Riders bowl over Brainerd at Jason Stadstad Hockey Classic
How strong has the Grand Forks Red River boys hockey team started the season? The Roughriders' lowest offensive output of the season is still good for a five-goal blowout. Red River scored three times in the first period and used two goals from C...
How strong has the Grand Forks Red River boys hockey team started the season?
The Roughriders' lowest offensive output of the season is still good for a five-goal blowout.
Red River scored three times in the first period and used two goals from Cody Jennewein to beat Brainerd 5-0 on Thursday in the semifinals of the Herald Jason Stadstad Hockey Classic at Purpur Arena.
The Roughriders, who were held to fewer than six goals for the first time all year, remain unbeaten at 7-0.
Red River advances to the tournament championship game against East Grand Forks Senior High today at 1 p.m. at Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Red River coach Bill Chase said his team had an extra jump in its step in anticipation of one of its toughest tests of the season against Brainerd, which dropped to 9-2. The Roughriders have won by at least four goals in every game.
"(Brainerd) has a couple of dandy players," he said. "They skate hard and shoot hard. They brought something special out of us.
"It was intense. We knew we had a good team to play against. We knew this was the kind of game we needed. We knew it was going to be a challenge, so our guys went hard from beginning to end. I was very pleased."
The Riders zapped the suspense early with a three-goal outburst in the opening period. Jennewein scored twice, while Taylor Steen popped in a power-play goal.
Jennewein, who now has nine goals on the season, had a hat trick in the tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday in Red River's 9-3 win over Princeton.
"He's been on fire," Chase said. "He's skating so confident. He feels like no one can stop him."
Red River junior Andy Norman pushed the lead to 4-0 when he tipped a Jake Benson pass on a 2-on-1 break in the second period, while senior Casey Fugleberg put on the finishing touches with a goal at 9:20 of the middle frame.
Red River goalie Bryan Nies, making his first start of the tournament, stopped 14 shots. Brainerd started goalie Kyle Helmberger, who gave up Red River's first three goals before giving way to Jared Stearns. Helmberger and Stearns combined to stop 20 shots.
Chase said the Riders expect another stiff challenge from the Green Wave, who also had a convincing 5-0 win in the tournament semifinals.
"This is exactly what we wanted -- to play Brainerd and East Grand Forks," Chase said. "They're real good, and those are the types of games we need. I was impressed with East Grand Forks (on Thursday). They keep coming and hit, hit, hit."