Double overtime was kinder to Grand Forks Central this time.
A day after losing in double overtime to rival Grand Forks Red River for the first time in four years, the Knights used a Carson Caulfield goal to beat Fargo North 4-3 in double overtime in a state-qualifying game at Purpur Arena.
Caulfield, who scored his fifth goal of the season, blasted a shot from the blue line, where it hit traffic in front and into the net at 4:26 of the second overtime.
"Joey (Kennelly) did a great job laying it out to me, and I just tried to get it on net," said Caulfield, the younger brother of UND forward Judd Caulfield. "Luckily, it went in."
The Knights, the region's No. 1 seed, kept two long streaks alive with the win over the No. 6 seed Spartans. Central last lost to Fargo North on Feb. 12, 2013. The Knights also haven't missed the state tournament since that season.
"I didn't think we had a lot of puck luck," Central coach Grant Paranica said. "We had some great quality chances, and they just weren't going in for us. We're happy to get a win and playing in games like that will help us."
Central outshot North 53-14. The Spartans received 49 saves from senior goalie Jesse Stahl.
"Our idea today was -- can we believe in what we're going? Can we have a really complete effort? And when things don't go our way, can we skate through those? I thought we checked all those boxes," North coach Tyler Klein said. "I'm incredibly proud of our guys. If we could've pushed one in a minute earlier, it could've been us celebrating. But what a fun game to be part of."
The Knights, 20-4-0, were led by two goals from junior Braden Panzer, who has a team-high 24 goals and 50 points.
Panzer scored twice in the first period to give Central a 2-1 lead. Teammate Brendan White pushed the lead to 3-1 with a power-play goal at 3:21 of the second period.
But the Spartans came firing back. Caleb Fritel trimmed the lead to one at 10:53 of the second, while Michael Hallquist scored his second of the game at 14:19 of the second period to knot the game at 3-3.
"It was a tense feeling," Panzer said. "We almost had it yesterday, too, but it's just nice to know that we're going to state."
GF Central 4,
Fargo North 3, 2OT
First period -- 1. FN, Michael Hallquist (Brendan Richards) 13:18; 2. GFC, Braden Panzer (Chase Spicer, Adam Arnold) 14:06; 3. GFC, Panzer (Carson Caulfield) 16:35
Second period -- 4. GFC, Brendan White (William Lawson-Body, Tyler Zahradka) 3:21; 5. FN, Caleb Fritel (Hallquist) 10:53; 6. FN, Hallquist (Richards, Fritel) 14:19
Overtime -- 7. GFC, Carson Caulfield (Joey Kennelly) 4:26
Goalie saves -- FN: Jesse Stahl 8-18-10-9-4 -- 49; GFC: Kolby Elseth 3-5-2-0-1 -- 11