GGF NOTES: Central hockey averaging 8.69 goals per game

Grand Forks Central has the top 1-2 scoring punch in East Region boys hockey in Cole Hanson and Lucas Kanta. The scoring hardly stops with the two seniors, however.

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Demons goalie Quinn Ackerman reacts after Grand Forks Central forward Cole Hanson (10) scores a first period goal late Monday morning in Grand Forks. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Grand Forks Central has the top 1-2 scoring punch in East Region boys hockey in Cole Hanson and Lucas Kanta. The scoring hardly stops with the two seniors, however.

Central (13-0-0) took an average of 8.69 goals per game into Tuesday night’s game at Fargo South-Shanley. That’s the highest average in Grant Paranica’s six seasons as coach, a run that includes the last two state titles and two state runner-up finishes.

“I knew this team would be able to score,’’ Paranica said. “We’re getting goals from all four lines and from our defense. That depth really helps.’’

Hanson (25 goals-16 assists) and Kanta (10-27) skate on a line with Kyler Briske (5-10).

William Lawson-Body (12-15) and defenseman Hunter Bjorge (11-7) also are double-figure goal scorers.


Having a double-figure goal scorer in the defensive corps “is infrequent,’’ Paranica said. “But we have a lot of guys who can score.’’

The scoring goes all the way down the the fourth line of Cole Spicer (6-7), Braden Panzer (4-7) and Chase Spicer (3-6). Central has 11 players who are in double figures in points, with two others one point shy of that, and 18 who have scored at least one goal.

“Usually it is your top five, maybe your top seven, who do that,’’ Paranica said of all the double-figure point scorers. “These kids have worked hard. They have a passion. It shows.’’

Central meets Grand Forks Red River at 3:15 p.m. Saturday. In addition to trying to slow down the Central offense, Red River goes against a Knights defense that has allowed just 10 goals.

McDonald picks up scoring With 11 seniors on last season’s East Grand Forks Senior High girls hockey team, the Green Wave graduated a lot of scoring.

Mac McDonald has picked up a lot of that scoring slack. The senior has more than doubled her 11 goals from a year ago. McDonald paces the 12-6-2 Wave with 24 goals and 35 points, followed by Kendra Emery (10-18), C.J. Mack (8-15) and Kylie Stauss (8-7).

“We told Mac we needed her to score more for this team to be successful,’’ Wave coach Brian Larson said.

“She’s got a great shot and good stick-handling ability. It’s all come together for her.’’


Also giving the offense a boost have been first-year varsity players Kara Ellis (5-6) and Kate Johnson (8-2) and Aleah Hangsleben (3-5).

Spivey on a roll In her last five competitions, Grand Forks gymnast Sydnee Spivey has won three all-around titles and finished second twice.

In Grand Forks’ first four meets, Spivey won all-around once and was no higher than third in any other meet.

“With the exception of our last two meets, Sydnee has been more consistent,’’ Grand Forks coach Courtney Engel said. “At the start of the year, she was a little inconsistent in one or two events. She’s worked hard and cleaned up little things that were costing her deductions.’’

Spivey, who finished eighth at state in all-around last season, currently is ranked fifth in all-around, third in bars, sixth in beam and seventh in vault and floor in the state. Rankings are based on individuals’ top three scores of the season.

“She’s exceeding my expectations,’’ Engel said. “She’s performing very well.’’

Grand Forks is second in state team rankings, behind defending state champion Dickinson.

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