N.D. EAST REGION HOCKEY: Fargo North comes up with upset to advance to final
The Fargo North boys hockey team might be pretty winded in the East Region championship game Saturday, but the Spartans slept well Friday. That's because the Spartans are headed to the North Dakota state hockey tournament for the first time since...
The Fargo North boys hockey team might be pretty winded in the East Region championship game Saturday, but the Spartans slept well Friday.
That's because the Spartans are headed to the North Dakota state hockey tournament for the first time since 2008.
North's Daric Thompson scored deep into the second overtime to lift the Spartans to a 3-2 win over Grafton-Park River on Friday in the East Region semifinals at Purpur Arena.
North advances to Saturday's 5 p.m. championship game against unbeaten Grand Forks Red River. Grafton-Park River will play Fargo South/Shanley in a state-qualifying game at 2:30 p.m.
"We spent a lot of energy in that game and it feels good," said North coach Rob Aasand, who is a Grafton native. "We're going to be pretty tired tomorrow, but that doesn't mean we're not going to try take it to Red River."
After few quality chances for either team in the overtime sessions, Thompson pocketed the game-winner.
"The puck went to the corner and the guys finally did what I was telling them to do all game," Aasand said. "They put it out front and put it home."
The marathon game had its share of drama.
Spoilers goalie Zach Suda kept the game tied at 2 in regulation when he made a remarkable save on Fargo North forward Zach Kraft, who came in all alone on a breakaway with about nine minutes left in third period.
The Spartans had a number of chances to win it late in the third period when they went on the power-play with 2:18 remaining after Grafton-Park River's Zach Peterson went off for tripping.
The Spoilers also had to kill off a two-minute penalty to close out the first overtime after Peter Hills went to the box for slashing.
Suda finished with 20 saves for the Spoilers, while North goalie Nick Schmit made 32 saves.
North staked a 2-0 lead midway through the first period. Jackson Graalum started the scoring at 1:47 of the opening period, followed by a tally from Zach Kraft at 8:02.
The Spoilers would cut the lead to 2-1 when Ben Thompson scored on a delayed-penalty situation at 9:36 of the first period.
Grafton-Park River forward Austin Campbell knotted the game at 2 with just three seconds left in the second period.
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