Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 10 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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The UND athletic department will have to trim $1.3 million from its budget, according to targets released by President Mark Kennedy on Thursday afternoon. The athletic department needs to submit its recommendation to Kennedy by March 6. UND Athletic Director Brian Faison said Thursday he will be making the recommendation, adding there will be "input from several entities, but I will be the one making the recommendations to the president.
In a season full of dominant performances, Grand Forks Central turned in its biggest rout of the year to start postseason play Tuesday night. The Knights received goals from 10 different players in cruising to a 16-1 win over Grafton-Park River in the East Region tournament quarterfinals at Purpur Arena. No. 1 Central improved to 22-0 and will play No. 4 Devils Lake in the semifinals Friday at 6 p.m. at Purpur. "We moved the puck well and shared the load," Central coach Grant Paranica said. "Throughout the lineup, everybody played quite well."
The East Grand Forks Senior High girls hockey team was outshot 25-2 in the first period Monday night by Thief River Falls. Green Wave coach Jim Enright was blunt about the start. "In the first period, let's face it, we were bad," he said. Senior High might have been bad early, but the Wave had goalie McKenzie Whalen and that would be all the difference. Senior High battled back from a two-goal deficit to beat Thief River Falls 3-2 in the Minnesota Section 8A semifinal at the East Grand Forks Civic Center.
Even though the East Grand Forks Senior High boys hockey team was playing with a full lineup for one of the few times this season on Friday night, the Green Wave needed to shuffle its line combinations after a slow start against Roseau. A change after the first period might be one the Green Wave will be sticking with for a while. Senior High scored more goals than it has in 12 games in holding off a late charge from Roseau 6-4 at the East Grand Forks Civic Center.
The spotlight was tough to come by Thursday night at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. UND's Quinton Hooker had it for a while, scoring 35 points in a full 40 minutes. Eastern Washington's Jacob Wiley stole it some, pocketing 33 points in 40 minutes. Even EWU coach Jim Hayford wandered into the spotlight when he received a pair of technical fouls, strolled across the floor and waved goodbye to the Fighting Hawks' fans.
The Devils Lake boys hockey team was one of two teams to stay within a goal of undefeated Grand Forks Central this season. In the rematch Tuesday night at Purpur Arena, the Knights re-established their dominance. Cam Olstad's hat trick led the Knights to a 7-0 win over Devils Lake. "We didn't play our best out there," Olstad said of a 3-2 win at Devils Lake last week. "Give them credit; they play well at their home rink and we fell into that. We wanted to come back here and play as a team."
With UND's offensive firepower going silent in the Fighting Hawks' latest rough patch, goaltender Cam Johnson's return to the lineup went relatively under the radar. It wasn't the defense causing the most angst, so a lot of eyes have been on the return of star freshman Tyson Jost. But make no mistake, Johnson's availability is just as important as UND's need to find scoring. Johnson's return—a necessity for UND's hopes to making a postseason run—was vital in the Fighting Hawks' 2-1 win over St. Cloud State on Saturday night at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
St. Cloud State sophomore forward Jacob Benson's return home to Ralph Engelstad Arena got off to a rocky start Friday night. In warmups, Benson stepped on St. Cloud defenseman Jimmy Schuldt's skate and wiped out. "You don't want to screw up or embarrass yourself," Benson said. "That gassed everything." That was no omen, however, for the former Grand Forks Red River star, who will instead be remembered for scoring the tone-setting goal in a 3-1 win over UND in the series opener.
GRAND FORKS — University of North Dakota assistant football coach Shawn Kostich woke up at 3:30 a.m. one day last spring and drove to Caledonia, Minn., to watch Zeke Ott lift weights. Ott, still recovering from an ACL surgery, lifted 300 pounds over his head. Kostich didn't waste any time calling back to Memorial Stadium. "You watch that and know this isn't an average high school player," Kostich said. "I immediately called our coordinator and said this is a guy we have to move on now."
About a week before National Signing Day, the UND football program announced a big change. The Fighting Hawks will be changing conferences from the Big Sky Conference to the Missouri Valley Football Conference beginning in 2020. How did that change the recruiting game? "It didn't really change anything," UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. "We're committed to being the best team we can be. The Big Sky plays a little different style as a whole but we know who we want to be. Our philosophy stayed the same. Our focus right now is to continue to be the best we can be."