Tom Mix, Published January 23 2013
Four-Pack of scoring punch for West Fargo
Sharing the puck and spreading out the scoring chances among the team’s skaters hasn’t been a problem either.
The Packers (13-0) have scored 113 goals this season and sit atop the state standings. A total of 13 players on varsity have scored at least one goal.
Even more impressive is four players – senior Hayley Walsh and juniors Allison Springer, Kelly Krahn and Tori Holland – who occupy four of the top five spots in the state scoring leaderboard.
Walsh leads the Packers and the state of North Dakota in points with 57. She’s scored 29 goals and has 28 assists.
“Honestly, I’m trying my best to equal them out,” Walsh said. “For a while there, I had so many more goals than assists, so there are points in the game were I just try to pass mostly.”
Coaches from NCAA Division I Minnesota State-Mankato are set to attend a West Fargo game later this season to evaluate Walsh. Walsh, who has verbally committed to play hockey at NCAA Division III Wisconsin-River Falls, said she will wait to hear back from the Mavericks before moving forward with her college plans.
Walsh, Springer and Krahn make up the Packers’ top line.
The trio has skated together on the varsity for several years, but this is the first year they were grouped as linemates.
“Our first line was put together this season,” Walsh said. “The first time we skated together, you could tell we just clicked. Ever since then we have improved every game and every practice.
“I love playing with them. It’s awesome.”
Krahn has 39 points (25 goals, 14 assists) and Springer checks in with 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists).
“We move the puck really well together,” Krahn said. “We just keep the puck down low. One of us is always out front, whether it is me Hayley or Allison. We just shove it in.”
Holland – a defenseman – has 29 points this season scoring 11 goals and dishing out 18 assists. Holland, Krahn and Springer have been playing since they were in grade school.
“If one of us is down, we try to get that person up, and that then helps the team get better.” Holland said. “If I had three points and Kelly had two, then I would be trying to get her one.
“It’s not just us four either. If anyone on the team hasn’t scored a goal in a game yet we try to get them a point.”
The sharing aspect of the entire team was echoed by Springer.
“Whoever is ready to go usually gets a lot more chances, but sometimes if one of us is getting a lot of goals, we like to say, ‘Now it is your turn to get some shots,’” Springer said. “We like to help each other out.”
West Fargo head coach Pat Johnson said his four leading scorers have the potential to elevate the team’s energy level on the ice any given night.
“They have worked together for quite a while now,” Johnson said. “They are all good friends. The big thing is that they work as a team.
“When they are all clicking, it really goes, and they are tough to defend.”
Walsh is closing in on several single-season team records. She needs 13 points to break Kacie Johnson’s record of 69 points during the 2010-11 season. Kacie Johnson also holds West Fargo’s single-season goals and assists record. Walsh needs 12 goals to break the goals record (40) and two assists to break the assists record (29).
State records also may fall later this season.
With 10 games left in the regular season, Walsh is 45 points shy of breaking the state points record held by Williston’s Emily Sell, who had 101 points in the 2006-07 season.
Walsh is also 22 goals away from breaking Sell’s single-season goals record of 60 set in the 2004-05 season.
“I got a long way to go, but it would be cool,” Walsh said of the scoring record. “The team has really helped me out to get to the point I’m at right now, so I thank them for that.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562