East Grand Forks' Landon Parker (9) celebrated one of his goals in the third period against Minnesota River in the Class 1A quarterfinal Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center. Photo: ELIZABETH FLORES • firstname.lastname@example.org
Minnesota River had seized the momentum. The unseeded Bulldogs (20-5) were brimming with energy and enthusiasm. They even had a power play.
Everything was aligning in the first-time state tournament entrant’s favor.
Then in skated Landon Parker. Bang. Bang. The East Grand Forks sophomore dashed the comeback hopes of one of the Class 1A state tournament’s feel-good entries with goals 63 seconds apart to start the third period en route to a 5-2 victory for the No. 3 seed Green Wave.
“We knew we would have to come back in the third period and kind of make a statement,” Parker said. “Come out fast and hard, moing the puck.”
Parker’s first goal was a shorthander. He fired a shot into the upper right corner of the net after collecting a turnover in the slot. The second goal came on a breakaway.
Sophomore forward Landon Parker scored goals 63 seconds apart in the third period as East Grand Forks, back-to-back champions in 2014 and 2015, pulled away from first-time entrant Minnesota River 5-2 on Wednesday in the Class 1A quarterfinals.
No. 3 seed East Grand Forks (21-8) led 3-0 early in the second period at Xcel Energy Center when unseeded Minnesota River’s Jade Reicks scored twice in a span of 4:22 to make it 3-2.
Hopes of a Bulldogs (20-5) upset dimmed when Parker scored shorthanded 1:06 into the third. His second goal came on a breakaway to put the No. 5-ranked Green Wave ahead 5-2. The goals were Parker’s 13th and 14th of the season.
East Grand Forks goaltender Tucker Brown finished with 19 saves. Andrew Regner of Minnesota River made 36 saves.
Check back later for more on the game.