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Fargo South/Shanley holds off West Fargo to get back to state for first time since 2015

Bruins forward Grant Gores and West Fargo's Tanner Nelson (right) fight for puck possession during Saturday's N.D. East Region boys hockey tournament at Fido Purpur Arena. Nick Nelson / Grand FOrks Herald1 / 5
Bruins goalie Zach Sandy watches as the puck careens off his pads in the first period of Saturday's N.D. East Region boys hockey tournament game against West Fargo in Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald2 / 5
Packers netminder Gabe Pederson watches as the puck flys past his goal during Saturday's N.D. East Region boys hockey tournament game against Fargo South-Shanley. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald3 / 5
West Fargo's Jackson Prochnow (9) and Fargo South-Shanley forward Drew Sandy face off in the first period of Saturday's N.D. East Region boys hockey tournament in Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald4 / 5
The Fargo South-Shanley Bruins celebrate their 6-3 victory over West Fargo Saturday afternoon as part of the N.D. East Region boys hockey tournament in Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald5 / 5

When Fargo South/Shanley's Drew Sandy finished off a hat trick Saturday afternoon, a single baseball hat was thrown on the ice.

Sandy skated over, scooped it up and tossed it back into the stands.

At that point, the junior forward was taking care of everything—even clearing the ice—for the Bruins in the third period.

Sandy scored on the power play for the go-ahead goal early in the third and pocketed two empty-netters to send the Bruins to their first state tournament since 2015 with a 6-3 victory over West Fargo in a state-qualifying game of the East Region tournament at Purpur Arena.

"We told the guys between periods that we've worked way too hard not to win," South/Shanley coach Dean French said. "Not that West Fargo didn't deserve to, but we've had a lot of 1-0, 2-1 games this year and had to work really hard to get here. We knew we could finish a game like this and we did, so it's good."

The No. 2 seed Bruins (17-6-0) built a 3-1 lead by the game's midway point. Tanner Kirkeby, Jacob Bryant and Sebastien Zasada each scored to provide the early lead.

But West Fargo (9-15-0) charged back behind a pair of power-play goals. Tanner Nelson scored at 9:21 of the second and Nathan Tangen scored his second of the game at 12:56 of the second.

Tangen's goal sent the teams to the second intermission tied, although the Bruins would start the third period with more than 90 seconds of power play.

Sandy scored the game-winning goal at 1:13 of the third when he buried a hard bounce off the back wall on a shot by Zasada.

"We were a little nervous going into the third," Sandy said. "We had to tell everyone to calm down. You know, it's a tie game so we just had to put in the next one and we'd have a good chance."

French said his power play was 2-for-20 coming into the game, and his Bruins were 2-for-2 against the Packers with the man advantage.

West Fargo couldn't capitalize late and finished with a 27-20 advantage in shots on goal.

The Bruins smothered West Fargo leading scorer Brayden Jacobson, who entered the game with 28 goals on the year. He finished with one assist against the Bruins.

"I thought we played a good game and did what we needed to do," French said. "I thought we did a good job containing Jacobson, which was a priority."

Fargo South/Shanley 6,

West Fargo 3

First period—1. FSS, Tanner Kirkeby (Drew Sandy) 15:53

Second period—2. WF, Nathan Tangen (Jackson Prochnow, Brayden Jacobson) 2:49; 3. FSS, Jacob Bryant (Grant Gores, Alex Senf) 3:33; 4. FSS, Sebastien Zasada (Kirkeby, Senf) 6:36 6:36; 5. WF, Tanner Nelson (Devin Wolf, Alex Sauter) 9:21; 6. WF, Tangen (Caleb Roehrich) 12:56

Third period—7. FSS, Sandy (Zasada) 1:13; 8. FSS, Sandy 16:07; 9. FSS, Sandy 16:44

Goalie saves—WF: Gabe Pederson 7-6-3—16; FSS: Zach Sandy 7-12-5—24

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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