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Tom Mix, Published January 15 2013

Walsh scores five goals in West Fargo's girls hockey win over Fargo North

WEST FARGO – Tuesday was not the most complete game the West Fargo girls hockey team has played this season. But when action concluded, the Packers remained undefeated.

Despite a slow start, West Fargo skated to a 9-3 victory over Fargo North at Veterans Memorial Arena.

Senior forward Hayley Walsh scored five goals and added two assists to pace the Packers (12-0-0, 11-0-0 North Dakota).

North hung with the Packers in the first period and scored the game’s first goal. Tianna Larson got an unassisted goal past West Fargo goalie Andrea Klug off a breakaway with two minutes, 47 seconds left in the first period.

Walsh answered a minute later with her first goal, making it 1-1 at the first intermission.

“We came out and played one of the worst periods we played all season in the first period,” said Walsh, who is leading the state in scoring with 51 points. “They stayed with us. We came out a lot stronger in the second period and showed them what we could do. We forechecked well and got some goals.”

The Packers outscored the Spartans 5-1 in the second period.

“The first period we just were not moving our feet,” West Fargo head coach Pat Johnson said. “We got on them a little for not skating. Just showing up to play isn’t good enough against Fargo North.

“In the second period, we came out and skated like we can. We got to the puck and put a lot pressure on them in the second period.”

Sam Hagen and Betsy Pladson also scored goals for North (7-7-0, 5-5-0).

Two of Walsh’s goals came on the Packers’ penalty kill. West Fargo now has scored a team-record eight short-handed goals this season.

“We want to stay aggressive,” Johnson said. “We sat back a few times tonight, and that led to good opportunities for North. We can’t do that. We have to keep the pressure on and that is the kind of team we want to be.

“If we get a chance to break it out on the penalty kill when we are shorthanded we go for it. We are not afraid to take the chance on those opportunities.”

North’s costly errors added up quickly following the first period on Tuesday.

“In the first period, we did exactly what we needed to do,” Fargo North head coach Kris Dougherty said. “We controlled the game, we controlled the play, and for some reason between period one and period two, we lost that control.

“Anytime you make mistakes and give the puck up to a goal scorer like (Walsh), she is going to find it. … You can’t give her gifts, and we gave her a lot of them tonight.”

Junior forward Allison Springer added three goals and two assists for the Packers.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, FN, Larson, 14:13. 2, WF, Walsh, (Springer), 15:35.

SECOND PERIOD: 3, WF, Walsh, (Springer, Krahn), 3:16. 4, FN, Hagen, (Nielsen, Volk), 5:48. 5, WF, Walsh, 8:03 (sh). 6, WF, Walsh (Holland), 9:42. 7, WF, Springer, (Walsh), 10:38. 8, WF, Springer, (Walsh, Holland), 14:14 (pp).

THIRD PERIOD: 9, FN, B. Pladson, (Long), 7:45 (pp). 10, WF, Springer, 11:13. 11, WF, Nelson, (Monkman, Holland). 12, Walsh, (Stromme), 14:44 (sh).

SAVES: FN, O. Pladson 8-14-3–25, Sivertson x-x-5–5. WF, Klug 11-2-10–23.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562