Red River defenseman nets first career hat trick in 11-0 win over Grafton-Park River
When Grand Forks Red River beat Devils Lake last weekend, Roughriders defenseman Connor Arel thought he might get the Hard Hat Player of the Game. "The guy handing it out wasn't really paying attention," Arel joked. On Tuesday, there was no passi...
When Grand Forks Red River beat Devils Lake last weekend, Roughriders defenseman Connor Arel thought he might get the Hard Hat Player of the Game.
“The guy handing it out wasn’t really paying attention,” Arel joked.
On Tuesday, there was no passing up Arel this time.
“I had to come out this game and show what I had,” Arel said.
The junior recorded his first career hat trick to lead Red River to an easy 11-0 win over Grafton-Park River at Eagles Arena.
“Since I started organized hockey, that’s my first hat trick,” Arel said. “It doesn’t happen often as a defenseman, so it was really nice. The guys were cheering me on out there.”
Arel, who came into the game with two goals this year, was confident he’d receive the Hard Hat against the Spoilers. The player handing out the honor was senior forward Tyler Savage, who also had a hat trick.
“He couldn’t give it to himself,” Arel said.
Arel scored once in the first period and twice in the second period, including a power-play goal -- a five-minute power play in which the Riders scored three times.
“He has a great attitude and works hard,” Red River coach Bill Chase said. “He deserved what he got tonight.”
The whole third period was spent on running time as Red River held leads of 3-0 after one and 10-0 after two.
The Riders, who have won two in a row after a three-game losing streak, improved to 6-4, while Grafton-Park River dropped to 3-9 and lost a third straight.
Red River outshot the Spoilers 29-13, including a dominant second period in which the Riders outshot Grafton-Park River 18-4.
“I thought we moved the puck around better and were jelling better than we have been,” Arel said.
In addition to the hat tricks from Arel and Savage, Red River received goals from Carter Krenelka, Noah Bradbury, Brendan Mullen and Maxx Andrade (two).