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Heath Hotzler, Published February 26 2009

Familiar footing: Fargo North senior Throntveit to play in sixth state hockey tournament

Asha Throntveit’s memory is a bit fuzzy when it comes to the North Dakota state girls hockey tournament.

It’s not that the Fargo North senior doesn’t cherish each moment on the state’s biggest stage.

You see, Throntveit has played in five of them. Each year, the Spartans have reached the final.

Three times she’s helped her teammates hoist the championship trophy. Throntveit will play in her sixth state hockey tournament when top-seeded North plays Dickinson at 12:30 p.m. today at Purpur Arena.

After that much success, things just tend to blend together.

“It’s still very nerve-racking,” said Throntveit, one of the Spartans’ top defenders since she was a seventh-grader. “We are never promised to be in it. We always have good chances. We play every state tournament game like it’s our last.”

Throntveit, who is also a standout soccer player for the Spartans, has given North a solid defensive presence since she joined the program.

Rarely an offensive threat, Throntveit said she would rather prevent a goal against her team than score one. She has three goals and seven assists in 21 games this season.

That doesn’t mean Throntveit doesn’t enjoy it when she slips one into the net.

However, her teammates seem to enjoy it even more.

Well, they like the dance that goes with it.

“A lot of people raise their stick,” Throntveit said. “I just jump up and down. It’s really weird, actually. It’s like a joke (among the team).”

North coach Dave Bjugson said Throntveit uses her soccer skills on the ice.

“I’ve never seen a player play the puck as much with her feet as with her stick,” Bjugson said. “Sometimes it drives me crazy. But the puck never seems to get out of the zone. She always makes it work, and I’m screaming, ‘Use your stick, use our stick.’ ”

Throntveit said her best memories are from her first season. She met her best friends on that team.

Throntveit is the only one of those friends who remains on the roster.

Now, she’s the one who offers a helping hand to the young players in the locker room.

For her final state tournament, Throntveit wants to make a significant contribution on defense.

This time, state will be a memory that lasts a lifetime.

“I’m going to try not to cry,” she said. “I’m just going to play very well, as hard as I can, and try really hard.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler’s blogs can be found

at www.areavoices.com