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Tom Miller / Forum News Service, Published February 15 2013

Grand Forks Central skates past West Fargo

GRAND FORKS – The last time Grand Forks Central and West Fargo played, the Packers nipped the Knights in a lengthy shootout.

On Friday, the Knights made sure no extra sessions were necessary.

Central used a strong third period and goals from four different players to beat West Fargo 4-1 in the consolation semifinals of the North Dakota East Region boys hockey tournament at Purpur Arena.

The No. 6 seed Knights, who lost to the No.7 seed Packers twice during the regular season, advance to today’s state-qualifying game against Fargo Davies.

“We got off to a good start,” Grand Forks Central coach Tony Bina said. “We got in trouble in the second period taking penalties, but our third period was our best period, and (we) finished strong.”

Central’s Tanner Corbett scored off a five-minute power play in the first period and teammate Christian Stevens tacked on a goal early in the second period to build a 2-0 lead for the Knights.

West Fargo cut the lead in half at 11 minutes, 51 seconds of the second period on a goal by Wyatt Fretheim.

But Central pulled away with two goals in the third. At 8:08 of the period, Blake Zabinski sent a pass from behind the West Fargo net out to the high slot for Casey Johnson, who scored his sixth goal of the year.

“(Zabinski) had great patience not just throwing the puck,” Bina said. “He saw Casey in the slot, and he handled it well.”

Cole Kirchoffner tacked on his second short-handed goal of the year at 14:49 to ice the victory.

Central goalie Taner Bender made 27 saves, while West Fargo’s Bailey Vareberg had 23 stops.

“Bender stood tall and made a few big ones for us,” Bina said.

The Knights need to be more opportunistic today to advance to the state tournament, Bina said.

“We could’ve capitalized on a few more offensive opportunities,” Bina said. “We also have to stay out of the box because Davies and Grafton both have good power plays. We need to continue to do a good job on the forecheck and keep opponents to the perimeter. That should give us a pretty good chance to win tomorrow.”

FIRST PERIOD: 1, GFC, Corbett (Monette, Griggs), 5:38.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, GFC, Stevens :37. 3, WF, Fretheim (LaCoe), 11:51.

THIRD PERIOD: 4, GFC, Johnson (Zabinski, Griggs) 8:08. 5, GFC, Kirchoffner (Kennedy), 14:49.

SAVES: GFC, Bender 6-14-7 – 27. WF, Vareberg 5-6-12 – 23

Fargo South-Shanley 4, Devils Lake 1

Tyler Bossert, Dallas Raftevold and James Johannesson each had a goal and an assist as Fargo South-Shanley beat Devils Lake in a loser-out game.

The Bruins outshot the Firebirds 35-15.

The Firebirds scored first on Logan Kraft’s goal midway through the second period, but the Bruins evened the score with a short-handed goal by Brossert with 49 seconds to go in the middle period.

The Bruins tacked on a trio of goals in the third period to pull away.

Fargo South-Shanley 4,

Devils Lake 1

Tyler Bossert, Dallas Raftevold and James Johannesson each had a goal and an assist as Fargo South-Shanley beat Devils Lake in a loser-out game.

The Bruins outshot the Firebirds 35-15.

The Firebirds scored first on Logan Kraft’s goal midway through the second period, but the Bruins evened the score with a short-handed goal by Brossert with 49 seconds to go in the middle period.

The Bruins tacked on a trio of goals in the third period to pull away.

First Period: No scoring.

Second Period: 1, DL, Kraft (Boren, Moser), 7:01. 2, FSS, Bossert (Johannesson), 16:11.

Third Period: 3, FSS, Raftevold (Bueide), :59. 4, FSS, George (Sandy, Raftevold), 4:46. 5. FSS, Johannesson (Bueide, Bossert), 8:45.

SAVES: DL, Kurtz 8-16-7 – 31. FSS, Salentine 4-6-4 – 14.