Ty's take: An online-only West Fargo roundup for your reading pleasure
This week's Ty's Take didn't make it into Jan. 20 print edition of the Pioneer, so you lucky Web surfers get the privilege of viewing it firsthand.
Without further ado, here's a week's worth of West Fargo sports.
Boys hockey splits; tough road ahead
Coming into Tuesday's game against Fargo South, the Packers were riding momentum from a four-game winning streak.
The Bruins stopped it cold with a lopsided 6-2 victory.
Then Saturday, West Fargo took on Grafton-Park River, beating the conference rivals 3-2 in overtime.
Fargo South (4-2-2 EDC, 6-4-2) drew first blood Tuesday, a little more than 2 minutes into the game after Packers goalie Cameron Holland left the crease to play a puck off the rear boards. Instead of sending the puck away from the net, Holland inadvertently dished it directly out front where Fargo South's Bill Carlson was waiting for the open netter.
Holland lunged back after seeing his mistake, but too late.
Down by one early in the game, the Packers (3-4-1, 7-4-2) turned the tide about five minutes later.
With the puck in the Bruins' end, a shot rang out that goalie Scott Bucholz stopped but couldn't control. Suddenly, a pack of Packers descended on the loose biscuit and Dusty Munyer finally batted it in after the third or fourth swat.
It appeared to be fairly close matchup after the first period ended in a 1-1 tie.
Then the second rolled around and everything changed. The Bruins scored three unanswered goals during a very lopsided period where the Packers seemed tired, and weren't quite clicking.
West Fargo backup goalie Josh Hanson replaced Holland to start the third period. Hanson led in a goal about a minute later and then again at 5:09.
Now down 6-1 late in the third, Packers forward Jeremy Johnson got a pass from Brandon Tendeland in Fargo South's end. Johnson skated behind the net and looked to be attempting a wrap-around, but stopped about half way, backpedaled, and snuck the puck past Bucholz, who was caught off guard and was waiting for him to pop around the opposite side.
Yet, with less than two minutes remaining in the game, there was little hope for a Packers' comeback.
In two periods, Holland made 14 stops while teammate Hanson blocked 10 to finish the game. Meanwhile, the Bruins' Bucholz made 23 saves.
Against the Spoilers (5-1-1, 6-6-1), West Fargo had to play catch-up first when Reilly Mathiason scored a little less than half way through the first period. The Packers scored back-to-back goals from Johnson and Austin Dillard in the second period to pull ahead, but Grafton-Park River tied it up as Mathiason assisted on a Sam Tweten goal.
With a scoreless third, the game was forced into overtime. Then one of West Fargo's top scorers, Kyle Shoman, shined, getting the unassisted game-winner a little more than 3 minutes into overtime. The win redeemed an earlier loss to the Spoilers, a game that also went into overtime, but didn't end in West Fargo's favor.
Hanson, who was in net in lieu of Holland, was solid in goal and made 29 stops on the night. Grafton-Park River goalie Dylan Offutt made 33 saves.
The Packers have another critical EDC game Thursday, Jan. 21, against visiting Grand Forks Red River (5-2-0, 8-3-0). The Roughriders are led by one of the top points leader in the state: Jake LaDouceur, who has 11 goals and 18 assists on the season. The Packers lost 7-3 to Red River on Dec. 12.
On Saturday, Jan. 23, Devils Lake (3-4-7, 7-5-1) comes to West Fargo for a 7:30 p.m. game. The last time the two teams met was Jan. 5, which resulted in a 5-3 West Fargo win.
Can anyone stop West Fargo girls hockey?
The Packers girls hockey team is making an unprecedented run this season after topping Minot and Bismarck last week, which gives them a flawless 10-win record.
West Fargo saw another balanced attack, but their overall points leader Kacie Johnson stole the show. She put up two goals in each game and had an assist against Bismarck. Kaylee Lothspeich also did well against the Blizzard, scoring once and chalking up two assists. Kelsey Kloos and Courtney Ellenson were the other two goal-getters in the game against Minot.
Packers goalie Andrea Klug stopped nine shots against the Majettes and 22 against Bismarck. Klug now has a streak of four straight shutouts and has six total for the season.
West Fargo had a huge home game Tuesday against Grand Forks (7-1-0, 7-2-1), but the results were not in when this story was uploaded. The Packers play again Saturday, Jan. 23, at 2 p.m. at home against Williston (1-7-1, 2-7-1).
Girls basketball ends skid
After going on a six-game losing streak to start the season, the West Fargo girls basketball team was looking for a critical win to start their fortunes moving in the opposite direction.
That win came last Saturday, when the Packers (1-4, 2-6) routed Wahpeton 66-36.
Junior guard Katelyn Holland and senior forward Jenna Green led West Fargo's charge, racking up 12 points apiece. Green also earned a double-double on the night with 10 rebounds.
West Fargo also dominated Wahpeton with steals, racking up 26 compared to the Huskies' 6.
The Huskies (0-5, 2-6) were led by Tawny Irwin's 13 points.
West Fargo had a game Tuesday night at Bemidji, Minn., but the results were not in when this story was uploaded. The Packers play again at 7:45 p.m. Friday, at home against evenly-matched Grand Forks Central (1-4, 2-6).
Boys basketball sweeps for the week
The Packers boys basketball team is ranked fifth in the most recent Class A poll. If they continue to win like they have been lately, they should be climbing the ladder in no time.
Last week, West Fargo (4-1, 7-3) handily beat Moorhead 49-33 and Wahpeton 63-53.
Spencer Flaten and Chris Williams each put up 11 points to lead the Packers against the 5-6 Spuds.
Against the Huskies (0-4, 0-9), West Fargo was led by the efforts of Flaten and Austin Nelson, who each put up 15 points. Justin Schock had 13 points and seven rebounds.
The Packers have another critical East Region game on Friday, Jan. 22, at 7:45 p.m., against Grand Forks Central (1-4, 1-8).