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Top-seeded Central takes care of West Fargo Sheyenne

Central defenseman Brandon Holt (#18) fires a wrist shot to a teammate in the second period of Tuesday's EDC quarterfinal hockey game against West Fargo Sheyenne at Fido Purpur Arena. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald1 / 6
West Fargo Sheyenne netminder Cole Nissen keeps his eye on the puck Tuesday night against Grand Forks Central in the quarterfinal matchup of the EDC boys hockey tournament in Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald2 / 6
Grand Forks Central goaltender Kaleb Johnson deflects a Sheyenne shot in the first period of Tuesday's EDC boys hockey quarterfinal game at Purpur Arena. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald 3 / 6
West Fargo Sheyenne forward Ethan Carlsrud (#17) smiles at a teammate during opening lineup announcements of Tuesday's boys hockey game against Grand Forks Central. Central defeated Sheyenne 7-0. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald4 / 6
Sheyenne's Blaze Ackerland (left) and Grand Forks Central forward William Lawson-Body (right) jockey for puck possession Tuesday night at the Fido Purpur Arena in Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald5 / 6
Central defenseman Hunter Bjorge (right) fires a shot down the ice at Fido Purpur Arena as Sheyenne's Sam Kramer tries to block him Tuesday, February 13, 2018. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald6 / 6

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.

Murphy, who recently committed to play football at UND next season, started the scoring at 4:44 of the opening period.

Moreland, who now has nine goals on the year, made it 2-0 with a power-play goal from the right point just 47 seconds into the second period.

The Knights rolled from there as forward Kyler Briske scored at 3:36 of the second and defenseman Brandon Holt got a goal at 4:58.

"I thought we were a little nervous to start and got better as the game went on," Paranica said. "We did what we do well and that's get puck on net, cycle well and pursue hard."

Moreland, Murphy and Jeffrey Hendrickson, who scored his first varsity goal, netted third-period goals for the Knights, who triggered running time in the third and outshot Sheyenne 30-17.

Murphy now has a team-high 15 goals this season.

Central improved to 19-1-2, while the Mustangs dropped to 8-14-1.

The Knights, who won their 12th-straight game, will play Fargo North in an East Region semifinal at 6 p.m. at Purpur on Friday.

Central beat North 5-2 and 2-1 during the regular season.

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department since 2004. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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