Central rides hot start to beat East Grand Forks 3-1
East Grand Forks Senior High took more than 10 minutes to put its first shot on Grand Forks Central's net.
By that point, the Knights already led 2-0. Central extended that edge to 3-0 by the end of the first period.
Although a blowout never materialized and the Green Wave even outscored the Knights the rest of the way, the damage was already done.
Central rode the hot start to a 3-1 win over East Grand Forks on Tuesday night at the Civic Center.
"We pursued the puck real hard," Central coach Grant Paranica said. "We won those battles and were able to create chances out of that."
The Knights improved to 10-0, while East Grand Forks—in its first Gambucci Cup matchup of the season—dropped to 7-2-1.
"It goes back to being prepared to play," Senior High coach Scott Koberinski said. "I didn't think we were the better team by far for the majority of the game but for sure the first period. They really dominated us. Shots were 15-3 in our own rink.
"We knew Central was a good team. We had to be ready for their intensity, and we weren't. Give (Central) credit. They played very well."
Central sophomore Cole Hanson started the scoring for the Knights when he flipped a backhand on net that took a friendly bounce in front and surprised Senior High goalie Tucker Brown at 9:33 of the first.
The Knights made it 2-0 when Cam Olstad sniped a shot from the left faceoff circle at 9:33.
Grant Johnson then helped the Knights push the lead to 3-0 when he chased down a long pass behind the Green Wave net, circled around the cage and found Judd Caulfield out front for the goal at 13:41.
Senior High fought back in the second with an unassisted goal by Casey Kallock at 9:42.
"East Grand Forks did a great job getting sticks in the way, blocking shots and not letting us get through," Paranica said. "We were a step behind in the second. When they got that goal, they had some momentum there."
But the Green Wave couldn't muster any more offense on Central goalie Nick Bucklin, who finished with 16 saves.
The Green Wave's best opportunity to trim the lead to one came with about nine minutes left when Senior High's Nick Derrick and Tyler Schauer each had good looks while skating shorthanded.
"Our goaltender played very well or it could've been a little worse," Koberinski said. "I think we had better effort in the second and third, no question. We still didn't generate a lot of good opportunities. Central did a good job defending. They're a good team for a reason."