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Tom Mix, Published January 18 2013

North edges Grafton-Park River in a boys hockey shootout

FARGO – Just like their meeting in last February’s state championship game, Friday’s North Dakota boys hockey contest between Grafton-Park River and Fargo North went to overtime.

The eight minutes of free hockey didn’t yield a game-winning score so the Spartans and Spoilers entered a shootout.

Jackson Graalum and Max Teschendorf each scored shootout goals in North’s 2-1 win over Grafton-Park River at the John E. Carlson Coliseum.

“I had a lot of opportunities to score in the game and I didn’t really capitalize on them,” Graalum said. “I missed the net a lot. Coach told me to step it up and I was going to get one sometime. He put me first in the shootout and fortunately I was able to score.”

Graalum skated slowly to the net and slipped a close-range shot past Spoilers goalie Zach Nelson.

Spartans senior goalie Christian Colman, who finished with 23 total saves, stopped Grafton-Park River’s first attempt off the stick of Levi Cudmore.

Teschendorf followed up with a goal forcing G-PR’s Jade Miller into a must-score attempt. Miller’s shot was denied by Colman giving the Spartans (11-3-0, 6-2-0) two points.

“Christian has been playing well the second half of the season,” North head coach Rob Aasand said. “He has been amazing. He has an unorthodox style that leaves shooters questioning what they should do. As long as he is stopping the puck we are happy.”

The game was tied 1-1 after overtime. The Spoilers (10-6-1, 6-3-1) get one point for the shootout loss.

North had won six in a row before losing a 3-1 decision to East Region leader Fargo Davies on Tuesday.

“It is a very positive win for us,” Aasand said. “The last couple of years we have had a post-holiday skid where we drop three or four in a row. It is good to get the monkey off our back.”

The game’s two goals in regulation came in the first period. Miller scored 8:25 into the game to give the Spoilers a 1-0 lead. North’s Matt Connelly answered with a goal at 13:26.

Grafton-Park River killed a total of seven penalties in the game, all of which came after the first period.

“It was an example of one team outworking the other team,” Grafton-Park River head coach Scott Peterson said. “North deserved this win. They outworked us in every aspect of the game start to finish. North should be upset they are only getting two points out of this game, they deserved all three.”

North outshot the Spoilers 37-22 in the game.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, G-PR, Miller, (Hills, Cudmore), 8:25. 2, FN, Connelly, (C. Selberg), 13:26.

SECOND PERIOD: No scoring.

THIRD PERIOD: No scoring.

OVERTIME: No scoring.

SHOOTOUT GOALS: FN, Graalum, Teschendorf.

SAVES: G-PR Nelson 6-15-9-6–36, FN Colman 8-4-7-2–21.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562