Girls hockey: Forward Reegan Bents records 19 saves in net as West Fargo United hands Fargo Davies first loss – InForum

WEST FARGO — Every hockey player has likely tried their hand at playing goalie at some point in their career, whether it be on the pond, in an icy driveway or simply messing around at practice.

For West Fargo United’s Reegan Bents, her crack at netminder came in a pair of varsity games this week.

With United’s usual starting goaltender Maggie Seeley recovering from a recent surgery, Bents, a forward, was called upon to hold down the fort between the pipes instead.

The sophomore made her first start in goal in a loss to East Grand Forks on Monday but rebounded in a big way against Fargo Davies, recording 19 saves to help United win 4-2 and hand the Eagles their first loss of the season on Tuesday at the West Fargo Sports Arena.

After junior forward Alyssa Smith’s empty-net goal sealed the deal with 30 seconds remaining and the clock wound to zero, Bents — wearing Seeley’s goalie mask and a No. 30 sweater instead of her traditional No. 13 — was greeted in her crease by elated teammates, all realizing the monumental feat she had just pulled off.

“In 12U I played a game and I’d switch with Maggie,” Bents said of her previous goaltending experience. “I think I’ve done it twice before. Then I practiced starting (last) Thursday, but because of the snow days we only had like three practices.”

West Fargo United’s Mia Gervais lends a hand to goalie Reegan Bents during play against Fargo Davies at the West Fargo Sports Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022.

David Samson/The Forum

Not only did she record a win in goal, she did it against a previously unbeaten Davies team that will surely be in the state championship hunt this season.

“It’s crazy, especially because it’s Davies and they’re a really, really good team,” Bents said. “I’m just really proud.”

While United theoretically could have played an entire game 6-on-5 with an empty net, it wouldn’t have been the wisest of choices. The team needed someone in the crease and it was Bents who stepped up to bat.

“(Seeley) is injured and so we had to put someone in there,” United head coach Pat Johnson said. “She volunteered and she played pretty damn well.”

Bents added that seeing the ice from a different perspective may help her in her traditional position at forward.

“You see a whole different version of the ice,” Bents said. “So you just get a whole different perspective of the game and I think it will really help when I move back.”

United improved to 4-3 behind the performance of Bents and a two-goal night from Smith. Junior forward Zoey Gervais and senior defenseman Mia Gervais tallied the other two goals for the home team.

“We wanted to break it down and we wanted to make sure (Davies) couldn’t put a lot of pucks right on the net,” Johnson said. “We wanted to block as many as we could and I thought we did that, and we wanted to make them go 200 feet if we could.

“I think our girls did really well. We broke it down into three 17-minute games and tried to win each 17 minutes.”

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West Fargo United’s Alyssa Smith and Fargo Davies’ Lucy Paul battle along the boards at the West Fargo Sports Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022.

David Samson/The Forum

Despite two quick-response goals from senior forward Lindsey Astrup, the Eagles suffered their first setback of the season and fell to 4-1.

“Our feet didn’t move soon enough and we lost the net-front battle,” Davies head coach Josh Issertell said. “I liked our response on the first two (United) goals, but we needed to produce more.

“One loss and one game doesn’t define a season. Let’s not forget we’ve got 12 new faces to the program this year. Eight new varsity players. We like the growth that we’ve seen so far this season and we can ‘t lose sight of that. We’ll learn from the mistakes (today) and just continue to grow day by day. We’ll get back to work at practice next Monday and figure it out.”

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Fargo Davies’ Lindsey Astrup celebrates a goal at the West Fargo Sports Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022.

David Samson/The Forum

Zoey Gervais opened the scoring at 8 minutes, 40 seconds of the first period, putting a rebound past Davies senior goaltender Noelle Lewis for her fifth goal of the season, with assists from junior defenseman Reese Rudolph and junior forward Courtney Docktor.

Astrup tied the game 14 seconds later after skating into the slot and getting one by Bents for her second of the year. Senior defenseman Mathilde Vetter assisted and the teams were tied 1-1 after one period.

Mia Gervais gave United the lead back in the second period after picking up a turnover in the neutral zone and skating in on Lewis and putting it home to make it 2-1. But Astrup responded again, nine seconds later, to make it 2-2 with senior defenseman Katie Noah getting the assist.

Smith recorded her first goal of the night and sixth of the season on a rebound at 11:27 of the second frame on assists from Zoey Gervais and Doctor. The goal held up as the game winner.

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Fargo Davies’ Ellery Wilcox and West Fargo United’s Grace Vetter battle for the puck at the West Fargo Sports Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022.

David Samson/The Forum

Davies finished with 21 shots on goal to United’s 17. The Eagles’ Lewis finished with 13 saves.

United finished 0-for-2 on the power play while Davies was 0-for-1.

Fargo Davies visits Jamestown on Thursday, Dec. 29 at 1:30 pm while United will host Grand Forks on the same day at 7 pm

Johnson said the goal entering the holiday break is to get some healthy bodies back on the ice.

“I’m hoping we get everybody back and playing,” Johnson said. “We’ll get our goalie back and then we can have another line. So hopefully that’s our plan is to get everybody healthy.”

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West Fargo United’s Mia Gervais (9) celebrates a goal against Fargo Davies at the West Fargo Sports Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022.

David Samson/The Forum

FIRST PERIOD: 1, WF, Z. Gervais (Rudolph, C. Docktor), 8:40. 2, FD, Astrup (Vetter), 8:54.

SECOND PERIOD: 3, WF, M. Gervais (Unassisted), 8:59. 4, FD, Astrup (Noah), 9:08. 5, WF, Smith (Z. Gervais, C. Docktor), 11:27.

THIRD PERIOD: 6, WF, Smith (Unassisted), 16:30.

SAVES: FD, Lewis 4-4-5—13. WF, Bents 4-8-7—19.

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