Chemistry between Coleman, Bydal in a pinch help Red River secure 6-0 win over Fargo North
Mikey Coleman and Luc Bydal each score a hat trick, while Grant Gardner supplies four assists in the win.
GRAND FORKS – A 6-0 win for Grand Forks Red River came with a big hill to climb in order to defeat Fargo North on Saturday at Eagles Arena. After a lengthy penalty kill and a short bench, hat tricks from Mikey Coleman and Luc Bydal were the offensive catalyst to get the rest of the job done.
A day to celebrate the seniors of the squad got out to an unfortunate start for senior Mason Reynolds. Just over three minutes into the game he was headed off the ice for a five-minute major boarding call and game disqualification. This came just after a minor Mason Ray penalty, which racked up seven minutes of penalty minutes to kill for the Roughriders to kill right out of the gate.
“I like the character of the guys that got the kill done," said Red River coach Tim Skarperud. "That was huge for the whole momentum of the game. Then we scored not long after that, which kind of settled us a bit. We had to juggle lines quite a bit because some of the JV guys can only play five periods, so we just stuck with eight forwards the rest of that period and then continued with three lines."
One of the lines scrambled together in real time was Coleman, Bydal and Grant Gardner. Two juniors and a senior combined for six goals and six assists in the game. The senior, Coleman, was the one to open the scoring from the slot just two minutes after killing off the Reynolds major before Bydal followed up with his first of the night on a breakaway with 1:23 left int the first.
“They weren’t supposed to be together but that’s nice when all of a sudden they have the chemistry. They supported the puck really well and came through the neutral zone with speed. Even down low the support of the puck showed and them making plays down low was fun to watch,” said Skarperud.
Coleman picked up the lone goal of the second period on a 3-on-2 and then the work down low came into play in the third. A scramble out in front of North goalie Nolan Astrup created some havoc before Coleman was able to jab it home for his third of the night.
Bydal would get the next two, one on a rush and another on a wrap-around behind the net, to complete his hat trick.
Looking ahead, the Roughriders now have a big matchup with Grand Forks Central on Tuesday after jumping them in the standings with the win. They will play on without Reynolds, who will be unable to play due to his disqualification. Skarperud sees no wavering in his team’s ‘next man up’ mentality, though.
“We had Rylan Bydal step in today and I don’t see there being any step backs. We’ve got good depth and if it’s Rylan Bydal or someone else, I’m not worried about it. We’ll be just fine,” he said.
The team was happy to be able to celebrate seniors like Reynolds on Saturday before skating to victory. This is a particular group Skarperud has been around for quite some time.
“It’s been a really fun group. For me, personally, I’ve coached most of these 10 guys for pretty close to 10 years, so it’s a special group for me, too. A lot of emotion goes through it. We have five weeks left, but when we honor a group likes this you get choked up a little bit,” he said.