EDC hockey tournament provides plenty of emotion and drama

SPORTS SUNDAY -- Even though a 2-1 deficit to Davies on Saturday looked bad, the Grand Forks Central boys hockey team never got phased.

"I'd say a pretty big win over our cross-town rival," said senior forward Cole Hanson. "So we wanted to come out hard and it didn't happen, we got a little lackadaisical."

After one period, the Knights seemed in for a fight.

However, the team scored five unanswered goals the rest of the way to win the EDC crown. The game flipped as their mentality did.

Afterwards, the team received a plethora of awards, including five all-EDC conference players, Cole Hanson as Outstanding Senior Athlete, and Grant Paranica as coach of the year.

"Six years straight he's been playing for the EDC championship and four out of five years he's been in the state championship," said senior forward Lucas Kanta. "So it's well deserved."

Though the EDC title was up for grabs, two other spots in the state tournament were on the line.

Red River bounced back from a bizarre week to clinch one state spot. After Bill Chase was put on administrative leave, distractions were all around. However, the leadership of the seniors and interim head coach John Dvorak helped the team overcome.

"I think we handled it the best we could," said senior goalie Nate Bradbury. "We talked a lot and understood how we were as a team would be important this week."

Fargo South/Shanley survived a high scoring affair with West Fargo to get states and end a four-year drought. The game was tied 3-3 heading into the third period, and the Bruins knew their season was on the line.

"We said we worked way too hard, way too hard to not finish this now," said Bruins head coach Dean French. "And we're good at finishing out games so let's just stick with it, trust in ourselves, and it'll go for us."