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Red River's Lian nets first two career goals to beat West Fargo

Red River forward Tyler Savage (21) takes a tumble in the Packers zone after a breakaway in the first period of Tuesday's hockey game at Eagles Arena. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald1 / 4
West Fargo netminder Gabe Pederson deflects a Red River shot in the second period of Tuesday's hockey game at Eagles Arena in Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald2 / 4
Roughrider goaltender Nate Bradbury tries to smother the puck as West Fargo's Jaden Welk (right) crowds the crease Tuesday night at Eagles Arena in Grand Forks/ Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald3 / 4
Roughrider forward Brendan Mullen (right) leads a charge down the ice at Eagles Arena during Tuesday's home hockey game against West Fargo. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald4 / 4

When Grand Forks Red River's Jaxon Lian scored in the first period, a teammate swooped up the puck to make sure the junior forward could keep his first career varsity goal.

Lian's memorable night didn't end there either.

Lian scored again in the third period to lead the Roughriders to a 4-1 win over West Fargo on Tuesday night at Eagles Arena.

"He had been nervous with his first varsity experience," said Red River coach Bill Chase, whose team wore new black jerseys for the first time this season. "After a couple of games, we started seeing it coming in practice. He's going hard and that's some of the skill he's got."

Red River improved to 2-1, while West Fargo dropped to 1-3.

Lian started the scoring at 12:35 of the first period on an assist from linemate Stoker Short.

"It was a good team win," Lian said. "We were going hard and finding guys out front."

The Riders took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission when senior Tyler Savage scored on the power play at 14:50 of the first.

Red River sophomore Drew Montgomery made it 3-0 at 1:10 of the second period when he finished off a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush thanks to a nice setup from Mason Thingvold, who finished with two assists.

Montgomery, in his first varsity season, now shares the team lead with Savage with three goals on the year.

Red River goalie Nate Bradbury stopped 19 shots. The only goal he surrendered made the game 3-1 at 6:14 of the second period.

West Fargo's Brayden Jacobson raced past two Red River defenders to get a clean breakaway look.

After Bradbury made a pair of solid saves to keep a two-goal lead, Lian tipped a Tanner Bernhardson shot from the point for the goal to make it 4-1.

West Fargo goalie Gabe Pederson made 31 saves.

"We're getting a little better each game and each practice," Chase said. "We have a lot of room for improvement, but we're in the right direction. We just have to go north and south and go hard."

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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