GRAND FORKS It was unclear how the Minot High girls hockey team would respond after a heartbreaking opening-round loss to Fargo South-Davies at the state tournament just 24 hours prior.
The answer? Just fine. The Majettes scored twice in the first period and advanced to the fifth-place game with a 3-1 victory over Fargo North on Friday in a consolation contest at Olympic Arena. Minot plays Mandan in the fifth-place game today at 2:30 p.m. at Olympic Arena.
"Yesterday was such a ... I don't want to say fluke, but it wasn't us at all," Minot coach Weylin Wahlstrom said. "I knew the girls would rebound. You're in a game where the team that doesn't win goes home, so it's a life-or-death situation. I feel for Fargo North, they played a heck of a game, but of course I'm happy that we're playing tomorrow."
Minot freshman defender Cambree Albright passes the puck away from Fargo North's Betsy Pladson on Friday in a consolation game at Olympic Arena. Minot plays Mandan for fifth place today.
Minot sophomore forward Sydney Boyce gave the Majettes their first lead of the tournament at 6:17 of the opening frame. Boyce swatted home a puck to the right of North goaltender Hannah Sivertson. Senior forward Makaila Anderson was credited with the assist.
"Scoring first is everything," Wahlstrom said. "It gives you all the momentum. We started the game out the same way we did yesterday. We were getting a lot of shots, but nothing was going in. That gets a little nerve-wracking. I didn't want any deja-vu there."
Special teams killed Minot against South-Davies the previous night. The Majettes allowed three power-play goals, which ultimately cost them a chance to advance to the semifinals. On Friday, Minot won the special teams battle. Sophomore defender Alissa Ewan scored on the power play at 11:58 of the first period to give the Majettes a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
"We did a nice job of capitalizing on our chances," Wahlstrom said. "I'm very pleased with the special teams tonight."
Minot surpassed its goal total from Thursday on a goal by senior forward Alaynee Thompson at 13:35 of the second period. Anderson recorded her second assist of the game and Ewan tallied the secondary helper.
The Spartans got on the board with 5:38 left as Anna Erickson was the only skater to get a shot past Minot senior goaltender Sydney Swanson. Swanson finished with 17 saves.
Mike Kraft covers high school athletics and hockey. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft23_MDN.