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Central rebounds after rare defeat to rout Grafton-Park River

Grand Forks Central goalie Kaleb Johson deflects a shot by Grafton Park River's Todd Anderson in the second period.photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald1 / 3
Grand Forks Central's Cole Wigestrand (14) and William Lawson-Body score against Grafton-Park River goalie Andrew Larson to give the Knights a 6-0 lead. Defending for the Spoilers is Matthew Suda (15.)photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald2 / 3
Grand Forks Central players Brendan White (12) and William Lawson-Body(8) celebrate Lawson-Body's goal against GPR goalie Andrew Lawson in the second period.photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald3 / 3

The Grand Forks Central boys hockey team saw a 37-game unbeaten streak end earlier this week with a four-goal loss to East Grand Forks Senior High.

"You want a good response after a subpar outing," Knights coach Grant Paranica said. "It's like anything, it's not the mistakes you make it's what you do after them."

Central's response to the rare defeat was emphatic.

The Knights received scoring from eight different players in a 9-0 rout of Grafton-Park River on Thursday night at Purpur Arena.

Central improved to 8-1-2, while the Spoilers fell to 6-7.

"We regrouped and played well through the whole lineup," Paranica said. "We went to the gritty areas and played rugged."

Central sophomore forward William Lawson-Body led the Knights with two goals and two assists.

Mitchell Idalski, Zack Murphy, Kyler Briske, Cole Wigestrand, Zane Miller, Will Howard and Parker Stroh also scored for the Knights.

Central continued its dominance over the Spoilers, who haven't beaten the Knights since 2014. Central beat Grafton-Park River by a combined score of 35-2 last year in three outings.

But this lopsided score came as a surprise as Grafton-Park River already has more wins than last season in the first year under new head coach Scott Robideaux. The Spoilers lost a tight 7-6 game to Grand Forks Red River earlier this season.

"We didn't come ready to play," Robideaux said. "We knew it would be a fast-paced game. We knew we had to play physical and we didn't step up to the task."

Central goalies Kaleb Johnson (13) and Nick Pineo (5) combined to make 18 stops, while Spoilers goalies Andrew Larson (22) and Bennett Carter (7) totaled 29 saves.

Paranica said the Knights had to do some team reflection after the 5-1 loss to the Green Wave on Tuesday.

"It had been coming for a while—we were getting away with things we shouldn't have been," he said. "After East Side, they sat down and said we aren't playing well. We're doing things we normally don't do. We were playing pickup hockey. The guys took it on their shoulders and said they have to change the way they're playing."

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 13 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

(701) 780-1121
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