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Greg DeVillers / Forum News Service, Published February 22 2014

Bismarck gives West a rare ND state boys hockey title

GRAND FORKS – With Jared Spooner attacking the net on the right side, Tre Kautzman cut in on the left looking for a pass.

“I was calling for Spoon to dish,” Kautzman said. “If he’d put it on net, I was ready to crash. But I was looking for a pass.”

Spooner passed. Kautzman scored. And, for only the second time, the North Dakota state boys hockey title is going to the West Region.

Kautzman’s goal at the

6-minute, 18-second mark in the third snapped a 1-1 tie, and Bismarck went on to beat Grand Forks Central

2-1 in the title game Saturday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

It is the first state title for a West Region team since Minot beat Bismarck 8-7 in the 1992 final.

“It feels good to bring one out west,” Kautzman said.

The win broke a run in which the Demons had lost in the state final in two of the previous five years under coach Mike Peluso.

“It was extremely frustrating,” Peluso said. “You start to wonder if you’ll ever get a crack at it again.”

But Spooner-to-Kautzman made it happen.

Spooner attacked the net and, from the right circle, he connected with the cutting Kautzman, who scored from close range.

“Jared made a great play and Tre buried it,” Peluso said. “(It was) big players making big plays.”

Spooner, who was selected as the tournament’s most valuable player, gave Bismarck a 1-0 lead in the first period. On a 2-on-2 rush, Spooner was open in the left circle and wristed in a shot with 2:25 left.

Central pulled even on a Cole Kirchoffner goal at the 4:25 mark in the second. Bismarck goalie Brett Malkmus stopped a shot from the point and scrambled to block the rebound. But Kirchoffner picked up the loose puck to Malkmus’ right side and poked in a shot from the front of the crease.

Bismarck’s defense dominated the final period.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, B, Spooner, (Evanson), 2:25.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, GFC, Kirchoffner, (Griggs, Aarvig), 4:25.

THIRD PERIOD: 3, B, Kautzman, (Spooner), 6:18

SAVES: B, Malkmus 7-13-4–24. GFC, Bender 7-8-3–19.

All-tournament team: Forwards: Jared Spooner, Bismarck; Tre Kautzman, Bismarck; Haden Schwartz, Minot. Defensemen: Jake Hoy, West Fargo; Casey Johnson, Grand Forks Central. Goalie: Sawyer Schmidt, Mandan.

Tournament MVP: Jared Spooner, Bismarck

Coach of the year: Grant Paranica, Grand Forks Central

Senior athlete of the year: Harrison Aide, Bottineau-Rugby

Third place

Minot 4, West Fargo 2

The Magicians broke a 2-2 tie with a pair of third-period goals to win the third-place game.

Logan Bischof gave Minot a lead with a power-play goal at 12:22 in the third. Daylen Benjamin wrapped up scoring with an empty-netter with 17 seconds left.

Brent Williams and Cayde Enns also scored for Minot, while West Fargo’s goals were scored by Austen Larson and Jake Wasem.

Bailey Vareberg had 30 saves for West Fargo and Breydan Effertz 22 for the Magicians.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, M, Williams (Kelly) 3:21. 2, WF, Larson (Hoy) 6:43. 3, M, Enns (Schwarz, Fuchs) 12:34.

SECOND PERIOD: 4, WF, Wasem (Sandoval) 5:05.

THIRD PERIOD: 5, M, Bischof (Flom) 12:22. 6, M, Benjamin (Schwarz) 16:43 (en).

SAVES: M, Effertz 6-11-5–22. WF, B. Vareberg 6-10-14–30.

Fifth place

Fargo South-Shanley 2,

Grand Forks Red River 1 (3OT)

Fargo South-Shanley ended its season Saturday with a 2-1 win against Grand Forks Red River in the consolation championship.

James Johannesson scored the game-winner at the 6-minute mark of the third overtime. After Roughriders goalie Jon DeBeltz stopped an initial shot, Johannesson found the puck sitting in the crease and scored.

Jake Salentine had 42 saves for South-Shanley, 19 of those coming in the opening period.

FIRST PERIOD: No scoring.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, FSS, George (Bossert, Raftevold) 4:33. 2, GFRR, Knecht (Caulfield) 6:53.

THIRD PERIOD: No scoring.

OVERTIME: No scoring.

SECOND OVERTIME: No scoring.

THIRD OVERTIME: 3, FSS, Johannesson (Platt) 6:00.

SAVES: GFRR, DeBeltz 5-5-11-15–36. FSS, Salentine 19-6-8-9–42.


DeVillers writes for the Grand Forks Herald