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Tourney Team Preview: Moorhead

The Spuds are back in St. Paul for the first time in 17 years after beating Roseau 3-1 in the Section 8AA final and putting together a solid season that included games against some of the state’s best.

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Moorhead forward Ella Holm (5) skates to the bench to celebrate her goal in the first period against the Holy Family Fire on Saturday, December 17, 2022, at Moorhead Sports Center in Moorhead, Minn.
Eli Swanson / The Rink Live

Section 8AA

No. 10 Moorhead Spuds


Coach: Ryan Kraft

Players to Watch: #4 F Bria Holm, #7 F Olivia Dronen, #6 F Olivia Kortan, #15 D Kate Kosobud, #30 G Taylor Kressin


4th Appearance

Last Appearance: 2006

0 State Championships

The Spuds are back in St. Paul for the first time in 17 years after beating Roseau 3-1 in the Section 8AA final and putting together a solid season that included games against some of the state’s best.

Four years ago, the Spuds won two games the entire season. Ryan Kraft took over behind the bench in the fall of 2019 and has led a program turnaround with three consecutive winning seasons, back-to-back trips to the section championship game and now a trip to state.

For a team that’s geographically-removed from the majority of high school hockey powerhouses, Moorhead has faced a murderers’ row of metro powerhouses this season. Of the Spuds’ eight losses, five are against teams ranked in the top five of the Class AA poll and two are against No. 1A Warroad. A 2-1 OT loss against current No. 1AA Minnetonka is the highlight – so much as that’s a thing – of the defeats, and a 4-3 OT win over No. 8AA Holy Family would probably qualify as Moorhead’s signature win.

Kate Kosobud scored the game-winner at the 7:26 mark of the third period as the Spuds claimed the Section 8AA championship

Senior forward Bria Holm is the only player left from that 2018-19 two-win team, and she leads the Spuds with 43 points (23 goals, 20 assists) in 28 games this season. Moorhead’s sizable scoring depth includes five players with more than 30 points and two more with 25. Sophomore forward Olivia Kortan has built a solid second season of varsity hockey with 12 goals and 25 assists and junior defender Kate Kosobud is third on the team in scoring and put home the winning goal in the section final.

Sophomore goalie Taylor Kressin has been the go-to for the Spuds in net, playing nearly every minute in goal and posting a .903 save percentage and 2.17 goals-against average. She has shown the ability to scramble and keep Moorhead in games they would otherwise lose.


Although this will be Moorhead’s fourth trip to the state tournament, Thursday’s quarterfinal will only be the second time the Spud girls have played a game at the Xcel Energy Center – when Moorhead qualified for the tournament in 2001 and 2002, it was played at the State Fair Coliseum.

All in all, Moorhead brings a very good hockey team to the X that will need a mighty effort to knock off Gentry Academy. The Spuds haven’t won a winners’ bracket game in their three previous appearances at state, but their depth and a bit of puck luck in tournament hockey could change that.

Ranked Wins (Based on Feb. 7 Let’s Play Hockey Rankings): No. 15AA Lakeville North (4-2, Nov. 12), No. 8AA Holy Family (4-3 OT, Dec. 17), No. 20AA Roseau (5-2, Dec. 20; 4-3 OT, Jan. 19; 3-1, Feb. 16), No. 19AA North Wright County (2-1, Jan. 13),

Ranked Losses: No. 13AA Blake (4-3, Nov. 26), No. 1AA Minnetonka (2-1 L, Dec. 3), No. 3AA Andover (7-0, Dec. 26; 5-0, Jan. 28), No. 6 AA Maple Grove (5-1, Dec. 27), No. 2AA Hill-Murray (6-1, Jan. 6), No. 1A Warroad (3-2, Jan. 21; 7-2, Feb. 2),

Ranked Ties: N/A

Eli is an audience engagement specialist for Forum Communications Co., with experience in producing and designing content on a variety of digital platforms. He works closely with team members to enhance content to improve audience experience.
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