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Grand Forks Red River uses goals from eight different scorers to rout Williston in state tournament opener

Red River scored five goals in the first period and eight skaters scored goals as the Riders rolled to an 8-0 win over Williston in the state quarterfinals at Purpur Arena.

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Williston goalie Mason Haugenoe blocks Red River's Carson Skarperud in the second period Tuesday in the ND High School hockey quarterfinals. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

The Grand Forks Red River boys hockey team didn't enter the North Dakota state tournament with momentum.

The Roughriders lost by five goals in the East Region championship game to rival Grand Forks Central.

In the opening round of the state tournament, that didn't appear to matter much.

Red River scored five times in the first period and eight skaters scored goals as the Riders rolled to an 8-0 win Tuesday over Williston in the state quarterfinals at Purpur Arena.

The Riders, the No. 2 seed from the East Region, improved to 18-5-0. Red River advances to Friday's 9 p.m. semifinal at Ralph Engelstad Arena against West Fargo, the East's No. 4 seed, a 6-4 winner over West Region No. 1 Bismarck Century in the state quarterfinals.

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The Coyotes, playing in their first state tournament since 2010, dropped to 10-9-0.

"What I liked was that they were ready to go right from the drop of the puck," Red River coach Tim Skarperud said. "It's a state tournament game, and you don't want to give a team any energy."

Nobody had more than one goal for the Riders, who were led by Zach Hinschberger's goal and two assists.

"That's been the M.O. of this team," Skarperud said of the balanced scoring. "A lot of different guys can put the puck in the net, and that's good to see."

Red River started the game with an 18-0 edge in shots on goal, first surrendering a shot on goal to Williston with five minutes left in the first period.

Red River sophomore Mason Reynolds started the scoring when he tipped a Wyatt LeDuc shot at 4:21 of the first period.

Jake Grandstrand made it 2-0 when his blast from the top of the left circle beat a screened Williston goalie at 7:06 of the first.

Mikey Coleman scored in tight, LeDuc found Justin Wasvick for a power-play goal and Morgan Hoefs scored shorthanded as the Riders led 5-0 at the first intermission.

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"We were skating really well in the first period, and we wanted it more and were able to bury some pucks," Hinschberger said. "It's a really nice way to start the tournament. Hopefully, we can build off this and have another good one Friday."

Drew Melland and Ethan Dockter scored goals in the second period to push the lead to 7-0.

The Coyotes' best chance to break the shutout came with 3:55 left in the second. On the power play, Williston appeared to have scored a goal but officials waved off the goal for goalie interference.

Hinschberger scored at 5:33 of the third period, a frame that went quickly due to mercy rule running time.

GF Red River 8,

Williston 0

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First period -- 1. RR, Mason Reynolds (Wyatt LeDuc, Zach Hinschberger) 4:21; 2. RR, Jake Grandstrand (Matt Scribner) 7:06; 3. RR, Mikey Coleman 8:12; 4. RR, Justin Wasvick (LeDuc, Hinschberger) 12:55; 5. RR, Morgan Hoefs 14:51

Second period -- 6. RR, Drew Melland (Hoefs, RyLee Vetsch) 2:21; 7. RR, Ethan Dockter 7:25

Third period -- 8. RR, Hinschberger (Wasvick) 5:37

Goalie saves -- RR: Andrew Peterson 3-2-x -- 5, Lucas Ulven x-1-5 -- 6; W: Mason Haugenoe 18-19-8 -- 45

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, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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