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Kerry Collins, Published December 24 2008

Duluth East shuts out Moorhead 4-0

The start time for Tuesday’s hockey game between Duluth East and Moorhead was moved up from 7:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Maybe nobody told the Spuds.

The Greyhounds dominated Moorhead through the first period, skating circles around Moorhead for three goals in the opening stanza en route to a 4-0 victory at Moorhead Sports Center.

“We came in and told them that it was imperative that we have a good first period,” Spuds coach Dave Morinville said. “They did. We sure didn’t.

“They showed up to win. We just showed up to play.”

Max Tardy finished with a goal and two assists for the Greyhounds (6-0-1), while Matt Cooper stopped 37 shots in East’s fifth shutout in seven games.

Third-ranked Duluth East got goals from Joe Nelson and just 1 minute, 2 seconds apart in the middle of the first period, and got its third from Tardy shortly after killing off a

5-on-3 penalty.

“That was a big (penalty kill), because that was a chance for them to get right back in it,” East coach Mike Randolph said. “We’re playing an excellent team in Moorhead, we kill off those penalties and start with a

3-0 lead.

“Everything fell into place.”

As if the 3-0 deficit after the first period wasn’t bad enough for the Spuds, East’s Jake Williams scored on a slapshot from the point just 23 seconds in to the second period.

The loss was the first of the season for the eighth-ranked Spuds (5-1-1), who failed to convert on three 5-on-3s in the game, and were 0-for-7 on the power play.

“We just weren’t doing anything,” Morinville said. “If you’re not going to battle and try and get rebounds, nothing’s going to happen.

“They battled, and they kept outworking us.”

Moorhead was playing with a man advantage for 8:05 of the first 9:16 of the final period.

Duluth East has not allowed a power-play goal through the first seven games of the season, going 41-for-41 on the penalty kill.

“We’re still 100 percent, but we still have to clean up the penalties because that can come back and bite you,” Randolph said. “They’re all doing their part back there.

“(Cooper) makes the saves when he needs to, and the other guys are blocking shots.”

The Spuds next face second-ranked Edina at the Schwan Cup on Dec. 29.

“Nobody was on the top of their game for us tonight,” Morinville said. “…We can’t show up like that (against Edina). If show up like that, it’ll be 10-0 – or 3-0 after the first at the very least.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1, DE, Nelson (Tardy, Paulseth), 7:46 (pp). 2, DE, Lutzka (Schendel, Olson), 8:38. 3, DE, Tardy (Forbort, McLean), 14:02.

SECOND PERIOD: 4, DE, Williams (Tardy), :23.

THIRD PERIOD: No scoring.

SAVES: DE, Cooper 13-11-13—37. M, Marks 10-10-2—22.

Readers can reach Forum sports writer Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548. Collins’ blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com