Curl leads Bismarck to fourth-straight ND girls title
GRAND FORKS — The Bismarck girls hockey season came to an end Saturday night,, Feb. 24, the only way most of the players on the roster know how to finish a season — with a North Dakota state championship.
Britta Curl scored twice and the Blizzard shut out a seventh-straight opponent in a 3-0 victory over Fargo North-South in the state title game at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Bismarck (22-4-0) won its fourth-straight state championship.
Curl capped her prep career by scoring on a short-handed breakaway in the first period and icing the game with a shot in tight in the third period.
Curl scored five times in the tournament, netting tournament most valuable player honors. She was also named the state’s senior athlete of the year.
Curl started her senior season winning a gold medal with Team USA in Russia. She finished with a state title.
“This year seems a little more special being my senior year,” Curl said. “We had to work harder for this one, not being the favorite. We came from a different position than the past.”
Curl’s short-handed goal gave the Blizzard a 1-0 lead, despite Fargo North-South registering seven of the game’s first eight shots on net.
“They capitalized on their chances,” North-South coach Kris Dougherty said. “I wouldn’t say we didn’t have our chances, especially in the first. They’re a good team. That’s not a team you take lightly. I thought our girls put up a heck of a fight, but we just didn’t score today.
“We just didn’t put one in. That happens. The girls didn’t get frustrated, they kept working and that’s all you can ask. They impressed me every day and today was no different.”
Bismarck’s Felicity Blair jumped on a rebound to provide the Blizzard’s second-period scoring. Bismarck goalie Skylar Ackerman made 17 saves for the shutout.
“Fargo North-South came out hard,” Bismarck coach Tim Meyer said. “That’s a credit to the type of team they are. They came out like they were shot out of a cannon. We calmed ourselves down and made the necessary adjustments. The shortie in the first really helps.”
Curl finished the season with 37 goals in 18 games — eight fewer games than many of her teammates.
“She’s put so much into this program,” Meyer said. “She epitomizes the type of player we want to have here in Bismarck. I’m proud of her and look forward to following the rest of her career.”