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Top-seeded Central takes care of West Fargo Sheyenne

Despite a youthful roster, Grand Forks Central turned to its seniors to kickstart East Region play on Tuesday night at Purpur Arena. Seniors Zack Murphy and Hunter Moreland each had two goals as the Knights beat West Fargo Sheyenne 7-0 in an East...

Central defenseman Brandon Holt (#18) fires a wrist shot to a teammate in the second period of Tuesday's EDC quarterfinal hockey game against West Fargo Sheyenne at Fido Purpur Arena. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
Central defenseman Brandon Holt (#18) fires a wrist shot to a teammate in the second period of Tuesday's EDC quarterfinal hockey game against West Fargo Sheyenne at Fido Purpur Arena. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Despite a youthful roster, Grand Forks Central turned to its seniors to kickstart East Region play on Tuesday night at Purpur Arena.

Seniors Zack Murphy and Hunter Moreland each had two goals as the Knights beat West Fargo Sheyenne 7-0 in an East Region quarterfinal.

"They got us going," Central coach Grant Paranica said of his seniors. "Since Christmas, Murphy has been tremendous for us. He's had critical plays at critical times. He's stepped up as a leader for us."

Central junior goalie Kaleb Johnson recorded the shutout with 17 saves.

Murphy, who recently committed to play football at UND next season, started the scoring at 4:44 of the opening period.

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Moreland, who now has nine goals on the year, made it 2-0 with a power-play goal from the right point just 47 seconds into the second period.

The Knights rolled from there as forward Kyler Briske scored at 3:36 of the second and defenseman Brandon Holt got a goal at 4:58.

"I thought we were a little nervous to start and got better as the game went on," Paranica said. "We did what we do well and that's get puck on net, cycle well and pursue hard."

Moreland, Murphy and Jeffrey Hendrickson, who scored his first varsity goal, netted third-period goals for the Knights, who triggered running time in the third and outshot Sheyenne 30-17.

Murphy now has a team-high 15 goals this season.

Central improved to 19-1-2, while the Mustangs dropped to 8-14-1.

The Knights, who won their 12th-straight game, will play Fargo North in an East Region semifinal at 6 p.m. at Purpur on Friday.

Central beat North 5-2 and 2-1 during the regular season.

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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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