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Murphy nets OT winner to lift Roseau past Spuds in Section 8AA thriller

With the victory, the Rams (4-1) snapped the Spuds' (2-3) two-game win streak and earned some revenge against the team who ended their season in the Section 8AA final for the second consecutive season this past spring.

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Roseau's Max Strand beats Moorhead goalie Kai Weigel at the Moorhead Sports Center on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. David Samson / The Forum
Forum Communications Co.

MOORHEAD — If you were one of the spectators in attendance to take in Roseau at Moorhead boys hockey at the Moorhead Sports Center on Tuesday night, you may find yourself struggling to remember how the first period played out.

That's because the final two frames were wild ones, and those who follow either program shouldn't have expected anything different.

Eight of the 13 goals scored in the contest occurred in the final 34 minutes of regulation. It took overtime for one team to find that coveted thirteenth goal, and it was senior Kellen Murphy who found it for the Rams, deflecting a pass from senior Max Strand by Spuds sophomore netminder Kai Weigel and into the back of the net, as Roseau prevailed over its Section 8AA rival in a 7-6 thriller.

With the victory, the Rams (4-1) snapped the Spuds' (2-3) two-game win streak and earned some revenge against the team who ended their season in the Section 8AA final for the second consecutive season this past spring.

Although Roseau Head Coach Greg Lund is in his first year with the program, he's well aware that the ticket to the Minnesota state tournament goes through Moorhead.

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"It was a good game for both teams," he said. "We know to win Section 8, it's been going through Moorhead lately. This is a big win, but we've obviously got to win March 2. That's the key and hopefully it'll be us two in that section final."

Many moons ago in the first period Tuesday, the Rams found themselves down 3-1 after 17 minutes. A powerplay tally from Strand put the visitors up 1-0 just 2:31 into the contest before Moorhead responded with three unanswered from senior Gavin Lindberg, junior Aaron Reierson and senior Carson Triggs.

Despite the deficit, Lund was confident with where his team was at going into the locker room.

"We didn't think we had that bad of a first period," he said. "The effort was there, we made some mental errors. (Moorhead) is a heck of a hockey team. You make a mistake, they're going to score on you and we knew that. That's what happened. But we knew the effort was there and there were still two periods of hockey left. Our game was fine, but our mental mistakes burned us."

Moorhead Head Coach Jon Ammerman is also aware of what's at stake between these two teams come postseason time.

"If you go back and look at the last 15 or 20 years, it's been either Roseau or Moorhead that has represented Section 8 in the state tournament with the exception of a few years," he said. "I think this year was something that Roseau had circled in terms of their returners, and I would imagine we would say the same about our team."

As for Tuesday, Ammerman said the result simply came down to the Rams making one more play.

"The game was obviously a very high-scoring, up and down game with a lot of emotion and energy. Overall, they just made one more play than us. There's obviously a lot that we can do to clean up defensively, but it's still early in the year and hopefully the next time around when we play them in February, it's a different result."

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Roseau struck even in the second period with two goals 26 seconds apart. St. Cloud State commit and senior Thor Byfuglien netted the first at 7:03 before senior Gavin Gunderson added the equalizer to knot the score at four apiece.

With 31 seconds remaining in the frame, Strand netted his second of the night to all but give his team a one-goal lead entering the final 17 minutes. Moorhead said no to that idea however, with junior Joe Kortan scoring 21 seconds later to make it 5-5 heading into the third.

Murphy scored just 33 seconds into the third period to put Roseau back on top, but with 3:40 remaining, Triggs earned his second tally with a short side shot on Rams senior goaltender Carter Christianson.

Both teams had their chances after that, but the game ultimately went to overtime before Murphy, waiting in the slot, deflected Strand's pass into the back of the net.

Final shots were 38-37 in favor of Moorhead. Christianson set aside 32 Spuds shots in the win while Weigel stopped 30 in the losing effort.

The Rams were 1 for 3 on the powerplay while the Spuds were 1 for 2.

Murphy had a hand in six of the Rams' seven goals, scoring two and adding four assists. Strand and Gunderson each had three-point nights for Roseau.

The Spuds were led on the scoresheet by junior Harper Bentz who notched three assists on the night. Lindberg and Triggs each had two-point evenings, with Lindberg notching a goal and an assist and Triggs scoring two goals.

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The Spuds travel to Benilde-St. Margaret's (2-1) on Friday with puck drop slated for 8 p.m. Roseau hosts Grand Rapids (5-0) Friday at 7 p.m.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, RS, Strand (Urness, Murphy), 2:39. 2, MH, Lindberg (Bentz, Arnold), 3:21. 3, MH, Reierson (Bentz, Lindberg), 5:27. 4, MH, Triggs (Bentz) 11:31.

SECOND PERIOD: 5, RS, Jensen (Johnson), 1:02. 6, MH, Schroeder, 2:08. 7, RS, Byfuglien (Gunderson, Murphy), 7:03. 8, RS, Gunderson (Murphy), 7:29. 9, RS, Strand (Murphy), 16:29. 10, MH, Kortan (Stalboerger, Krier), 16:50.

THIRD PERIOD: 11, RS, Murphy (Adam Severson, Gunderson), 0:33. 12, MH, Triggs, 13:20.

OVERTIME: 13, RS, Murphy (Strand, Adam Severson) 3:18.

SAVES: MH, Weigel 16-5-9-0—30. RS, Christianson 5-12-15-0—32.

Related Topics: HOCKEY
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