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Tom Miller / Forum Communications Co., Published December 18 2010

Lazur's hat trick pushes Grand Forks Central to boys hockey win against Fargo Davies

GRAND FORKS – Grand Forks Central senior Alec Lazur played on the fourth line of the state champion Knights last season, stuck behind a plethora of standout forwards.

Lazur’s role has increased this season, and he’s making the most of it.

Lazur scored three goals Friday night to lift the Knights to a 5-2 win over Fargo Davies in the semifinals of the Grand Forks Herald Jason Stadstad Hockey Classic at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

“I’m just a year older and a year more mature,” Lazur said. “I’m learning how to use my body more. I’m starting to use my size to my advantage.”

Lazur’s hat trick was his second of the season. He has seven goals and five assists this season. That’s a major increase from the one goal and two assists Lazur tallied all of last year.

“He’s grinding and getting to the net,” Central coach Tony Bina said. “Just playing tough is his key.”

Although the Knights outshot Davies 48-15, the Eagles cut Central’s lead to 3-2 at 7:19 of the third period when Aaron Pallen hammered in a rebound off a shot by Trevor Swangler.

The momentum, though, was short-lived. Lazur answered with a power-play goal, set up by Jordy Aamot, at 12:57 of the third period to give the Knights a two-goal cushion.

“Our power play was working well … Jordy was able to find me on that backdoor for our fourth goal,” Lazur said. “We started to capitalize on our opportunities. We came together as a unit.”

Lazur would tack on another third-period goal, this time on a rebound, with assists going to linemates Tyler Haug and Luke Johnson. Bina said he was impressed with the play of those three.

“Those guys all used their size to their advantage and didn’t let themselves get knocked off the puck,” Bina said. “They did a really nice job moving their feet.”

Davies goalie Tucker Windels, who finished with 43 saves, kept the Eagles close. That kind of action isn’t new to Windels, who had a 50-save performance earlier this year in a loss to Devils Lake.

“Goaltending held us in it,” Davies coach Brian Davidson said. “He was hot. He’s played well all year for us. The guys are confident when he’s in net. We’re young and so we’ll make mistakes, but he’s held us in games.”

But the Knights, specifically their power-play unit, were too much for the Eagles.

“Penalties killed us,” Davidson said. “But we played these guys a week ago and lost 6-0, so we’re getting better. I liked the way we came back and battled hard.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1, GFC, Johnson (O’Keefe) 3:06. 2, GFC, Salquist (Sorlien, O’Keefe) 16:24.

SECOND PERIOD: 3, FD, Birmingham (Swangler) 13:05. 4, GFC, Lazur (O’Keefe, Johnson) 14:23.

THIRD PERIOD: 5, FD, Pallen (Swangler) 7:19. 6, GFC, Lazur (Aamot, Johnson) 12:57. 7, GFC, Lazur (Haug, Johnson) 13:58.

SAVES: GFC, Melland 4-6-3–13. FD, Windels 14-14-15–43.

Miller writes for the Grand Forks Herald