G-PR retains first place
Spoilers hockey team defeats West Fargo, two games remain in EDC
The Grafton-Park River (G-PR) Spoilers remain on top of the EDC with their 4-1 win over the West Fargo Packers last Thursday in Fargo.
Jess Suda led the Spoilers with two goals and an assist followed by Jade Miller’s goal and assist. Miller adds to his team-leading statistics of nine goals and 17 assists. Suda has 10 points, four goals and six assists. Levi Cudmore also added his 10th goal of the season which is tied for the team’s lead with Brett Longtin.
G-PR started the game slow with West Fargo simply out-skating them until the Packers Tyler Dolan was called for a five minute major penalty for boarding, coming at the 7:43 mark of the first period.
The Spoilers failed to capitalize on the one-man advantage but carried the swing in momentum and scored with 2:17 left to go in the period. Suda put the Spoilers on the board first with the unassisted goal against senior goalie Bailey Vareberg. G-PR carried the 1-0 lead into the first break.
It took only 3:47 into a fast-moving second period for the Spoilers to add another goal and increase their lead 2-0. Miller scored off assists by Will Zimmerman and Charlie Thompson.
The Packers made things interesting three minutes later when Kody Coles scored off a pass from Ben Dirks to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Spoilers.
At the 12:37 mark of the second period, Miller hit Suda with a backhand centering pass which Suda lifted past Vareberg’s shoulder and under the crossbar to make the score 3-1 in favor of G-PR.
The Packers had a chance to utilize a power play when Cody Kingsbury was called for tripping, but West Fargo’s Jacob Wasem was also called for roughing to negate the opportunity. The second period ended 3-1 in favor of the Spoilers.
Period three picked up in intensity with the Packers becoming more physical. The Spoilers however scored again at the 9:31 mark on a Ben Thompson to Cudmore goal that gave the Spoilers some breathing room with a 4-1 lead.
With 3:39 to go in the game Will Zimmerman was called for hooking which gave the Packers their first power play opportunity of the game. The West Fargo coaching staff called a timeout with 2:43 to go in the game to discuss their options but the Spoilers skated off the power play and went on to win the game by a final score of 4-1.
“The kids really played well for us tonight,” said Grafton coach Scott Petersen. “We made a few changes and it
took us a little while to get comfortable. As soon as we did, things started to click well. We had a solid effort from all three lines,” he added.
“The next two games are extremely important. The EDC race is very tight and we need to string together six strong periods this coming week to put us in a favorable position going into the EDC tournament,” said Petersen.
With the win the Spoilers remain on the top of the EDC with 27 points followed by Grand Forks Central at 25. G-PR travels to play Fargo Davies on Thursday and will end the regular season at Red River on Saturday.