Duncan leads Spuds
Joe Duncan felt like he owed the Moorhead boys hockey team a favor. He didn't wait long to deliver. After giving up a couple of shaky goals against Grand Rapids on Friday, Duncan was the best layer on the ice Saturday. The senior netminder carrie...
Joe Duncan felt like he owed the Moorhead boys hockey team a favor. He didn't wait long to deliver.
After giving up a couple of shaky goals against Grand Rapids on Friday, Duncan was the best layer on the ice Saturday.
The senior netminder carried the top-ranked Spuds to a 2-0 victory with 26 saves against No. 5 Duluth East at Moorhead Sports Center.
"I didn't have my best night (Friday), and the guys helped me out," Duncan said. "I stuck with it. It was my turn to step up."
Duncan's most important play came in the closing minutes with the Spuds clinging to a 1-0 lead. Skating with an extra attacker, the Greyhounds put the pressure on.
After saving one shot, a breakdown behind the net left the puck sitting right next to the crease, waiting for anybody to pounce.
Duncan got there first, bounding on it just before a pair of Duluth East skaters got there.
"It was unfortunate because the puck had eyes (on Friday), but tonight he came up big," said Spuds coach Dave Morinville. "That save at the end was a nice save - a very big save."
The only goal Moorhead (6-0) needed came early, and from a familiar source as Jordy Christian lit the lamp at the 4-minute, 22-second mark of the first period.
After that it was a battle between Duncan and Greyhounds goalie Ben Leis - who stopped 35 shots in the loss.
It was Moorhead's third game in the last five days.
Morinville said he thought the Spuds lacked the pop they had in previous wins against Roseau and Grand Rapids. That, combined with a hot Duluth East goalie, made things tight.
"Their goalie is very good, and he made saves look easy," Morinville said. "But it seemed like we weren't completely in it. We weren't that good, but we found a way to win."
Pat Deitz clinched the win by scoring an empty-netter with just 41 seconds left in the game.
The win gave the Spuds three victories in the last five days over teams ranked in the top 10.
Next for Moorhead is North Dakota rival Fargo South, which beat the Spuds 5-4 last year.
The Bruins have a solid goaltender in Sean Deichert, and Duncan said he expects another tight game - even if he wants something else.
"It will probably be close again, but I hope we blow them out," Duncan said. "We still have a bad taste in our mouths from last year."
FIRST PERIOD: 1, M, Christian (Ambrosie, Thielen), 4:22.
SECOND PERIOD: 2, No scoring.
THIRD PERIOD: 3, M, Deitz (Nitzkorski, J. Lee), 16:19 (pp).
SAVES: DE, Leis 14-11-10-35. M, Duncan 5-11-10-26.
Readers can reach Forum sports writer Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548