Defenseman Murphy Fellman tried to help out Thief River Falls goalie Tanner Holmes by clearing East Grand Forks’ Tommy Hajicek from in front of the net in the second period of Tuesday’s boys high school hockey match-up.
One day after East Grand Forks eliminated Thief River Falls from the Section 8A girls high school hockey tournament, the Green Wave took the top seed away from the Prowlers for the upcoming Section 8A boys playoffs with a Tuesday night win at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. In both cases, it was a 2-1 final.
With the winner a lock to earn the No. 1 spot in the post-season bracket, East Grand Forks made amends for a 6-2 home ice loss to the Prowlers on Jan. 22 that ended the Green Wave status as the only unbeaten team in the state.
A good-size crowd of 1,110 turned out for the rematch. The Thief River Falls contingent sat quietly for most of the night as they watched the Green Wave out-shoot the Prowlers 34-15.
“A good hockey game, but they beat us,” offered Thief River Falls coach Tim Bergland. “We didn’t create enough scoring chances to give ourselves a chance to win. They (Green Wave) did a nice job taking away the middle of the ice. We need to do a better job fighting through that and creating more scoring opportunities.”
All three goals came in the second period.
Thief River Falls got on the board first when defenseman Grady Pederson picked off an East Grand Forks neutral ice pass and fired a long shot as he crossed the blue line. The ice-hugger eluded Green Wave goalie Tanner Lindstrom just 20 seconds after the teams resumed play following the first intermission.
The lead was short-lived.
Allowed to skate uncontested in the offensive zone, Dixon Bowen attacked the net from the face-off circle to the right of Thief River Falls goalie Tanner Holmes and put a wrist shot into the upper corner 55 seconds after the Pederson goal.
The game-winner came from Tommy Hajicek at 9:54. He scored from the side while a crowd battled for position in front of Holmes.
Thief River Falls was 15-9 heading into a final regular season start at Bemidji Friday.
First period – no scoring.
Second period – TRF, Grady Pederson, :20; EGF, Dixon Bowen (Grant Loven, Eddie Eades), 1:15; EGF, Tommy Hajicek (Tanner Tweten, Tye Ausmus), 9:54.
Third period – no scoring.
Goalie saves – TRF, Tanner Holmes 13-8-11–32; EGF, Tanner Lindstrom 7-5-2–14.