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Chris Murphy, Published January 17 2013

Spuds hand Green Wave first loss in boys hockey

MOORHEAD – East Grand Forks entered the Moorhead Sports Center Thursday as the only undefeated boys hockey team in Minnesota. The Green Wave had outscored opponents by nearly 60 goals and had not allowed a goal in three games.

Moorhead didn’t care. After dropping their previous five games, the Spuds were tired of losing and handed East Grand Forks – the No. 2-ranked team in Class 1A – its first loss of the season 4-3.

“Zero,” Moorhead coach Peter Cullen said when asked how much the Spuds thought about East Grand Forks being undefeated. “We played a complete game, and they did it for each other. We aren’t so concerned about what the other team does or where they’re at. We worry about our own game, because that’s about the only thing we can control.”

With a man advantage, Aaron Herdt found Tony Uglem at the point, and Uglem blasted a shot that snuck in beneath the crossbar and into the back of the net with 5 minutes, 1 second remaining for the winner for Moorhead (8-8-1).

“I just hit it, and it found the back of the net,” Uglem said. “We knew we had to come out and pound them right away and not let up at all. We just need to keep playing games like that and we’ll keep winning.”

Moorhead ended East Grand Forks’ goalless streak pretty quickly when Nick Uglem stuffed home a rebound less than a minute into the game. Less than five minutes later, Nick would make it 2-0 Spuds with his second goal of the game.

“The losing streak was tough, because we were working so hard,” Nick Uglem said. “The effort was there, but we were just shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties. This game, we put it all together.”

Moorhead scored two goals on three power-play chances, including Tony Uglem’s winner.

“We can put four or five on the board, and then we just need to hold teams,” Nick Uglem said. “It’s all about defense.”

Tanner Tweten cut the Moorhead lead in half, scoring on a breakaway goal with 11 seconds left in the first period to get East Grand Forks (13-1-2) on the scoreboard and regain momentum. The Green Wave took that momentum into the second period, tying the game up on a Tommy Hajicek goal.

Tony Uglem gave Moorhead a 3-2 lead on a power-play goal with just less than seven minutes remaining in the second period. With just less than 13 minutes left in the game, Hajicek fired what seemed to be his second goal of the game, but it couldn’t quite scoot through the legs of Spuds goalie Jacob Dittmer until Tweten pushed it across to the tie the game.

Tony Uglem’s slapper late in the third, however, put one in the loss column for the Green Wave.

“Moorhead was a more hungry hockey team than we were tonight,” East Grand Forks coach Tyler Palmiscno said.

FIRST PERIOD: 1. M, N. Uglem (Herdt,P. O’Connor) 0:49. 2. M, N. Uglem (Carey, Borgen) 5:24. 3. E, Tweten (Eades) 16:49.

SECOND PERIOD: 4. E, Hajicek (Brierley, Loven) 5:26. 5. M, T. Uglem (Herdt, J. O’Connor), pp, 10:37.

THIRD PERIOD: 6. E, Tweten (Hajicek), pp, 4:15. 7. M, T. Uglem (Herdt), pp, 11:59.

SAVES: M, Dittmer 8-11-8 27saves. E, Lindstrom 12-16-7 35 saves.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548