Earlier this season, Fargo Davies led Grand Forks Central by two goals midway through the third period.

In that game in Fargo, the Knights came storming back to win.

The Eagles were in a similar situation Thursday night at Purpur Arena.

"That was tough to see that one slip away," Davies senior forward Austin Schmidt said. "We came into tonight knowing it was a clean slate, used the last game as fuel and took care of business."

This time, the Eagles didn't wither. They finished emphatically.

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Schmidt and Gavin Balvitsch each scored two goals as Davies won 5-2 to hand Grand Forks Central its first loss at Purpur Arena to a North Dakota opponent since Feb. 20, 2016.

The Knights lost by more than one goal for the first time since falling 5-3 at Bismarck High on Dec. 30, 2015.

"I don't think we played well at all," Central coach Grant Paranica said. "They outcompeted us and beat us in every aspect of the game. They played a great game. They moved it well, kept it simple and put pucks on net. We didn't. We overhandled it and turned it over on the offensive blue line. It was one of our poorer games and the results showed."

It's a rare stretch for the three-time defending state champion Knights, who dropped to 12-3-0. Central's 81-game unbeaten streak to -in-state opponents ended Jan. 14, with a 3-2 loss to Fargo South-Shanley at Scheels Arena.

"It should be a wakeup call," Paranica said. "We have to be better. We can't live on past performances. Each game is a new game. We know teams want to beat us and give us their best game. Frankly, we weren't ready to play that game. It started right in the first period. We were on our heels. We played seven minutes of good hockey in the second and maybe a shift in the third and that was it."

Davies improved to 10-4 overall.

"We brought up the last game (a 5-4 loss to Central on Dec. 10)," first-year Davies coach Nate Metcalf said. "That was sour for a lot of us. Hopefully, we learned from it and tonight was a good step.

"We did the little things right, played physical and got to the front of the net."

Davies grabbed the early lead. Balvitsch scored 59 seconds into the game and again nearly 11 minutes in for a 2-0 Eagles advantage.

Central trimmed the lead to one midway through the second period on a Chase Spicer goal, but the Eagles answered right back.

Schmidt scored at 14:08 of the second, followed by a Jackson Archbold goal with less than two minutes to go in the second for a 4-1 lead at the second intermission.

"We took care of business," Schmidt said. "We played on the defensive side of the puck first and played physical. We got pucks to the net, and it went our way."

Central's Braden Panzer made it 4-2 at 12:20 of the third period but Schmidt responded with an empty-net goal with 1:14 to go in the game.

Davies beat Central for the first time since Dec. 14, 2013.

"(Central) is going to come hard, and we need to match it and be smarter about it," Metcalf said. "It all came together, and we pulled one off finally."



Fargo Davies 5,

GF Central 2

First period -- 1. FD, Gavin Balvitsch (Maxwell Karnik, Tristan Dauner) :59; 2. FD, Balvitsch 10:59

Second period -- 3. GFC, Chase Spicer (Braden Panzer, William Lawson-Body) 9:14; 4. FD, Austin Schmidt (Conner Turnquist); 5. FD, Jackson Archbold (Cameron Bullinger) 15:32

Third period -- 6. GFC, Panzer (Joseph Riskey, Adam Arnold) 12:20; 7. FD, Schmidt 15:46

Goalie saves -- GFC: Kolby Elseth 8-3-7 -- 18; FD: Trent Wiemken 4-7-9 -- 20