Tom Mix, Published January 21 2013
Fargo North tops GF Red River in boys hockeyFARGO – Fargo North’s 3-1 North Dakota East Region boys hockey win over Grand Forks Red River on Monday is another feather in the Spartans’ cap.
As for the Roughriders, the loss was the finale of a day they would prefer to forget.
North junior forward Jackson Graalum scored two goals, including the game winner.
“This win keeps us motivated and keeps us on top of things heading into the rest of the season,” Graalum said.
The victory – North’s second in a row since losing to Fargo Davies last week – elevates them to third in the standings behind the Eagles and the Roughriders.
“It is a big win and a big three points,” North head coach Rob Aasand said. “The boys were focused tonight and played their game.”
Red River’s trip to John E. Carlson Coliseum was riddled with mishaps and delays.
First, the team’s bus stalled three minutes into the road trip. A replacement bus was called in, and in sub-zero temps the team switched rides, hooked its equipment trailer to the new ride and after a minor delay, the Roughriders were back in business.
The trip’s renewed morale didn’t last long.
The second hiccup came just past Mayville, when the equipment trailer came unhitched and slid into the Interstate 29 median.
All of this went unnoticed by the passengers, including Red River head coach Bill Chase, who said a motorist called the bus to alert them of its missing cargo.
The bus had to detour and retrieve the trailer, which fortunately did not overturn. Chase said the total delay cost them an hour, and it didn’t get much better for the Roughriders when they got into Fargo.
The Spartans jumped out to a 1-0 lead 10 minutes, 14 seconds into the second period when senior defenseman Matt Connelly redirected a shot off the stick of Seth Brenneman.
“They were quick and they kept coming,” Chase said. “They deserve this win. They got to where they needed to be and capitalized when they needed to.”
Graalum added another goal for the Spartans with 1:08 left in the second to give North a 2-0 lead at the second intermission.
North senior goalie Christian Colman stopped a total of 17 shots in the second period and made a total of 36 saves in the game.
“It was a hard game to play, but once I got a few solid saves it got a lot easier and my confidence started to go up,” Colman said.
Red River broke the shutout bid when junior forward Jacob Benson slipped a shot between Colman’s legs with 10:38 left in regulation.
That cut North’s lead to 2-1, but Graalum restored the Spartans’ two-goal lead with a power play goal minutes later.
Red River didn’t let Colman off the hook. The Roughriders emptied their net with 1:22 left to play and got a 5-on-3 advantage with 1:06 in regulation.
Colman stopped a total of six shots in that span and never let one get past him.
“I can’t say enough about Christian Colman in net stopping pucks,” “I thought we were going to have trouble in that area this season, but he has really stepped it up.”
FIRST PERIOD: No scoring.
SECOND PERIOD: 1, FN, Connelly, 10:14. 2, FN, Graalum, (Teschendorf), 15:52.
THIRD PERIOD: 3, GFRR, Benson, (Lizotte, Bernhardson), 6:22. 4, FN, Graalum, (C. Selberg), 9:03 (pp).
SAVES: GFRR Sauve 7-8-8–23, FN Colman 5-17-14–36.
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Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562