Minnesota River had seized the momentum. The unseeded Bulldogs (20-5) were brimming with energy and enthusiasm. They even had a power play.
Everything was aligning in the first-time state tournament entrant's favor.
Then in skated Landon Parker. Bang. Bang. The East Grand Forks sophomore dashed the comeback hopes of one of the Class 1A state tournament's feel-good entries with goals 63 seconds apart to start the third period en route to a 5-2 victory for the No. 3 seed Green Wave.
"We knew we would have to come back in the third period and kind of make a statement," Parker said. "Come out fast and hard, moving the puck."
Parker's first goal was shorthanded. He fired a shot into the upper right corner of the net after collecting a turnover in the slot. The second goal came on a breakaway.
"His little leg kick shot, fake shot, or whatever that was, maybe got me a little bit," Minnesota River goaltender Andrew Regner said of Parker's breakaway stutter step and quick release. "He had good hands and put it by my right side."
Parker's 13th and 14th goals of the season came 1:06 and 2:09 into the final period, turning a 3-2 lead for the Green Wave (21-8) into a three-goal cushion.
"Landon, when he's on, he attacks the net with some jam," East Grand Forks coach Tyler Palmiscno said. "I liked his attack mentality there as he was going at the net."