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Grand Forks Central stays hot with 7-3 win over Fargo Davies

The Knights have now won six in a row to improve to 9-4-0.

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Grand Forks Central forward Markus Lunski celebrates his first period goal with Knights teammate Dylan LaMont (7) during a home boys hockey game against Fargo Davies at Purpur Arena in Grand Forks on Tuesday, January 10, 2023.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — After graduating four of the team's top five scorers from last season, scoring was expected to be an issue for Grand Forks Central this season.

Not lately.

The Knights picked up a sixth-straight win Tuesday night with a 7-3 victory over Fargo Davies at Purpur Arena.

Central has scored 31 goals in those six games, bumping its record to 9-4-0.

"We're just working hard, pursuing pucks and getting pucks to the net," said Central senior Colton Bjorge, who had a hat trick against Davies. "We've just been playing hard."

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It was an important win for the Knights, who are battling Davies for a top-half finish in the EDC standings.

"I think we're all kind of believing in each other right now," Central coach Grant Paranica said. "We talk about playing with bump and pace. We've had solid goaltending through this stretch and that's allowed us to turn a corner."

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Grand Forks Central goaltender Jaxon Washburn (35) deflects a Eagles shot as teammate Donovan Balek (24) and Fargo Davies' Talon Seckerson (13) watch in the first period of a N.D. East Region boys hockey game at Purpur Arena in Grand Forks on Tuesday, January 10, 2023.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

The Knights dominated early and late against Davies, surviving a scare in the middle.

Markus Lunski and Bryce Philpot scored first-period goals for the Knights, while Bjorge scored his first of the game just 10 seconds into the second period as Central jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

But Davies, which had won seven of its last nine coming into the game, dented the Central lead in a hurry.

Skylar Seckerson scored on the power play at 4:59 of the second and teammate Drew Albrecht scored 26 seconds later as the Eagles made it 3-2 early in the second.

The Eagles then hit a pipe and had a couple of Grade A scoring chances erased by Central goalie Jaxon Washburn.

Bjorge scored his second of the game when he came in on a 2-on-1 rush with linemate Mack Blue. Bjorge kept the puck and rifled a shot by Davies goalie Gavin Erickson to give Central a 4-2 edge at 12:15 of the second.

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Bjorge now has a team-leading 12 goals on the year.

"He's a tremendous leader for us," Paranica said. "He's a kid who plays hard and in both ends of the rink. I can't say enough about him. He carries our team, and you can always depend on him for consistent effort."

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Fargo Davies goaltender Gavin Erickson snags a Grand Forks Central shot as Knights forward Mack Blue, right, looks on in the first period of a N.D. East Region boys hockey game at Purpur Arena in Grand Forks on Tuesday, January 10, 2023.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

The third period was all Central as Wyatt Wockenfuss, Ryder Burris and Bjorge scored. Davies' Talon Seckerson scored in the final minute on the power play for the final 7-3 score.

"We're getting contributions from a lot of different players, so that's nice to see," Paranica said. "We're executing on odd-man rushes and making plays behind the goal line. We're getting some chemistry and putting more in than the first few games."

GF Central 7, Fargo Davies 3

First period -- 1. GFC, Markus Lunski (Ryder Burris) 3:10; 2. GFC, Bryce Philpot (Caden Johansen, Brody Kendall) 13:58

Second period -- 3. GFC, Colton Bjorge (Rylan Hoffman) 0:10; 4. FD, Skylar Seckerson PP (Jake Nelson, Grant Matter) 4:59; 5. FD, Drew Albrecht (Matter) 5:25; 6. GFC, Bjorge (Wyatt Wockenfuss) 12:15

Third period -- 7. GFC, Wockenfuss PP (Bjorge, Dylan LaMont) 3:23; 8. GFC, Burris (Lunski, LaMont) 7:55; 9. GFC, Bjorge 13:37; 10. FD, Talon Seckerson PP 16:03

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Goalie saves -- GFC: Jaxon Washburn 10-8-10--28; FD: Gavin Erickson 8-8-5--21

Related Topics: GF CENTRAL
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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