Crookston, Warroad shut down Panthers in section showdowns
Two of the top teams in Section 8A shut down the offense of the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team in back-to-back battles at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena.
Crookston used a 42-9 advantage in shots on goal to spark a 5-0 victory Monday night while Warroad relied on a 38-10 advantage in shots to post a 3-0 victory Tuesday night.
Eric Delorme's hat trick and Cade Salentine's first career shutout led Crookston past the Panthers Monday night.
Logan Wardner opened the scoring just 1:30 into the game before Delorme scored twice in a span of 19 seconds to give the Pirates a 3-0 lead after the first period.
After a scoreless second period, Delorme completed his hat trick 37 seconds into the third period before Andrew Dragseth concluded the scoring at the 11:28 mark.
The Pirates outshot Park Rapids 15-3 in the first period, 9-2 in the second period and 18-4 in the third period as Park Rapids goalie Austin Jerger made 37 saves.
The Pirates, who had scored only seven goals in going 1-5 in their previous six games, improved to 5-3 in the section and 9-9 overall with their first shutout of the season.
Grant Slukynsky's pair of goals powered Warroad to the win Tuesday night.
Slukynsky scored at the 2:42 mark of the first period to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead before Jaron Moyer's goal at the 6:53 mark and Slukynsky's goal at the 11:51 mark of the second period concluded the scoring.
Warroad outshot the Panthers 16-4 in the first period, 12-3 in the second period and 10-3 in the third period as Jerger finished with 35 saves.
The Panthers fell to 3-8-1 in the section and 6-13-1 overall after being shut out for the third game in a row and the fifth time this season. Warroad improved to 5-2-1 against section opponents and 9-8-1 overall.
East Grand Forks (4-0-1 in the section, 11-7-1 overall), Thief River Falls (4-3 in the section, 8-8-2 overall) and Lake of the Woods (7-2 in the section, 11-3-2 overall) are battling Crookston and Warroad for the top-five section seeds. Detroit Lakes (3-3 in the section, 6-10-1 overall) and Kittson Central (3-4-1 in the section, 7-9-2 overall) are battling Park Rapids for the next three spots while Red Lake Falls (2-5 in the section, 3-12-1 overall) and Bagley/Fosston (0-7 in the section, 1-12 overall) will hold the No. 9 and No. 10 spots.
Four of those teams were rated in the latest state Class A poll. East Grand Forks was rated No. 5 followed by Warroad (No. 17), Crookston (No. 20) and Lake of the Woods (No. 23).
Crookston 3 0 2...5
Park Rapids 0 0 0...0
FIRST PERIOD: 1, Crookston, Wardner (Dragseth, Delorme), 1:30. 2, Crookston, Delorme (Magsam, Trostad), 10:51. 3, Crookston, Delorme (L. Salentine), 11:10. Penalties: Crookston 1, Park Rapids 3.
SECOND PERIOD: No scoring. Penalties: None.
THIRD PERIOD: 4, Crookston, Delorme (Dragseth, Magsam), :37. 5, Crookston, Dragseth (Magsam, Anderson), 11:28. Penalties: Crookston 1, Park Rapids 1.
GOALIE SAVES: Crookston (C. Salentine) 3-2-4--9. Park Rapids (Jerger) 12-9-16--37.
Warroad 1 2 0...3
Park Rapids 0 0 0...0
FIRST PERIOD: 1, Warroad, Slukynsky (Meeker), 2:42. Penalties: None.
SECOND PERIOD: 2, Warroad, Moyer (Knutson), 6:53. 3, Warroad, Slukynsky (Johnson, Hoffman), 11:51. Penalties: Warroad 1, Park Rapids 1.
THIRD PERIOD: No scoring. Penalties: Warroad 1, Park Rapids 0.
GOALIE SAVES: Warroad (Jacques) 4-3-3--10. Park Rapids (Jerger) 15-10-10--35.