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Published February 19 2010

Boys hockey: Red River downs Spartans

It took longer than Grand Forks Red River hoped it would, but the Roughriders are in the semifinals of the East Region hockey tournament.

Despite a lopsided advantage in shots, third-seeded Red River needed a late third-period goal and an empty-netter to exhale in a tight 4-1 first-round win over No. 6 seed Fargo North at Urban Plains Center.

“We let them hang around a long time,” Roughriders coach Bill Chase said. “We got an early two-goal lead and it was like we got comfortable with it.”

Red River outshot the Spartans 44-13, and led 2-0 after one period behind goals from Cody Jennewein and Erik Strande.

But a power play goal from North’s Josh Nistler in the second kept the Roughriders from putting North away.

“They were dominating us. They played well and we didn’t, but they only had a one-goal lead in the third period,” North coach Jay Erickson said. “They were

North had chances, particularly in the second – including a clank off the post and a missed chance on a breakaway, but the best chance came late.

North looked to have tied it up with five seconds to go in the second on a point-blank shot by Nick Brenneman, but the official immediately ruled the puck had gone under the net as the net came off its moorings.

“For a second we’re thinking that we’re outshooting them like crazy and they just tied it up,” Chase said. “That would’ve really shifted the momentum.

“I’m happy with the win, but not satisfied with our play. Shots don’t mean anything if you don’t put them in.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1, RR, Jennewein (Love, Gilbertson), 5:00. 2, RR, Strande, 14:48.

SECOND PERIOD: 3, FN, Nistler (Trana, Brenneman), 13:13 (pp).

THIRD PERIOD: 4, RR, Gilbertson (Lothspeich), 11:40. 5, RR, Strande (LaDouceur, Lizotte), 16:01 (en).

SAVES: FN, Schmit 16-11-13—40. RR, Nies 3-4-5—12.

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Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548