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PREP BOYS: Rams shut out Wave

It's generally not a good thing for an athletic team to suffer from sophomore-itis. But for Roseau, it's hardly been a stumbling block. The Rams rolled to their eighth straight victory and 13th in 14 games this season Saturday night by blanking E...

It's generally not a good thing for an athletic team to suffer from sophomore-itis.

But for Roseau, it's hardly been a stumbling block. The Rams rolled to their eighth straight victory and 13th in 14 games this season Saturday night by blanking East Grand Forks Senior High 3-0 at the Civic Center.

Roseau, ranked sixth in the latest Minnesota Class AA poll, continued to roll along with a goal and two assists from sophomore defenseman Aaron Ness, the team-leading 17th goal of the season by sophomore forward Tyler Landman and the third shutout in three starts for sophomore goalie Mike Lee.

Landman and Ness scored just more than two minutes apart late in the opening period to stake the Rams to a 2-0 lead after one period. Junior Dustin Moser knocked in his own rebound 35 seconds into the third period to complete the scoring and drop the Class A Green Wave to 5-6-1 overall.

Junior goalie Alex Christiansen was spectacular, keeping the Green Wave close. He finished with 42 saves, including 24 in the scoreless second period when Roseau outshot Senior High 24-3 but couldn't build on its lead.

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"This (Civic Center) has always been a tough place to play," Roseau coach Scott Oliver said, "and their goalie played tough."

Christiansen had to. The Green Wave, who didn't arrive home until 2 a.m. Saturday after playing at Coleraine, Minn., Friday night, took 12 penalties and gave the Rams eight power plays.

But thanks to yeoman work from Christiansen, the Green Wave killed all eight power plays against a team that had been converting at a 29 percent clip.

Lee wasn't tested nearly as much as Christiansen, but he was sharp. He got a pad on a breakaway shot by Jake Useldinger in the second period, stopped Zak Aubol on a close-in shorthanded chance and kicked out a deflection by Michael Palmiscno in the third period.

"He hasn't given up a goal yet, and this was by far his toughest start of the year," Oliver said of Lee. "He's going to be a good one."

Ness, a smooth defenseman who is the son of former UND player Jay Ness, assisted on Landman's goal to open the scoring and set up Moser for the closing score. Between those two, Ness converted a great feed from Ryan Larsen to score his ninth goal of the season.

Ness makes the game look easy from his point position, always making the right play.

"He's a quarterback out there, all the time," Oliver said. "He sees the ice so well, and he's got great patience. He's got great lateral movement. He goes as fast from East to West as he does from North to South."

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Roseau's only loss this season has been to powerful Moorhead (4-1 in Roseau). The teams meet again Jan. 23 in Moorhead.

But for this night, Oliver and the Rams savored the victory over the Green Wave.

"Like I told the team coming in here," Oliver said, "tough place to play, but it's a great place when you get a win."

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