THIEF RIVER FALLS -- It's an oft-stated cliche that it is exceedingly difficult to beat the same team three times in one season. Top-seeded Moorhead ignored such talk Wednesday night in the Section 8AA finals at Ralph Englestad Arena in Thief River Falls, beating No. 2 Roseau for the third time this year, 5-2.
Earlier this season, Moorhead shut out Roseau on its home ice (5-0) and then earned a 4-3 overtime thriller in the rematch to earn the No. 1 seed in Section 8AA. The third victory Wednesday night propelled the Spuds to the state tournament for the first time since 2005.
Junior goalie Logan Marks, the son of legendary ECHL coach John Marks, capped his outstanding play in the tournament by making 22 saves. In three section games, Marks posted two shutouts and stopped 54 of 56 total shots.
The section final match-up between the two Northwestern powers was not unexpected. It was the fifth year in a row they've met in the finals, with Roseau winning the previous three. But this time, Moorhead jumped on the Rams early and never trailed.
Jordan Doschadis tallied a power play goal just 1:12 into the game to give the Spuds a 1-0 lead. Roseau answered back on the power play at 8:09, as Adam Knochenmus jammed one home. Exactly one minute later, Trent Johnson tallied on the power play for Moorhead to regain a one-goal lead.
In the second period, the Rams' Cole Kostrzewski and Moorhead's Lucas Henry traded goals, as the Spuds entered the final 17 minutes up 3-2. At that point, all five goals in the game were scored on the power play.
Kyle Kraemer got the first non-special teams goal at 3:46 of the third to give Moorhead a 4-2 lead and put the game out of reach. With goalie Allan Mekash on the bench for an extra attacker, Johnson notched his second of the game into the open net for the final margin.
Ethan Kvidt started in nets and made eight saves, while Mekash came on in relief to stop five shots. Roseau outshot the Spuds 24-18.
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