FARGO -- Grand Forks Central junior forward Chase Spicer knows he shouldn't look ahead when it comes to the North Dakota state boys hockey tournament.

At the same time, it's easy to see a rival close on the bracket.

"You try to take it one game at a time, but you know what happens when it lines up right," Spicer said. "(Grand Forks Red River) is on our mind now."

Central, the three-time defending state champions, triggered running time with a 7-1 victory over Bismarck High on Thursday in the state quarterfinals at Scheels Arena.

The Knights, 21-4-0, set up an all-Grand Forks semifinal with a matchup with Red River at approximately 8 p.m. Friday night.

The Knights, who won their 11th-straight state tournament game, capped off a dominant day for the East Region over the West Region. All four games finished in running time with the East Region's first sweep over the West since 2012. The East Region outscored the West Region 30-4.

Central and Red River will play for the fourth time this season. The Knights won the first two regular-season meetings, but the Riders beat the Knights in the East Region tournament. It was Red River's first outright win over Central in four years.

Red River and Central have only met once in the state tournament in the last 14 years -- a 7-0 Central win over Red River in 2018.

Red River's last win at state against Central was a 3-0 victory in the 2005 state championship game.

Against Bismarck, Brendan White and Spicer each scored two goals to pace the Knights, who also received goals from Blaise Miller, William Lawson-Body and Tyler Zahradka.

"I thought we looked like our old self there," Central coach Grant Paranica said. "We moved the puck and found open ice and did some things really well. I was really proud of the way the guys played."



GF Central 7,

Bismarck High 1

First period -- 1. GFC, Brendan White (Zach Larson, Blaise Miller) 1:33; 2. GFC, Chase Spicer (Adam Arnold, William Lawson-Body) 8:56; 3. GFC, Miller (Peter Loyland) 10:18; 4. GFC, Spicer (Braden Panzer, Joey Kennelly) 12:18; 5. BHS, Joey Heinert (Jack Steckler) 15:32

Second period -- 6. GFC, White 5:10

Third period -- 7. GFC, Lawson-Body (Spicer) :58; 8. GFC, Tyler Zahradka (Will Howard) 4:48

Goalie saves -- GFC: Kolby Elseth 3-6-1 -- 10, Colin Allen x-x-2 -- 2; BHS: Quinn Ackerman 10-17-13 -- 40