FARGO -- Grand Forks Red River goalie Nate Bradbury’s confidence appeared to rise with every save Thursday night, Feb. 21, against Bismarck Century.
Still, Patriots senior Nicholas Brown never doubted his team.
“I have a lot of confidence in our guys,” Brown said. “We’re relentless. I didn’t doubt us for a second. I don’t think anyone on the bench doubted ourselves, if I’m being honest.”
It sure helps to be confident with Brown on your bench.
He scored the game-tying goal midway through the third period and won the game in overtime during Century’s 2-1 victory over the Roughriders in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota state boys hockey tournament at Scheels Arena.
Brown scored on a physical move to the top of the crease at 4:11 of overtime.
Century, the West Region’s top seed, plays the winner of Minot and Fargo Davies in the second state semifinal Friday night. The game starts 30 minutes after the 5:30 p.m. semifinal between Central and Bismarck High.
Century improved to 21-2-1, while the Roughriders dropped to 13-10.
“The kids played well,” Red River interim coach John Dvorak said. “They poured their heart on the line. Everything that was thrown at them, they just came back harder and harder. I couldn’t be more proud.”
Bradbury finished 31 saves.
“He needed to be our best player, and he was,” Dvorak said.
Red River took the game’s first lead when Ethan Scheffer scored just his second goal of the season at 1:30 of the third period.
Scheffer, who missed more than half of the season with an injury, finished off an impressive cycle with teammates Maxx Andrade and Brendan Mullen.
It took a fortunate bounce for the Patriots to crack Bradbury for the first time.
Coming out of a television timeout, Brown cleanly won a faceoff in front of Bradbury and his centering attempt hit the skate of a Red River defender and caromed into the goal to tie the game at 1-1 at 9:36 of the third.
“(Brown) played like a senior,” Century coach Troy Olson said. “It’s one thing to be 0-0, but when you’re down, it tests your gut. I was proud of how he responded in a short time. He did what he does as a senior and captain.
“It seemed like every Grade A, Bradbury came up huge … even on second attempts. The more that snowballs, the tighter you grip the stick. I was proud of how our guys stayed the course because it’s not always easy. I think it’s a good confidence builder for our guys to know we can overcome that.”
Bismarck Century 2,
GF Red River 1, OT
Third period -- 1. RR, Ethan Scheffer (Brendan Mullen, Maxx Andrade) 1:30; 2. BC, Nicholas Brown 9:36
Overtime -- 3. BC, Brown (Carter Bailey) 4:11
Goalie saves -- RR: Nate Bradbury 10-13-7-1 -- 31; BC: Matthew Schmidt 5-5-8-2 -- 20