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North, South off to state

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Sam Johnson was moved from forward to defense this year. It's a good thing for Fargo North that he still has a little offense in him. The junior scored two goals to spark the Spartans to a 5-4 victory against Devils Lake-Cando...

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Sam Johnson was moved from forward to defense this year.

It's a good thing for Fargo North that he still has a little offense in him.

The junior scored two goals to spark the Spartans to a 5-4 victory against Devils Lake-Cando in a state-qualifying game.

"We haven't been getting bounces at all," Johnson said. "We've been kind of snake-bit. I think we really turned it around this game."

As a result, North is headed to the state tournament for the first time since 2002.

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"We're working our tails off to make our program better," North coach Jay Erickson said. "What this is going to do is generate that enthusiasm, get those (young) kids to see what a great sport hockey is."

The Spartans entered the tournament as the sixth seed. Devils Lake-Cando was the fifth seed.

"I thought both teams worked hard," Devils Lake-Cando coach Al Henry said.

North led 2-1 after one period, but the teams exploded for five second-period goals.

First, Johnson scored from the blue line at 3:57 for a 3-1 North lead. Less than a minute later, Billy Otis scored from close range for Devils Lake-Cando. Johnson then gave North another two-goal lead at 7:17 when his shot from the point beat a screened Daniel Groves.

Back and forth it went.

At 11:21 of the second, Casey Byram scored his second goal of the game on a rebound while the Firebirds were on a power play to make it 4-3. Just 20 seconds later, however, Bekkedahl finished off a play in which he went coast to coast for a 5-3 North lead.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, FN, Bekkedahl (Brenneman, Berg), 8:33. 2, DLC, Byram (Hanson), 10:58. 3, FN, Berg (Wadholm, McPhail), 14:13.

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SECOND PERIOD: 4, FN, Johnson, 3:57. 5, DLC, Otis, 4:33. 6, FN, Johnson (Bekkedahl) 7:17. 7, DLC, Byram (Henke, Hanson), 11:21. 8, FN, Bekkedahl (McPhail, Trana), 11:41.

THIRD PERIOD: 9, DLC, Henke (Byram, Hanson), 6:08.

SAVES: FN, Labernik 7-13-7-27, DLC, Groves 8-6-7-21.

Fargo South 4, GF Central 2

With one big flurry, Fargo South dashed Grand Forks Central's state tournament hopes.

The Bruins scored three quick goals late in the second period to grab a win over the Knights in a state-qualifying game.

The Bruins play Williston in the first round of the North Dakota state tournament on Thursday in Ralph Engelstad Arena.

The Knights finished the season 13-10-1.

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South's Josh Hooey, Peter Orson and Alex Hooey each scored goals between 11:25 and 16:11 of the second.

"We talked about going hard to the net, and if we kept doing that, we'd get one," South coach Dean Wilson said. "We were able to pop one in."

Central started the scoring with a goal 3:45 into the second when David Sayler scored in a scrum in front of goalie Scott Buchholz.

South, though, countered at 11:25. Josh Hooey scored a power-play goal with traffic in front of goalie Seth Lang, who finished with 24 stops.

"(South) capitalized on some bounces," Central coach Tony Bina said. "They were able to get a bunch of traffic in front."

Central made things interesting in the third period. Tanner Spicer scored at 12:47 of the final period to make it 3-2. On the power play, Spicer skated up the right side and fired a shot from the right circle past Buchholz.

Central had a few strong chances late in the game with a pulled goalie.

FIRST PERIOD: No scoring.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, GFC, Sayler, 3:45. 2, FS, J. Hooey (Huguelet), 11:25. 3, FS, Orson (Groth), 13:39. 4, FS, A. Hooey (Groth, Orson), 16:11.

THIRD PERIOD: 5, GFC, Spicer (Riopelle), 12:47. 6, FS, Groth 16:56.

SAVES: GFC, Lang 7-12-5-24, FS, Buchholz 4-7-6-17.

Grand Forks Red River 3, Grafton-Park River 0

Eric Meland had to tap his baseball skills in order to help give the Grand Forks Red River boys hockey team a region championship.

With a puck bouncing over his head, Meland swung, connected and put it in the back of the net to spark the Roughriders to a 3-0 win over Grafton-Park River in the East Region championship game Saturday night in Purpur Arena.

Red River plays Bismarck Century in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota state tournament on Thursday in Ralph Engelstad Arena. Grafton-Park River plays Mandan in the quarterfinals.

FIRST PERIOD: No scoring.

Second period: 1, GFRR, Meland (Galbreath, Schaefer), 9:49; 2, GFRR, Meland, 15:39.

THIRD PERIOD: 3, GFRR, Schaefer (LaDouceur, Meland), 4:04

SAVES: RR, Arnason 6-5-8-19, G-PR: Monsebroten 4-7-7-18.

The Grand Forks Herald and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.

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