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Tom Mix, Published February 12 2013

North skates to win over GF Central in EDC boys hockey quarterfinals

FARGO – Fargo North’s first step in defending its state championship during the postseason went off without much of a hitch.

The Spartans skated to a 4-1 win over Grand Forks Central in the quarterfinals of the Eastern Dakota Conference boys hockey tournament on Tuesday at John E. Carlson Coliseum.

North – seeded No. 3 in the tournament – advances to play No. 2-seeded Grand Forks Red River on Friday in the semifinals 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first semifinals matchup, set for 6 p.m. at Purpur Arena in Grand Forks.

Senior forward Max Teschendorf got the scoring started for North. Teschendorf intercepted a pass in the Knights’ zone and got a shot past Central goaltender Taner Bender three minutes, nine seconds into the game.

Teschendorf found junior forward Spencer Helming for North’s second goal later in the period. The Spartans (18-4-0) led 2-0 at the first intermission.

“We got up early and that is huge in playoff hockey,” Teschendorf said. “We just got to come ready to play and build off of each period.”

Central (6-15-1) responded in the second period. Sophomore forward Cole Kirchoffner scored a short-handed goal for the Knights, cutting North’s lead in half.

North responded, restoring its two-goal lead when Cole Selberg put a shot past Bender off a rebound with 59.5 seconds remaining in the second period.

“They jumped out and took control of the game,” Central head coach Tony Bina said. “That is what good teams do, but I thought we fought back. Getting that shot-handed goal was big. We just made a mistake late in the second period that cost us.”

Central will play West Fargo in a loser-out game 30 minutes following the noon loser-out game on Friday at Purpur.

North kept the Knights off the scoreboard in the third. Central played the final 1:44 of regulation with a 6-on-4 advantage.

Teschendorf added an empty net goal with 57 seconds left to play.

“We took advantage of our opportunities and buried the puck when we had to,” North head coach Rob Aasand said.

The Spartans split its season series with the Roughriders. In the most recent meeting on Jan. 31, Red River defeated North 9-1 in Grand Forks.

“I think it is a great matchup for North Dakota,” Teschendorf said of the semifinals game with Red River. “I think we owe them one. … It should be a good matchup.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1, FN, Teschendorf, 3:09. 2, FN, Helming, (Teschendorf), 12:39.

SECOND PERIOD: 3, GFC, Kirchoffner, (Kennedy), 8:51 (sh). 4, FN, Selberg, (Graalum), 16:01.

THIRD PERIOD: 5, FN, Teschendorf, 16:03 (en).

SAVES: GFC Bender 7-11-10–28, FN Colman 5-6-7–18.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562