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BOYS HOCKEY: Red River wins 2-1 over Fargo Davies

Red River teammates Tristan Hartness, left, and David Larson celebrate Hartness' game-winning goal against Fargo Davies to advance to the North Dakota state high school hockey tournament Thursday at Ralph Engelstad Arena. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald1 / 2
Fargo Davies goalie Alex Kruger reacts to the game-winning goal by Grand Forks Red River late in the third period to break a 1-1 tie Saturday in the East Region Hockey tournament. The loss ended Fargo Davies season. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald2 / 2

Grand Forks Red River began the season with a 5-0 loss to Fargo Davies at Purpur Arena.

Saturday saw the same matchup, but the stakes were higher — much higher. The winner of the North Dakota East Region tournament state-qualifying game kept its season alive while the loser’s season would come to an end.

With under five minutes to play in the third period and the scored tied at 1-1, the Roughriders punched their ticket to the tournament when Logan Montgomery’s goal gave Red River a 2-1 win over Davies.

Montgomery and Jonah Kratochvil scored the Rider goals.

“Neither goal was pretty,” said Roughrider coach Bill Chase. “But that’s what we have to do, manufacture goals and do whatever we can. If they’re ugly or greasy, we’ll take them.”

Early in the first period, Davies jumped to a 1-0 lead on Chas Bischof’s goal, coming on an assist from Zach Boor.

Red River tied the game at the 5:14 mark of the second period when Kratochvil stuffed the puck past Eagles goaltender Alex Kruger, who finished with 29 saves.

On the game-winner, a fortunate bounce of the puck landed on the stick of Montgomery and he was able to beat Kruger at the 12:34 mark of the final period.

Red River’s win came on the heels of an emotional 1-0 loss against rival Grand Forks Central in Friday night’s state-qualifying game.

“Last night was a draining game for us emotionally,” said Chase. “I think that’s why we came out slow. After that first period I think we took it to them.”

After the first period, the Eagles led in shots on goal 11-9, but Red River outshot them in the second and third by a combined 24-13.

Fargo Davies finished the season 17-7, while the Roughriders will take a 14-9-1 record into the state tournament.

“It was a great high school hockey game,” said Fargo Davies coach Brian Davidson. “It was back and forth … both teams really played hard. I just feel bad for our guys that we don’t get a chance to move on.

“We just didn’t get our bounce. We had our opportunities to score, but we just couldn’t get one by him (Red River goalie Aaron Sauve). I’m proud of our guys; they work so hard. To get this far even in a season like this is a good accomplishment, and I’m very proud of them.”