After four goals Friday night, Grand Forks Central's Joey Kennelly scores four more Saturday to beat East Grand Forks

In less than 24 hours, the senior forward scored eight goals. His second four-goal performance led the Knights to a 7-4 win over East Grand Forks on Saturday at the Civic Center.

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Grand Forks Central forward Joey Kennelly celebrates his second period goal during Saturday's boys hockey game against the Green Wave in East Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

After scoring four goals Friday night against Fargo Davies, Grand Forks Central senior Joey Kennelly didn't think much Saturday afternoon about superstitions and copying any exact routine from his big performance.

"No, not really," Kennelly said. "I just came back to the rink and went to work."

That works, too.

In less than 24 hours, the senior forward scored eight goals. His second four-goal performance led the Knights to a 7-4 win over East Grand Forks on Saturday at the Civic Center.

"It's crazy," said Kennelly, who had five points against the Green Wave. "Our boys really came together this weekend. Our line is really just working hard in the corners, and I'm getting all the right bounces and have a hot stick right now."


Central coach Grant Paranica, in his eighth season as head coach of the Knights, couldn't recall a similar back-to-back performance like Kennelly's.

"He's been on fire," Paranica said. "Whatever he's been doing, he's got to keep doing it. He's a guy we rely on to score goals, and he's certainly coming through for us."

Kennelly pushed his season goal total to 14. Entering the day, North Dakota's leading goal scorer was Jamestown's Nolan Nenow with 13.

It was a back-and-forth affair between the Knights and the Wave.

East Grand Forks built a 2-0 lead in the opening four minutes on goals by Brody Schultz and Landon Parker.

"We started out a little sleepy and had to wake up," Paranica said. "We got better as the game went on. We hadn't been playing that way. We had been starting strong and letting teams off the hook a little. This was the reverse of that. We looked slow and then went to work and had a better second and third."

Central would take the lead in the first seven minutes of the second period. Kennelly trimmed the lead to 2-1 in the final minute of the first period, then Kennelly tied the game at 3:13 of the second. Linemate Braden Panzer gave the Knights a 3-2 edge at 6:42 of the second.

East Grand Forks would tie the game twice in the second period -- on goals by Parker and Caleb Schmiedeberg.


But the Knights scored all three of the third-period goals, with scoring from Spicer and two from Kennelly.

Green Wave goalie Chase Mero made 17 saves, while Central goalie Kolby Elseth had 22 stops.

Central improved to 8-1.

It was the home opener for the Green Wave, who lost 6-1 to Grand Forks Red River in the season opener on the road Friday night. East Grand Forks, one of the favorites in Minnesota Class A, had the unenviable task of opening the season against teams that have a month of games under their belt.

"I thought we were better today than yesterday, but we have a long ways to go and that was pretty evident," East Grand Forks coach Tyler Palmiscno said. "We wore out quickly. Our conditioning wasn't near the level of Central or Red River.

"The Panzer line is really good for them. They made some plays, and we turned some pucks over. We made mistakes like you normally would in your first couple of games, and we have to shore it up."

GF Central 7, EGF Senior High 4

First period -- 1. EGF, Brody Schultz (Landon Parker, Jaksen Panzer) :26; 2. EGF, Parker (Trey Ausmus) 3:52; 3. GFC, Joey Kennelly (Dillon Kuntz) 16:29

Second period -- 4. GFC, Kennelly 3:13; 5. GFC, Braden Panzer (Kennelly, Chase Spicer) 6:42; 6. EGF, Parker (Caleb Schmiedeberg, Jaksen Panzer) 8:10; 7. GFC, Braden Panzer (Spicer, Joey Riskey) 15:40; 8. EGF, Schmiedeberg (Ausmus) 16:56


Third period -- 9. GFC, Kennelly (Kuntz, Spicer) :58; 10. GFC, Spicer (Braden Panzer) 2:49; 11. GFC, Kennelly 9:42

Goalie saves -- EGF: Chase Mero 6-7-4 -- 17; GFC: Kolby Elseth 8-3-9 -- 22

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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