By Ray Maloney
Journal Sports Editor
Devils Lake went toe-to-toe with Grand Forks Central for much of Tuesday’s game between the Knights and the Firebirds at Burdick Arena.
In the end it was all Central.
The Knights scored four goals in the final period to defeat the Firebirds 5-1 in Eastern Dakota Conference boys hockey action.
“We have to learn to play three full periods of hockey,” Devils Lake coach David Zimmerman said. “We did plenty of things right ... but we didn’t finish the way we need to.”
Ty Kennedy scored the first of his two goals on the night early into the final period to put Central in front for good at 2-1. He added another lamp-lighter less than four minutes later as the Knights padded their advantage of the Firebirds, who had won four of their last five games. Ryan Griggs added the final two goals just 22 seconds apart to close out the scoring for the Knights.
Christian Seng got Central on the board with a goal just 3:02 into the second period to give the Knights the advantage for the first time.
The lead held up until late in the period when Chris Dahlen took a pass from Alec Moser and slipped the puck past Central’s Taner Bender to tie the game.
Zimmerman, while pleased with the fact his team stayed within striking distance for the first two periods, said his team needs to be more aggressive on the offensive end.
Devils Lake mustered just two shots on net in the first period and nine in the second period. The Firebirds with 17 shots against Bender.
Devils Lake netminder Holden Kurtz, who has three shutouts to his credit this season, turned away 39 shots on Tuesday.
The Firebirds return to EDC action on Friday when they enter Fargo South at Burdick Arena. The will also square off against Fargo Davies the following night at home.
It will give Devils Lake five games in a nine-day stretch.
“That’s a brutal schedule,” Zimmerman said.
GF Central 0 1 4 — 5
Devils Lake 0 1 0 — 1
1. GF Central — Christian Seng (Brandon Corbett, Riley Warner), 3:02. 2. Devils Lake — Chris Dahlen (Alec Moser, Damond Brokke), 15:16.
3. GF Central — Ty Kennedy (Christian Stevens, Cole Kirchoffner), 2:58. 4. GF Central — Kennedy (Stevens, Kirchoffner), 6:21. 5. GF Central — Ryan Griggs (Dustin Marynik), 8:52. 6. GF Central — Griggs (unassisted), 9:14.
Goaltender Saves: GF Central — Taner Bender 2-8-6 — 16. Devils Lake — Holden Kurtz 17 12 10 — 39. Penalties: GF Central 7 minors, Devils Lake 5 minors.