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Panthers' defense dominates W-DC, shuts down RLF

Ryan O'Mara recorded back-to-back shutouts as the Park Rapids-Menahga boys hockey team defeated Wadena-Deer Creek 6-0 Thursday night at Wadena and Red Lake Falls 4-0 Saturday afternoon at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena.

O'Mara needed to make only seven saves as the Panthers held a 51-7 edge in shots in the win over W-DC. On Saturday, O'Mara made 25 saves to record his third shutout in the last five games.

The Panthers, who improved to 12-5-1 overall, hosted Northern Lakes Tuesday night and will travel to Detroit Lakes Saturday night.

Panthers dominate W-DC

The Panthers set the tone for the game by outshooting W-DC 19-0 and building a 3-0 lead in the first period.

Tucker Coborn scored twice and Ian Johnson added a goal in the first period to give the Panthers the early lead. Levi Erickson set up Coborn's first goal at the 4:31 mark while Erickson and Kevin McMorrow had assists on Coborn's second goal at the 6:20 mark. Sam Coborn assisted on Johnson's goal at the 12:44 mark.

Erickson and Kyle Kanten scored to give the Panthers a 5-0 lead after the second period. A.J. May and Tucker Coborn set up Erickson's goal a minute into the period and Johnson and Tucker Coborn had assists on Kanten's goal at the 4:56 mark. The Panthers had a 15-5 edge in shots in that period.

Jared Naeve's goal at the 13:45 mark of the third period ended the scoring. Sam Coborn had an assist on that goal as the Panthers closed with a 17-2 edge in shots.

The win lifted Park Rapids to 4-1 in conference play while W-DC fell to 1-4 in the conference and 3-13 overall.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, T. Coborn (Erickson), 4:31. 2, Park Rapids, T. Coborn (Erickson, McMorrow), 6:20. 3, Park Rapids, Johnson (S. Coborn), 12:44. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, W-DC 0.

SECOND PERIOD: 4, Park Rapids, Erickson (May, T. Coborn), 1:00. 5, Park Rapids, Kanten (Johnson, T. Coborn), 4:56. Penalties: Park Rapids 3, W-DC 1.

THIRD PERIOD: 6, Park Rapids, Naeve (S. Coborn), 13:45. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, W-DC 2.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (O'Mara) 0-5-2-7. W-DC (Muehler) 16-13-8-37; (Isola) x-x-8-8.

O'Mara, Panthers blank RLF

The Panthers relied on their power play and penalty kill to shut out Red Lake Falls.

Park Rapids scored on half of its six power plays and kept Red Lake Falls from scoring on its four power-play opportunities for the win.

Tucker Coborn gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead by scoring with just :05 remaining in the first period. Frank Moren had an assist on that goal.

Power-play goals by Johnson and McMorrow extended the lead to 3-0 after the second period. McMorrow and Tucker Coborn assisted on Johnson's goal at the 4:06 mark while Ben Sitz and Johnson set up a slap shot by McMorrow at the 8:41 mark.

Sam Coborn scored another power-play goal at the 12:27 mark of the third period to conclude the scoring.

The Panthers, who held a 38-25 advantage in shots, improved to 5-2-1 against Section 8A opponents. Red Lake Falls fell to 3-5 in the section and 6-8 overall.