Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.
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MOORHEAD, Minn.—In November, Pittsburgh Penguins center and former Moorhead hockey standout Matt Cullen was standing with teammates Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin looking at a miniature Stanley Cup. The NHL gives one out to each player who wins a title the previous season. Since the age of 2, in the living room of his home, Cullen has been a hockey player. For more than a decade, the 40-year-old has also been a father to 10-year-old Brooks, 8-year-old Wyatt and 6-year-old Joey. In that moment he was both.
FARGO—In the early minutes of the second half of the semifinal girls soccer match Friday, June 2, Fargo Shanley goalkeeper Megan Miranda was staring down one of the best athletes in the state in Bismarck St. Mary's junior Britta Curl. Shanley held a two-goal lead at Sid Cichy Stadium and Curl was eyeing to cut that in half via a penalty kick. Miranda had other plans, diving right and getting two hands on Curl's attempt to help lead Shanley to a 2-1 lead and one win away from a state title.
MOORHEAD, Minn.—The cliché "no tomorrow" is often used when a Game 7 approaches in sports. Regardless of what happens in Game 7 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, May 25, there will most certainly be a Friday.
FARGO—Byron Pool did not expect to be in Fargo for seven years. He was 34 years old in 2010 and had just coached the Bismarck Bobcats to a National Junior A Tier 2 title in his second season in the North American Hockey League. He figured he'd be with Fargo Force in the United States Hockey League for a couple years.
FARGO—North Dakota State softball coach Darren Mueller took his dog for a walk Saturday morning, picking up some rocks along the way. He had preached to his team that there are three kinds of people: jellybeans, marshmallows and rocks. Marshmallows melt when put over a flame. Jelly beans get soft on the inside, but appear solid on the outside, whereas rocks can take any type of heat.
FARGO—Western Illinois pitcher Emily Ira was in a groove against North Dakota State at Ellig Sports Complex on Friday, May 12. It didn't have the feel of the dominating 13-strikeout performance the day before against the Bison, which forced NDSU into the elimination side of the Summit League tournament, but she was rolling.
FARGO—Three-time reigning Summit League softball tournament champion North Dakota State eyed elimination on Thursday, May 11. The No. 2 seed Bison didn't blink, rolling the University of South Dakota 14-3 in five innings, after falling to Western Illinois 4-3 in the conference tournament at Ellig Sports Complex. For a Bison lineup that featured six underclassmen, the elimination game was just more experience to add to a young team.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — On March 29, Moorhead senior defenseman Kara Werth had spent her day hearing rumors the University of North Dakota, the place she had chosen to live her dream of playing Division I hockey, was eliminating the women's hockey program. She had picked UND over Dartmouth and Brown. She never found out if St. Cloud State was going to give her an offer because UND's offer had a deadline.
FARGO — It wasn't the nicest welcome to Fargo for ESPN NFL analyst Jon Gruden on Friday, April 7, as the former Super Bowl champion coach took some wind to the face upon arrival from Tampa, Fla. "I'm wearing a visor because my head almost blew off when I got off the plane," Gruden said. But when he got by the unforgivable gust of Fargo, where he was set to be the keynote speaker at North Dakota State's annual spring football coaches clinic, Gruden could not help but remember his ties to NDSU.
FARGO—When they all found out they were headed to Scheels Arena for the West Regional of the NCAA Division I men's hockey tournament, University of North Dakota goalie Cam Johnson, Ohio State forward David Gust and University of Minnesota-Duluth forwards Dominic Toninato and Alex Iafallo all contacted each other.