The regular season's final two weeks provide a small window for teams to find their stride as they search for a postseason push.
East Grand Forks is hoping to find a groove before the window closes. The Green Wave, ranked seventh in the Class 1A coaches’ poll, has dropped three consecutive games and has yet to piece together more than a three-game winning streak this season.
East Grand Forks (11-10-1, 3-5-1) visits Roseau on Friday before facing a resurgent Alexandria team on Saturday that's looking to avenge a 4-3 overtime loss earlier this season.
The No. 13-1A Cardinals (13-8-1, 8-4-0) lost eight of their first 13 games but have since won eight of their past nine. That's partly due to the return of junior forward Ben Doherty, who missed seven games early in the season with an injury.
With just three games remaining, both teams seek to pass a true test against a fellow small-school program with state tournament ambitions, making Saturday's showdown our featured Top Game of the Week.
Given the contest's significance, it may come as no surprise if the matchup ends up going to an extra period — and both teams have plenty of experience competing in overtime games.
The Green Wave played in overtime four times this season before surrendering a loss in the extra session, losing 2-1 to Section 8 foe Crookston on Jan. 30.
That defeat comes amid an East Grand Forks scoring slump, one in which the team has been outscored 14-2 in its past three games.
Coby Stauss has served as the Green Wave’s primary offensive weapon with 14 goals and 14 assists on the season, both team highs, and he may need to step up his production to help the team end its skid.
Alexandria’s accustomed to overtime, as it's seen an extra session seven times this season but recorded only one loss — to the Green Wave.
Doherty, who was the state’s No. 3 returning scorer with 64 points in his sophomore season, missed that game after suffering a back injury in the Cardinals' season opener. He’s made up for lost time by tallying 21 points in his team’s past 10 games.