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Forum and wire reports, Published March 01 2009

Red River takes title: Crary scores winning goal to spark Roughriders

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Russel Crary was sitting in the penalty box when Bismarck tied the championship game of the North Dakota state boys hockey tournament at 2-2 in the third period. But it didn’t take long for him to make amends.

Ninety-four seconds later, Crary scored the game-winner in Grand Forks Red River’s 3-2 victory over Bismarck for the state title.

“I was really upset when they scored with me in the box,” said Crary, named the state’s senior player of the year. “I felt like I owed it to the team.”

Crary jumped on the rebound of Jordan Bancroft’s shot at the side of the net and slipped the puck past goalie Lawrence Dvorak for the winner with about 10 minutes left. “It was nothing special or nothing pretty,” Crary said. “I just batted at it.”

Red River converted on two of its nine power-play chances while Demons scored on one of its five opportunities.

“We self-destructed,” said Bismarck coach Mike Peluso, who was a player for the Demons in 1992, the last time Bismarck appeared in the title game. “We had some penalties that were really dumb. I don’t know if it was the state championship game or what it was, but we didn’t take undisciplined penalties like that all year.

“We gave up two power play goals and that was the hockey game.”

FIRST PERIOD: No scoring.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, RR, LaDouceur (Crary), 8:23 (pp). 2, RR, Bancroft (Howe), 9:05. 3, B, Hochhalter (Peterson, Krueger), 11:51 (pp).

THIRD PERIOD: 4, B, Krueger (Hochhalter, Winkels), 5:32 (pp). 5, RR, Crary (Bancroft), 6:24 (pp).

SAVES: B, Dvorak 5-2-2–9. RR, Meland 8-10-10–28.

GF Central 3, Fargo South 2

Understandably, the Grand Forks Central seniors wanted their last high school hockey game to be a win.

The older Knights let the underclassmen know, and the younger ones delivered.

Junior Brenden Gust scored the game-winning goal at 12 minutes, 7 seconds of the third period to break a 2-all tie and give Central a 3-2 victory over Fargo South in the state boys hockey third-place game Saturday afternoon in Purpur Arena.

“We got carried away a little bit,” Gust said. “But when the seniors had a talk with us and the coaches got on us, we knew what we had to do, and I think that showed.

“The seniors really stepped up in the locker room. They told us what they wanted. For the underclassmen, I think we wanted to do this for the seniors. This is a big win for them.”

Central 3, Fargo South 2 (Third place)

FIRST PERIOD: No scoring.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, GFC, Simonson (Sayler, Ray), 15:06. 2, GFC, Gust (O’Keefe, Simonson), 16:30 (pp). 3, FS, Orson (Huguelet), 16:59.

THIRD PERIOD: 4, FS, Burdick (Wagner), 9:09 (pp). 5, GFC, Gust (Plutowski, Cieklinski), 12:07.

SAVES: FS, Jandro 12-7-6—25. GFC 12-8-8—28.

Grafton-Park River 5, Minot 3 (Fifth place)

FIRST PERIOD: 1, GPR, Anderson (Hills), 1:53.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, GPR, Boyle (Gaustad, Mohagen), 2:15. 3, M, Butler (Schmitt), 9:04 (pp). 4, GPR, Aasand (Mohagen), 10:13. 5, GPR, Mohagen (Hills), 13:12.

THIRD PERIOD: 6, GPR, Boyle (Dusek), 8:22. 7, M, Fiddler (Martin, Ebert), 15:46 (pp). 8, M, Bahl (Tollefson, Fiddler), 16:21.

SAVES: M, Medler 12-9-x—21, D’Urso x-x-6—6. GPR Monsebroten 8-3-2—13.

Gust’s fifth goal of the tournament was the game-winner.

“That was just hard work by my whole line,” he said. (Jordy) Aamot had a nice breakout pass and (Jake) Plutowski made just a beautiful pass to me and I stuck my stick out and it went in.”

South had a chance to tie with one minute left. Central’s Aaron Hatt took a slashing penalty and the Bruins pulled Jandro for a two-man advantage. But Gust was there again, having a big hand in keeping the puck out of the Central zone to finish the game.

Lang made 28 stops for the Knights. Jandro had 25 saves.

“The defense helped out quite a bit,” Lang said. “I saw most of the shots, which made it kind of easy for me.”

Said Bina: “I mentioned those other three who stepped up. . . . Seth Lang would be the fourth one.”

Grand Forks Red River knocked off South in overtime Friday to send the Bruins to the third-place game and the Roughriders to the state championship.

“The first and second periods were a little tough,” South coach David Benson said. “After that loss yesterday, deep down inside they were hurting. That third period they showed a lot of heart.

“Unfortunately, we got scored on late in the third. It’s kind of weird how bounces go your way. . . . we almost had it. It was a fantastic season for these guys.”

Central finished 19-8, while South ended the season 22-4-1.

Grafton-Park River 5, Minot 3: Grafton-Park River won the 2008 state tournament. The Spoilers went home with the fifth-place trophy this year.

Five different players scored as Grafton-Park River defeated Minot in the final game for several Grafton-Park River seniors.

Cole Anderson, Cody Boyle, Colby Aasand, Alex Gaustad and Ryan Mohagen scored for the Spoilers, who finished their season at 15-12.

“Our seniors really played well,” Grafton-Park River assistant coach Scott Petersen said. “There was a lot of pride in that locker room today.”

The Spoilers took a 1-0 lead at 1 minute, 53 seconds of the first on a goal by Anderson. Boyle made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 2:15 of the second before Minot’s Cliff Butler scored on a power play at 9:04 of the period.

“Mohagen, Gaustad and Boyle really controlled the puck in the offensive zone,” Petersen said of the all-senior line.

Grafton-Park River then buried the Magicians with goals by Aasand at 10:13 and Mohagen at 13:12 of the second for a 4-1 lead.

Gaustad made it 5-1 at 8:22 of the third.

Brett Fiddler and Alex Bahl also scored for the Magicians, who finished at 16-11.

“We just wanted to come out there and have fun and end the year with a win,” Mohagen said. “It was a good last game. We wanted to go out and have fun and that’s what we did.”

Grafton-Park River goalie Eric Monsebroten, who was solid throughout the tournament, made just 13 stops. Minot’s Darren Medler had 31 saves.