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Tom Mix, Published November 27 2012

Fargo Davies stops Roughriders

FARGO – There will be no undefeated regular season for the Grand Forks Red River boys hockey team this year.

Fargo Davies defeated the Roughriders 4-3 in Eastern Dakota Conference play on Tuesday at Scheels Arena.

The Eagles scored the victory in large part to an opportunistic offense and the play of senior goalie Tucker Windels.

“It is definitely a good feeling,” said Windels who finished with 42 saves. “We knew this was going to be a big game. Red River always brings it and is a very skilled team.

“We knew it would be a battle.”

Red River was 26-0 before losing in the semifinals at the North Dakota state tournament last season. Its first loss of 2012-13 came in its season opener.

Davies (2-0-0) got on the board first despite being outshot by the Roughriders in the early going. Sophomore forward Tristan Hartness got a shot past Red River goalie Aaron Sauve five minutes, 50 seconds into regulation.

It was a play set up by Hartness’ brother Aidan, who said it was a secret play the two have perfected since pee-wee hockey.

Red River answered with a goal by junior forward Sam Bye.

Davies dominated early in the second period getting back-to-back goals from Aidan Hartness and Alek Groth in the span of 1:24.

“We have big expectations this year and I think we showed a lot of people what we can do,” said Aidan Hartness who also had two assists in the game.

Ross Johnson and Branden Lunski also scored for the Roughriders (0-1-0).

“They capitalized,” Red River head coach Bill Chase said. “When we made a mistake, they took advantage of it and I think that was the difference in the game. It was a hard fought game both ways.”

Cody Haiskanen scored Davies’ fourth goal with 7:49 left in the second period.

“We worked hard tonight,” Davies head coach Brian Davidson said. “We just had guys step up against one the best teams in the state of North Dakota. Tucker (Windels) was able to keep us in the game early.

“We were lop-sided in shots early and it could have been a different game if they would have got a couple goals early. We got the first goal and I think that made a difference.”

Red River was unable to get the equalizer in the third period. Windels made 11 saves in the third and said the final 17 minutes capped an exhausting game.

“I owe the third period to the guys,” Windels said. “They kept me in it … I was tired and I can’t imagine that the other guys not being tired. For everyone to stick it out and grind it out was great to see.”

Sauve made 24 saves in net for Red River.

“It’s a new season,” Chase said. “We can’t take any highs or any lows … We got to be a hardworking, blue collar team. We need to eliminate mistakes and see where the season takes us.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1, FD, T. Hartness, (A. Hartness), 5:50. 2, GFRR, Bye, (Johnson), 12:52.

SECOND PERIOD: 3, FD, A. Hartness, (T. Hartness), 1:52. 4, FD, Groth, (Sigurdson, Haiskanen), 3:44. 5, GFRR, Lunski, (Kuntz, Benson), 7:41. 6, FD, Haiskanen, (A. Hartness), 9:11. 7, GFRR, Johnson, (Lunski, Bernhardson), 12:10.

THIRD PERIOD: No scoring.

SAVES: GFRR, Sauve 7-10-7–24. FD, Windels 17-14-11–42.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562