Century blanked by No. 2 Moorhead in state tourney opener

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 4, 2005

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) &045; Matt Becker notched a goal and an assist as No. 2 Moorhead cruised to a 3-0 victory over Rochester Century in the Minnesota Class 2A boys state hockey tournament quarterfinals Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center.

Brian Lee and Cory Johnson also scored for the Spuds (24-2-2), while Spencer Deutz recorded 14 saves for the shutout.

&uot;We weren’t giving up a lot of second chances, and our penalty kill was good,&uot; Moorhead coach Dave Morinville said. &uot;We had a great scouting report.&uot;

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Senior goaltender Alex Kangas stopped 42 shots for the unranked Panthers (23-3-3), who seemed overmatched in their first-ever tournament appearance. Century played without senior captain Brandon Baartman, who is recovering from mononucleosis.

Lee, a likely first-round NHL draft pick and a finalist for the Mr. Hockey award, poked the puck past Kangas just 52 seconds into the game to give the Spuds an early advantage. Becker extended the lead to 2-0 by beating Kangas stick-side with 1:04 left in the second period.

Moorhead, which lost to Centennial in the title game last year, put 18 shots on net in the second and third periods and finished with a 45-14 advantage.

&uot;We normally get a lot of shots off,&uot; Lee said. &uot;We try not to get too pass happy in the slot, so try to just put it in the net and test their goalie.&uot;

Johnson sealed the victory on a wrist shot with 1:03 remaining.

The Spuds will meet Duluth East (18-11-0) in a semifinal Friday at 7 p.m.