Hats off to Cudmore
Spoilers open with win over Spartans
The Grafton Spoilers traveled to Fargo North on Nov. 26 and came away with a 5-1 win over the Spartans to gain two points in the EDC.
Levi Cudmore led the Spoilers with a hat trick, scoring a goal in the first period and two in the second. He also had an assist in the third when his pass to Josh Burianek rebounded off Spartans’ goalie Austin Toussaint and was then lifted in by Brett Longtin.
Longtin, also added another goal shortly after his first to seal the win for Grafton.
Zach Nelson was stingy in the net with 30 saves on the night, of which 14 came in the third period. Toussaint had 29 saves for the Spartans.
“Our top line really stepped up for us tonight, accounting for all five goals. For us to be successful, we need this group to have a positive goal count every night,” said Grafton coach Scott Peterson.
It took a few minutes for the Spoilers to warm up their skates in the early stages of the game. They had a power play early when Fargo North’s Joseph Weist was called for high sticking at the 11:16 mark but the Spoilers could not capitalize on the opportunity.
Grafton scored first at the 5:33 mark when Jade Miller hit Cudmore with a lead pass who then netted his first goal of the night to put the Spoilers ahead 1-0.
Miller almost added to the score shortly thereafter with a breakaway that was gloved by Toussaint.
The Spartans had a few opportunities of their own to get on the board but failed to push the puck past the Spoilers’ netminder. Their best chance to tie the game came late in the period when Jordan Sager had a wide open net but a last second effort by Nelson squashed the Spartans chance to tie the score. The Spoilers led 1-0 after the first period.
Grafton took the ice in the second period and soon found themselves a man short when Grant Schumacher was called for tripping at the 2:46 mark. The Spoilers did a great job killing North’s power play to avert the Spartans’ opportunity.
Later in the period Cudmore collected his second goal at the 9:16 mark on another assist from Miller that put Grafton ahead 2-0.
Just 21 seconds later Brit Brouillard was called for interference that later resulted in a Fargo North power-play goal by Grayson Kline at the 10:26 mark to make the score 2-1 in favor of Grafton.
The Spoilers then took advantage of Fargo North’s two penalties within five seconds of each other starting at the 12:52 mark to give Grafton a two man advantage. At 11:50, Cudmore scored his third goal of the night with assists from Cody Kingsbury and Charlie Thompson to make the score 3-1 in favor of Grafton.
After this Fargo North picked up the aggressiveness but the second period closed with Graalum getting called for a cross-check penalty with one second remaining and Grafton took a 3-1 lead into the locker room.
Grafton could not take advantage of the power play to start the third period and soon found themselves a man down when Noah Zimmerman was penalized for interference.
The Spoilers killed off the penalty and at the 5:43 mark had a power-play opportunity of their own as Graalum was called for interference. The Spartans also skated off the penalty.
At the 8:21 mark Longtin scored his first goal with assists by Cudmore and Burianek to extend the Spoilers’ lead to 4-1.
Longtin’s second goal of the night came at the 10:09 mark after a Ben Thompson shot rebounded in front of the net that Longtin pushed past Toussaint. That gave the Spoilers breathing room with the score 5-1.
The remainder of the game went without incident and the Spoilers won 5-1 to add to their season record of 3-1.
“This was a good early season test,” said Peterson. “It was good to have a physical high-intensity game on the road early. The young guys need to see and learn to be prepared for this type of game every night.”