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Packers win girls hockey championship

The West Fargo Packers girls hockey team celebrates its state championship. Darren Gibbins1 / 4
Senior forward Kelly Krahn looks to pass during the state championship game against Bismarck on Saturday. Krahn had 12 points over the weekend, and was named tournament MVP. Darren Gibbins2 / 4
Forward Madison Nelson races up the ice in Saturday’s game against the Blizzard. Nelson tallied an assist in the second period. Darren Gibbins3 / 4
Junior goalie Morgan Stirling stops a Blizzard shot as senior defender Kourtney Lothspeich watches in Saturday’s game. Stirling stopped 14 of 15 shots in the championship game. Darren Gibbins4 / 4

The girls hockey season came to an end this past weekend in the best way possible for West Fargo fans: the Packers’ first state championship since 2010.

“With the short number we had, I thought we played great,” head coach Pat Johnson said. “The girls really battled through. I’m proud of them.”

The Pack started the tournament with a 8-0 victory over the Fargo North Spartans on Thursday.

In that game, senior forward Kelly Krahn scored four goals and tallied an assist in the game.

The team’s other four goals came from seniors Alli Springer and Kourtney Lothspeich, sophomore Paige Lasorenko and freshman Haley Kringlie.

The team followed up that performance with a 6-2 victory over Fargo South-Davies in Friday’s semifinal game.

Krahn stood out again with a hat trick and three assists. Freshman forward Janey Sandoval had a goal and two assists.

The Packers went on to face the Bismarck Blizzard in a rematch of last season’s state championship game, and managed to beat them this time by a score of 2-1.

After a scoreless first period, Krahn put the Packers on the board in the first minute of the second with a powerplay goal. She ended the tournament with eight goals, four assists and the tournament MVP award.

The Packers had a scare in the second period when senior defenseman and team captain Tori Holland -- who had the assist on Krahn’s goal -- left the game with a broken collarbone.

“At first, things were a bit chaotic, but they settled down and played the way they were supposed to,” Johnson said. “It’s always a bit of a jolt when that happens, and Kourtney (Lothspeich) didn’t come off the ice much after that, but the seniors did a nice job of getting everyone settled.”

Shortly after Holland’s exit from the game, Sandoval scored a goal -- with assists from Lothspeich and Madison Nelson -- to give the Packers a 2-0 advantage.

The Blizzard scored a goal early in the third period, but it wasn’t enough to take the title away from West Fargo.

“There were some tears and a bunch of different emotions out there,” Johnson said. “You have the seniors going out with a win, and you have the young kids feeling it for the first time. There were a lot of highs on the ice.”

Krahn and Holland were named to the all-tournament team, and Holland was named senior player of the year.