WATCH: Central rolls Red River on the ice

Red River goalie Nate Bradbury tries to make a last-ditch save as Central's Lucas Kanta (15) and Roughriders defenseman Tanner Bernhardson (22) slide into the crease Saturday afternoon at Fido Purpur Arena. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
Red River goalie Nate Bradbury tries to make a last-ditch save as Central's Lucas Kanta (15) and Roughriders defenseman Tanner Bernhardson (22) slide into the crease Saturday afternoon at Fido Purpur Arena. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

You often hear cliches about how rivalry games can be an equalizer, how the records can be thrown out the window.

Not this time.

Not with this Grand Forks Central boys hockey team.

Lucas Kanta had three goals and an assist to lead the Knights to an 8-1 win over Grand Forks Red River on Saturday afternoon at Purpur Arena.

Central improved to 6-0, averaging 9.0 goals per game and has now outscored opponents 54-2 this year. The Knights have seen running time (six-goal lead in the third period) in five of their six games.

"I thought we played well throughout our lineup," Central coach Grant Paranica said. "We pursued the puck real hard and that gave their defense some fits."

Kanta started the scoring at 7 minutes, 47 seconds of the first period, followed by Joey Kennelly's first goal of the year to make it 2-0 at 9:54 of the first.

After a Red River timeout, Central's young line of sophomores Braden Panzer and Chase Spicer and freshman Cole Spicer struck to make it 3-0.

Chase Spicer scored his second of the season with assists to Cole Spicer and Panzer.

Red River's best period was the second with shots 11-10 Central, but the Knights pulled away in the frame anyway with goals from Cole Hanson, William Lawson-Body and Kanta.

The Riders, who dropped to 4-2, received their lone goal from Mason Thingvold, who made it 6-1 near the end of the second on assists from Drew Montgomery and Maxx Andrade.

"We need to play smarter," Red River coach Bill Chase said. "Our hustle was there, but we need to play smarter. Part of that is Central plays fast. When you have choices, it's hard to see the right one when Central is playing so fast. We have to learn from that."

The Knights rounded out the scoring with goals from Kanta and Cole Wigestrand in the third period for the final margin.

Kanta entered the game with a setup reputation. He had three goals and 15 assists, while linemate Hanson led the state with 14 goals.

"He's a power forward and him and Hanson play so well together," Paranica said. "The first part of the year was Hanson and now Kanta is putting them in the net, too. They complement each other so well. They go to the net hard, and they're good leaders."