Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 13 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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Grand Forks Red River's Bill Chase has been coaching hockey in Grand Forks for nearly 30 years. That gives the Roughriders' boys hockey coach a unique perspective to place players in historical context. In that span, Chase has coached some of Grand Forks' top freshman scorers of all-time—Ryan Potulny, Luke Johnson and current Red River freshman Jackson Kunz. Kunz, Red River's second-leading scorer, and the rest of the Riders open the North Dakota state tournament at Ralph Engelstad Arena in the late game Thursday in an opening-round matchup against Bismarck High.
Grafton-Park River boys hockey coach Scott Robideaux is in his second stint coaching the Spoilers. This is Robideaux's first year back with the program after coaching in the late 1990s and early 2000s. With plenty of background on the program's rich history, Robideaux is happy to get rid of one unique characteristic of his 2018 team: Nobody on his team knows what it's like to play in the state tournament.
Solving Fargo Davies goalie Jared Winter was a challenge throughout the East Region tournament. Grand Forks Central was the latest team to struggle to beat Winter. But a fluttering point shot and a well-placed screen was enough to give Central the region crown. Hunter Bjorge's shot through a Will Howard screen gave the Knights a 1-0 victory over Davies on Saturday evening at Purpur Arena. Bjorge, who scored his fourth goal of the season, scored at 12 minutes, 50 seconds of the second period to give the Knights (21-1-2) their 14th-straight victory.
Grand Forks Red River missed out on the East Region championship game, but at least the Roughriders won't have to miss out on the North Dakota state boys hockey tournament. The Riders sealed that fate with four second-period goals to beat Devils Lake 4-0 on Saturday afternoon in a state-qualifying game at the East Region tournament at Purpur Arena. "I thought we came out a lot better," Red River sophomore forward Dane Montgomery said. "We started to make the simple plays and that's what killed us last night. We started to calm down and play together as a team."
For the third time this season, Fargo North goalie Ryley Pladson had at least 35 saves against Grand Forks Central. And for the third time this season, the standout performance in net wasn’t enough to knock off the Knights. No. 1 seed Central scored 15 seconds into the first period to ignite a 3-0 win over the No. 4 Spartans on Friday night in the East Region semifinals at Purpur Arena.
The Fargo Davies boys hockey team has spoiled the anticipated all-Grand Forks East Region championship. Davies goalie Jared Winter made 36 saves as the Eagles beat Grand Forks Red River 2-1 on Friday night in the East Region semifinals at Purpur Arena. Davies will play Grand Forks Central in today’s 5 p.m. region title game. Red River will play Devils Lake in a 2:30 p.m. state qualifier.
The UND men’s basketball team didn’t have the cleanest finish Thursday night against Southern Utah, but the Fighting Hawks did have Geno Crandall. The UND junior guard hit a contested free-throw line jumper with 18 seconds left to key a 61-57 victory over the Thunderbirds in Big Sky Conference play in front of 1,456 at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
If it were up to UND men's basketball coach Brian Jones, the NCAA would tighten transfer rules. But that doesn't appear to be the direction the NCAA is headed, as it is currently mulling a loosening of transfer restrictions as the organization grapples with athlete well-being and the power indifference between coaches and athletes. The Division I Transfer Working Group met earlier this week in Indianapolis and is now seeking feedback on the types of changes to implement.
Mahnomen-Waubun boys basketball coach John Clark Jr. has been pleading with his team to play slower in order to limit mistakes. He could only chuckle then Monday night when Mahnomen-Waubun and Red Lake combined for 201 points and saw both teams claim a 50-point scorer. In Mahnomen-Waubun's 110-91 win over Red Lake in Mahnomen, Minn., the Thunderbirds were led to victory by 50 points from Jayden Heisler, who outdueled Red Lake's Kendall Whitefeather, who finished with 52. "We could've had a 6-second shot clock and it wouldn't have gone off," Clark said.
Despite a youthful roster, Grand Forks Central turned to its seniors to kickstart East Region play on Tuesday night at Purpur Arena. Seniors Zack Murphy and Hunter Moreland each had two goals as the Knights beat West Fargo Sheyenne 7-0 in an East Region quarterfinal. "They got us going," Central coach Grant Paranica said of his seniors. "Since Christmas, Murphy has been tremendous for us. He's had critical plays at critical times. He's stepped up as a leader for us." Central junior goalie Kaleb Johnson recorded the shutout with 17 saves.