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Fargo South-Shanley advances to state semifinals for fourth year in a row

South-Shanley's Trevor Moe scored midway through the third period as the Bruins held off Bismarck Century 3-2 at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

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Fargo South celebrates Colten Nestler’s goal against Bismarck Century during their quarterfinal North Dakota Boys' Hockey game Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, in Grand Forks.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

GRAND FORKS — For the fourth year in a row, it's a clean sweep for North Dakota's East Region on the opening day of the state boys hockey tournament.

Fargo South-Shanley finished the quarterfinal dominance late Thursday night with a 3-2 win over Bismarck Century at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

Fargo South-Shanley's Trevor Moe scored right in front midway through the third period for the game-winning goal.

The Bruins advanced to the state semifinals for the fourth year in a row. South-Shanley will play Fargo Davies in the 8 p.m. semifinal. The Eagles won in double overtime against Bismarck Legacy in the quarterfinals.

"Not our best game, but I think that had a lot to do with how (Century) played," South-Shanley coach Dean French said. "They took away the neutral zone. There wasn't a lot of transition tonight. They slowed the game down and played the way they wanted to play, and it was hard for us to break that."

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Century was able to answer the Bruins' first two goals.

South-Shanley took a 1-0 lead on a Colten Nestler goal at 1:28 of the first period but the Patriots evened the score on a Ben LaDuke goal at 13:58 of the first.

The Bruins took another lead at 1:25 of the second period when Jake Verwest scored on the power play for a 2-1 advantage. But again, Century tied the game at 2-2 with a Hayden Ritter power-play goal at 11:43 of the second.

After Moe's go-ahead goal, which was reviewed but upheld, Bruins goalie Noel Olsonawski had to face more than 90 seconds of an extra attacker as Century pulled its goalie.

The last time South-Shanley played Fargo Davies, the Eagles won 1-0.

"It'll be a good game," Moe said. "They play well and are hard-workers. We'd like the last one back, so we're excited."

French also expects another contest.

"I think this one could be a carbon copy," French said. "What's happening is every team is getting better with defensive structures. Sometimes it's hard to get teenagers to buy into structured defense, but when they do, they can make life miserable. We know them, they know us. Everyone knows it'll be a tight, physical battle."

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

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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