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Red River can’t overcome two-goal deficit in 2-1 loss to Gentry Academy

Two goals from Wes Berg lift Gentry and hand Roughriders second loss of the season.

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Gentry Academy forward Brendon Hammer fights with Red River's Skyler Syverson (16) for the puck after being dropped to the ice by Roughriders forward Mason Reynolds (22) in the first period of a boys hockey game at Eagles Arena in Grand Forks on Friday, January 7, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

After a lengthy ice-patching delay Grand Forks Red River built momentum, but couldn’t overcome a 2-0 deficit to Gentry Academy in their 2-1 loss on Friday night at Eagles Arena.

Two Wes Berg goals pushed Gentry ahead early in the second period as the Stars tacked on long periods of in-zone possession and eventually secured the win against the Roughriders, who dealt with the effects of a short bench throughout the night.

“Bottom line is we didn’t have 20 guys going and we weren’t ready from the drop of the puck. And that’s unacceptable,” Red River head coach Tim Skarperud said.

Red River entered the contest 9-1 and held control of first place in the EDC with 22 points.

Leading the way for them has been its junior class, with Carter Sproule heading that effort by leading the team with 11 goals and 24 points.


“Credit Gentry, they are a good team and skate well. We weren’t skating with them,” Skarperud said. “It was a little better after the break but the bottom line is you need to be ready from the start when you don’t have 20 guys.”

Berg scored his pair in the second period by way of clean looks from the slot that rocketed by Red River goalie Noah Burger. Burger, who was perfect in the second half of the game, kept his team within striking distance.

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Red River goaltender Noah Burger deflects a shot from Gentry Academy's Gabe Anderson (23) late in the first period of a boys hockey game at Eagles Arena in Grand Forks on Friday, January 7, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Shortly after the second Gentry goal there was a stoppage for ice repair that lasted just under 45 minutes. Both teams went to the locker rooms early, came back out to finish the middle frame, and then went back in before the third.

“Before the delay I didn’t think we were good at all, but after the delay we got better. We need to put ourselves in a position where we’re not playing from behind,” Skarperud said.

After the delay, Red River began to find its legs. With more power play chances earned, they were finally able to strike on the man advantage when Jake Grandstand potted in a rebound from Sproule.

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Roughriders forward Jake Grandstrand (25) carries the puck down the ice at Eagles Arena during a home hockey game against Gentry Academy in Grand Forks on Friday, January 7, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

They would create a few more chances with the goaltender pulled, but Red River couldn’t bury the tying mark.

“We’ve been down too much. Five out of the 11 games we’ve been down and it’s getting old. We need to make sure guys are playing a three period game. We haven’t played a three period game all year and it showed again tonight,” said Skarperud.

As for Gentry, the Stars, who won last season's Minnesota state Class A title, will stay in the area and take on East Grand Forks tomorrow afternoon. Gentry beat EGF 5-3 in last season's state semifinal game.


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Red River's RyLee Vetsch faces off with Gentry Academy forward Eli Bailey (21) in the first period of a boys hockey matchup at Eagles Arena in Grand Forks on Friday, January 7, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

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