute, 10-second mark of the third period to cut the deficit to 2-1. Five minutes later, Luedke was whistled for body checking - her second penalty. The Packers again stayed patient through the first half of the power play before Monkman netted her second goal of the game.
"Our penalty kill was not on and their power play, it dominated us," Luedke said. "That's what killed us was our penalties."
West Fargo's fourth goal was an empty-netter shot by junior Hayley Walsh with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
"It was up and down, we knew it would be," Wahlstrom said. "It's an emotional time every year and we gotta lot of seniors. It's unfortunate that the outcome wasn't the other way, but Fargo played a great game."
Bruins crush Coyotes
GRAND FORKS - No. 1 Fargo South lived up to its seed in a 10-1 win over No. 8 Williston in the first round of the state tournament at the Ralph Engelstad Olympic Arena.
Williston junior Kayla Buck scored in the third period to break the Bruins shutout. The game saw 16 penalties, but neither team scored on the power plays.
Williston plays Minot tonight at 5:30 at the Olympic Arena. The winner plays Saturday for fifth place at about 2:30 p.m. at the same location.