Spoilers finish second at state
Two named as All-Tournament team selections
It was nice while it lasted. Problem was the opening pressure the Spoilers put on the Grand Forks Red River Roughriders wasn’t nearly enough. The Riders took care of business on championship night derailing the Grafton Park River Spoilers 7-1 to earn their 16th state title.
Grafton-Park River came out of the gates with guns blazing and for the first two minutes of the game controlled play in the Rider end. But that was the end of it as a very strong-skating Roughrider team took over from there. The Spoilers put the first four shots of the game on net but none made it past goalie Aaron Suave. Over the course of the next 10 minutes, the Spoilers would not get another shot on goal while Red River started blasting away. The Riders peeled off 15 straight shots at GPR goalie Zach Nelson and would score on two of them.
Red River got the first one past Nelson at the 4:29 mark of the period when Andy Norman would score a shorthanded goal on a Spoiler giveaway in their own end. Then a redirected shot from the top of the right circle found its way to the back of the Spoiler net and Jacob Benson had the Riders up 2-0. Shots on net favored Red River 15 to 5 after the first period.
The Spoilers started the second period with a man advantage but could manage just one shot on goal. Another Spoiler power play later produced no shots as Red River tightened up close around Suave. Brett Longtin had the best Spoiler shot of the period when he got around the Rider defense down the right side but his shot was stopped on the short side by Suave. The Riders would go up 3-0 when Matt Christian scored.
Grafton Park River’s lone highlight came a minute later when Zach Feltman picked off a pass at the Rider blue line, took a few strides into the zone and let go with a low blast that Suave got a piece of but it was too hot to handle and skirted off his pads into the net. The glimmer of comeback hope was dashed by Suave just seconds later when Levi Cudmore found Johnny Robideaux parked in front of the net. Robideaux’s one-timer was blocked by Suave and the rebound attempt by Robidueaux was smothered and the score remained 3-1. For all intents and purposes, Red River ended it three minutes later when Jordan Lunski scored making it 4-1 at the close of the period.
Red River added three more goals in the third period as the Spoilers couldn’t slow the Rider machine on this night. Final shots on goal were 42 to 14 in favor of Red River.
The Spoilers took second place honors for the third straight season. Post tournament awards included two Spoilers. Joining the all tournament team were Zach Feltman and Jade Miller.