Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.
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FARGO — Like the many children who will one day enter, Matt and Bridget Cullen walked in Cully's Kids Cabin at the new Sanford Children's Hospital on Monday, June 19, with wide eyes. Bridget's immediately filled with tears. "Can you believe it?" the former Moorhead hockey standout and Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins center said, while holding his wife's hand.
MOORHEAD, Minn.—In November, Pittsburgh Penguins center and former Moorhead hockey standout Matt Cullen was standing with teammates Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin looking at a miniature Stanley Cup. The NHL gives one out to each player who wins a title the previous season. Since the age of 2, in the living room of his home, Cullen has been a hockey player. For more than a decade, the 40-year-old has also been a father to 10-year-old Brooks, 8-year-old Wyatt and 6-year-old Joey. In that moment he was both.
FARGO—After a 2-0 win over Fargo North in the state semifinals Friday, June 2, at Sid Cichy Stadium, all eyes went to Fargo Shanley for Fargo Davies. The Deacons are all that stand in the way of the Eagles getting their first state title since 2014. It's a Shanley team that has beaten them twice this season.
FARGO—In the early minutes of the second half of the semifinal girls soccer match Friday, June 2, Fargo Shanley goalkeeper Megan Miranda was staring down one of the best athletes in the state in Bismarck St. Mary's junior Britta Curl. Shanley held a two-goal lead at Sid Cichy Stadium and Curl was eyeing to cut that in half via a penalty kick. Miranda had other plans, diving right and getting two hands on Curl's attempt to help lead Shanley to a 2-1 lead and one win away from a state title.
FARGO—Fargo North goalkeeper Alexis Murphy-Jemtrud just started playing soccer three months ago. On Thursday, the 5-foot-10 junior was asked to keep the season alive for the Spartans. She was called on to handle the shootout against defending state champion Bismarck Century in the state quarterfinals and she handled it. Murphy-Jemtrud bookmarked the shootout with saves to give North a 1-0 win.
FARGO—Bismarck St. Mary's gave West Fargo Sheyenne's girls soccer team a rude welcome to the Mustangs' first state tournament appearance in program history. The Saints survived a late flurry to upset the top seed out of the east 3-2 in the state quarterfinals Thursday, June 1, at Sid Cichy Stadium. "I don't think this is an upset," St. Mary's coach Jack West said. "We've hit the post 26 times this season. If those are goals, we are the No. 1 team. It's really not an upset. It's a deserved victory and hard work paying off."
MOORHEAD, Minn.—The cliché "no tomorrow" is often used when a Game 7 approaches in sports. Regardless of what happens in Game 7 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, May 25, there will most certainly be a Friday.
FARGO—Byron Pool did not expect to be in Fargo for seven years. He was 34 years old in 2010 and had just coached the Bismarck Bobcats to a National Junior A Tier 2 title in his second season in the North American Hockey League. He figured he'd be with Fargo Force in the United States Hockey League for a couple years.
FARGO—North Dakota State softball coach Darren Mueller took his dog for a walk Saturday morning, picking up some rocks along the way. He had preached to his team that there are three kinds of people: jellybeans, marshmallows and rocks. Marshmallows melt when put over a flame. Jelly beans get soft on the inside, but appear solid on the outside, whereas rocks can take any type of heat.
FARGO—Western Illinois pitcher Emily Ira was in a groove against North Dakota State at Ellig Sports Complex on Friday, May 12. It didn't have the feel of the dominating 13-strikeout performance the day before against the Bison, which forced NDSU into the elimination side of the Summit League tournament, but she was rolling.