Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department since 2004. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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With a quick turnaround from a rivalry loss to Grand Forks Central the day before, the Grand Forks Red River boys hockey team didn’t have time early Saturday afternoon to dwell on the semifinal setback. “We had to come out with a vengeance and right the ship,” Red River interim coach John Dvorak said. “Luckily, we were able to bring our ‘A’ game.”
For one period, the Fargo Davies boys hockey team looked ready to place Grand Forks Central on upset alert. The second period? Well, the undefeated Knights just looked angry anyone let the thought of an upset even creep into their mind. The Knights scored four second-period goals, including one with five seconds left in the period, to spark a 6-2 win over Fargo Davies on Saturday night in the East Region championship at Purpur Arena.
When Fargo South/Shanley's Drew Sandy finished off a hat trick Saturday afternoon, a single baseball hat was thrown on the ice. Sandy skated over, scooped it up and tossed it back into the stands. At that point, the junior forward was taking care of everything—even clearing the ice—for the Bruins in the third period.
Dean Wilson was in a strange place Friday night at Purpur Arena. The veteran Fargo South coach was on the opposite bench of the Bruins this time. Fargo Davies' new interim head coach, however, was in a familiar place in terms of winning playoff hockey games. Wilson's Eagles used two goals from star forward Cade Stibbe to beat Fargo South/Shanley 3-0 in the East Region semifinals at Purpur Arena. Davies, the No. 3 seed, plays Grand Forks Central in the region championship at 5 p.m.
Only one team has played within a goal of unbeaten Grand Forks Central this season. Rival Grand Forks Red River, somewhat surprisingly, lost to the Knights in overtime Jan. 26. On Friday night in the East Region semifinals, the Knights made that result look more like a fluke than a sign of things to come. Central looked every bit like the state tournament favorite by receiving scoring from seven different players in a 7-1 win over Red River at Purpur Arena.
The UND football program is picking extra rest over an extra game in 2019. On Thursday, the Fighting Hawks released their 2019 schedule, a slate that includes 11 games and two bye weeks for a season in which teams have the option to play a 12th game. UND's bye weeks will come Sept. 21 and Nov. 2. The decision is likely a nod to the strength of UND's early season opponents.
The UND football program tapped an alum to fill its latest coaching vacancy. The Fighting Hawks hired Brett Holinka as defensive line coach on Wednesday, filling the void of Jordan Gigli, who left in late January for the same job at Northern Illinois. Holinka, a Dickinson, N.D., native, has been the defensive coordinator at the University of Mary in Bismarck since 2017. He previously coached for three seasons at Winona State (special teams coordinator and linebackers coach) and for two at Rutgers (defensive quality control coach).
UND senior Lexi Klabo has been named to the Top 10 List for the Cheryl Miller Award, the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced Wednesday. Klabo is the only player from a mid-major program represented on the list of semifinalists.
How deep is Grand Forks Central? With fourth-line forward Chase Spicer out with an illness, the Knights inserted sophomore Brenden White for his seventh game of the season. White scored less than three minutes into the game to kickstart Central's 9-2 win over Grafton-Park River in an East Region quarterfinal on Tuesday night at Purpur Arena. "That's huge," Central top-line forward Lucas Kanta said. "You never know when your first or second line guys are going to get snubbed on a night. It's nice to know you can rely on those guys to get goals, as well."
The strange day for the Grand Forks Red River boys hockey team still ended in a win Tuesday night at Purpur Arena. On the day the Roughriders learned head coach Bill Chase had been placed on indefinite administrative leave, the Riders didn't show many signs of distraction against West Fargo. No. 4 Red River used goals from Brendan Mullen, Maxx Andrade and Tyler Savage as interim head coach John Dvorak picked up his first head coaching win in a 3-0 victory over No. 5 West Fargo in the region quarterfinals.