FARGO — Fargo South-Shanley sophomore Alex Senf flashed his scoring prowess in the second period Thursday afternoon at Scheels Arena.
Senf scored two goals in less than three minutes to fuel a four-goal period and complete his hat trick. That surge vaulted the Bruins to a 9-1 victory against Minot in the first round of the North Dakota state boys hockey tournament.
"I got open and guys gave me the opportunity to make a play and it worked out for me," said Senf, who scored three of his team's first four goals against the Magicians. "Once we start feeling it, our guys just kind of click, and we get rolling and we don't stop."
The Bruins (19-5-1) are scheduled to play Fargo Davies (20-5) at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the state semifinals. South-Shanley has defeated the Eagles in three previous meetings this season.
"It's very difficult because they're very fast and they're physical," South-Shanley head coach Dean French said of facing Davies. "Both teams know each other very, very well. ... Every game is a battle and I guess we're ready for it."
South-Shanley was tied with Minot at 1-1 through one period. The Bruins started to take control after junior defenseman Carson Dean scored from the blue line. His shot deflected through traffic for a power-play goal that gave South-Shanley a 2-1 lead at 2 minutes, 13 seconds of the second period.
"We just believed in ourselves," Senf said. "After we got that late power-play goal by Carson Dean, it kind of broke the ice for us."
Senf scored the next two goals for the Bruins as they started to pull away. His unassisted goal came from the circle and clanged off the crossbar and into the net. That power-play tally made it 3-1 at 7:56 of the second. On his next goal, Senf again shot from the circle, beating the goaltender inside the far post for a 4-1 edge at 10:46 of the second.
"We were just trying to extend the game out and eventually try to take over," French said.
South-Shanley senior forward Drew Sandy scored on a slick move to his backhand at 12:22 of the second to make it 5-1, capping a four-goal period. The Bruins scored another four goals in the third period with Sandy finding the net again. Senior forward Jake Bryant added two goals in the final period.
Senf said the Bruins remained upbeat even after Minot tied the score at 1-1 on Jack Plemel's goal at 7:25 of the first period.
"We stayed positive on the bench and it just went well for us," Senf said.
FIRST PERIOD: 1, FSS, Senf 4:11. 2, MHS, Plemel (Murphy) 7:25.
SECOND PERIOD: 3, FSS, Dean (Gores) 2:13 (pp). 4, FSS, Senf 7:56 (pp). 5, FSS, Senf (Boren, D. Sandy) 10:46. 6, FSS, D. Sandy 12:22.
THIRD PERIOD: 7, FSS, D. Sandy 1:05. 8, FSS, Bryant (Bergeron, Senf) 2:24. 9, FSS, Bryant (Hannesson) 8:21. 10, FSS, Flanagan (Zasada, Spanier) 16:22.
SAVES: MHS, Sortland 8-11-x—19, Conklin x-x-9—9. FSS, Z. Sandy 4-10-4—18, Eckart x-x-1—1.