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Minute of misery: Knights sink Bruins with 2 late goals

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Pat Lindgren may never be compared to baseball great Babe Ruth, but in Saturday's state championship contest, he called his shot.

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Pat Lindgren may never be compared to baseball great Babe Ruth, but in Saturday's state championship contest, he called his shot.

After South took a one-goal lead on a shot which caromed off the senior defenseman's skate, Lindgren told goalie Tony Meyer that he would get it back for him.

It took him almost 39 minutes, but he finally did.

Lindgren and Matt Moreland scored back-to-back goals in the final minute as the Knights overcame a late one-goal deficit for an improbable 3-2 victory over Fargo South for their second consecutive state championship at Ralph Engelstad Arena.

"I told the guys on the bench, 'Don't let me live with that,'" Lindgren said of the South goal which he deflected in.

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"It really affected my play. I was worried about it the whole game."

It didn't seem to affect his play in the waning seconds.

With Fargo South 47 seconds away from a state title, Lindgren let go of a wrist shot which found its way through traffic and between goaltender Ben McLean's pads to tie the score.

"I couldn't even see the net, there was so much traffic in front," said Lindgren, who scored the game-winner in overtime in Friday night's semifinal against Red River.

"I'm not much of goal-scorer, so this (weekend) was huge for me."

Seconds later, Moreland completed the comeback with his second goal of the game, a blast from the behind the far circle, which beat the goaltender high.

"I got all of it," the Mr. Hockey finalist said. "That would have to be about the best goal I've ever scored."

The loss was especially crushing for Dean Wilson's team, who outplayed the defending champs for much of the contest. South outshot the Knights for 44 minutes of play and held this year's Mr. Hockey recipient -- Central's Jordan McIntyre -- quiet the entire game.

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"We played flawless," Wilson said. "We proved we belonged in this game. Good teams just find a way to win."

For the third straight game the Bruins took the first lead in the opening minute.

Senior Adam Kankelfritz tallied his third goal of the tournament just 57 seconds in.

After Central tied the score on Moreland's first goal of the game, Luke Brehmer found the back of the net with a fortuitous bounce.

The senior banked a pass off Central defenseman Lindgren and past Meyer to give South a 2-1 lead after one. It was a lead South hung clung to until the final minute.

"We wanted to score first and play from ahead, you don't want to try to catch a good team from behind," Wilson said.

"We've been playing hard like this all year; we just fell a tad short."

While Lindgren's blunder didn't end up costing his team in the end, he said he could empathize with what was going on in the South locker room.

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"They don't have anything to be ashamed of," he said.

"They're a very skilled team; (they) played a great game."

With McIntyre winning Mr. Hockey, it is the second year in a row that a Central player has earned the award, which is given to the top senior player as voted by the coaches. Knights goalie Kasey Moreland won the award last year.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, FS, Kankelfritz (Olson), 0:57. 2, GFC, Moreland (Stengl), 3:03. 3, FS, Brehmer, 5:18.

SECOND PERIOD: No scoring.

THIRD PERIOD: 4, GFC, Lindgren (McIntyre, Lamoureux), 14:13. 5, GFC, Moreland (McIntyre, Lindgren), 14:25.

GOALIE SAVES: FS, McLean 4-7-9--20. GFC, Meyer 4-10-6--21.

All-State Tournament team

G -- Brett Gilbraith, GFRR. D -- Matt Hill, GFRR. D -- Pat Lindgren, GFC. F -- Alan Jechort, BCHS. F -- Adam Kankelfritz, FS. F -- Matt Moreland, GFC

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Cummings at (701) 241-5549

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