The Centennial Cougars took a quick 2-0 lead and stayed in front all the way, handing Elk River a 5-3 loss on Thursday evening in Circle Pines.
The Cougars got early goals by Hans Gorowsky and Evan Ostergren. Nick McCormack put the Elks on the board with a power play goal assisted by Robby Pullar, but Centennial made it 3-1 before the first period ended on a goal by Trey Hughes.
Adam Lovick scored a power play goal for a 4-1 lead in the second period. Ryan Jaremko countered with a power play goal for the Elks (McCormack and Michael Katchmark assisting).
Gorowsky then scored again for Centennial for a 5-2 lead at 8:50 of the second period.
Mitch Kierstad sneaked home a goal in the final second of the second period to pull the Elks within 5-3. But the third period was scoreless.
The Elks are 6-5 in the NWSC and 8-10 overall. Centennial is 8-3 and 8-8-1.
Centennial took 25 shots at Elk goalie Anders Franke and five found the mark. Cam Korlath finished and stopped four shots. Brett Larson stopped 24 of 27 for the Cougars.
The Elks will host Blaine on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.