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Girls hockey: WF avenges blemish with win over Bismarck

The West Fargo girls hockey team is 16-1-0 this season.

That loss - the lone blemish on an otherwise flawless record - occurred during just their fourth game of the year on Dec. 10, a 3-1 downing by Bismarck.

On Friday, the Packers got their revenge, beating the Blizzard by the same score they lost to, in front of a home crowd at Vet's Arena.

The stands were abuzz with raucous fans as both teams hit the ice. When the puck finally dropped after a riveting rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, it was anyone's guess as to who would be the final victor.

The Blizzards took control of the pace during a majority of the first period, and peppered West Fargo goalie Andrea Klug with eight shots. Bismarck's best chance came less than two minutes into the game, when Ali Twardoski snagged a rebound off a sprawling Klug, and ripped a shot through a screen from the top of the circle. Somehow, Klug managed to make the save while lying on the ice, and corralled the puck for a whistle.

A short time later, the Packers set the tone with a scoring chance of their own. As the puck entered the neutral zone, West Fargo took control and quickly headed down ice with a 3-on-1 breakaway. Kacie Johnson made a sweet feed to Kaylee Lothspeich, who fired into a pad save by Bismarck goalie Kasandra Cariveau.

After a scoreless first period, the Packers roared in the second. Johnson struck first blood nearly 11 minutes in, scoring from behind the net on a wrap-around. Not less than three minutes later, Lothspeich scored what would be the game-winner during a battle at the net.

The Blizzard's lone goal came nearly four minutes into the third period, when Brianna Flynn deked to her backhand and fired low on Klug's glove side to score.

But Johnson quelled any Blizzard rally when she notched her second goal of the game and 25th of the season. The West Fargo points leader took the puck facing three Bismarck opponents. Johnson faked out the first, and then the second and had clear ice to the goalie after the third defender hit an outside edge and fell to the ice. Making it look easy, Johnson deked once, than to her backhand when she fired on open net as Cariveau lunged the opposite way.

The Packers got the chance to add to their state-leading record when they faced No. 2 Fargo South (14-3-0) on Tuesday, but results were not in by press time. They play again at 7 p.m. Friday at Warroad, Minn.