Carter Beck's hat trick helps East Grand Forks snap Central's 37-game unbeaten streak
East Grand Forks junior Carter Beck hadn't scored more than one goal in a varsity game before.
Grand Forks Central hadn't lost since Feb. 26, 2016.
On Tuesday night, those streaks ended.
Beck registered a hat trick to lead the Green Wave to a 5-1 win over Central at the Civic Center. It was the first loss for the Knights (7-1-2) in 37-straight games.
"I just went to the net and got some lucky bounces," said Beck, who hadn't scored in the past six games. "I think we really moved the puck and did well as a team."
Beck snapped a 1-1 tie with a goal in the second period and then scored twice in the first 3 minutes, 22 seconds of the third period. Three hats from the stands hit the ice to signal his first hat trick.
"Carter is a hard-working guy, and he got rewarded for that tonight," East Grand Forks coach Scott Koberinski said. "He's not the most flashy player, but he's got a big heart. Well-deserved to come with those three goals."
East Grand Forks' Cole Avery and Central's Kyler Briske traded first-period goals in an opening frame in which the Knights controlled much of the action.
But the Wave turned the tide in the second and carried most of the momentum the rest of the way, especially after dominating a 5-on-3 penalty kill for 40 seconds in the second period.
"I thought we were outcompeted other than the first period and the last five minutes of the game," Central coach Grant Paranica said. "Through the bulk of the game, they won all the battles. They won the foot races and the board battles. We have to go back to the drawing board and reset ourselves."
That's a new position for the Knights, who had an undefeated state championship season a year ago.
Central's last defeat came at the 2016 state tournament, a 3-2 setback to Bismarck High in the semifinals.
"I thought the first period Central took it to us a little bit," Koberinski said. "After that, we woke up in the second and third and played with high energy. I was happy with the way we played for two periods."
East Grand Forks, the No. 4-ranked team in Minnesota Class A, improved to 7-4-1. The Wave, who hadn't played since Dec. 21 against Warroad, played without second-leading scorer Landon Parker.
The freshman is expected to miss at least a couple of more weeks with an injury.