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Gapinski's hat trick keys Panthers' 8-1 win over Blue Devils

Jessica Gapinski's second hat trick of the season against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Wadena-Deer Creek led the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hacken-sack-Akeley girls hockey team back to the .500 mark.

Gapinski, who tallied a hat trick in the Panthers' 10-0 win over LPGE/WDC earlier this season, had three goals and an assist in sparking Park Rapids to an 8-1 victory Tuesday night at Wadena.

The Panthers held a 12-4 advantage in shots in taking a 2-0 lead in the first period. Gapinski opened the scoring at the 9:32 mark and Danika Aletto followed with a power-play goal at the 12:37 mark. Allie Bade assisted on both goals while Alex Pederson and Ashley Thelen also recorded assists.

A five-goal second period put the Panthers in control. After the Blue Devils' Morgan Zeise scored to open the second period, Park Rapids responded with five unanswered goals. Lauren Naeve set up Pederson at the 3:38 mark and Gapinski followed 21 seconds later with her second goal of the game. Hannah Williams and Julia Renner were credited with assists on Tayah Otterness' goal at the 5:37 mark. Aletto set up Kendra Dresow at the 11:36 mark before Gapinski completed her hat trick with a shorthanded goal at the 12:23 mark. The Panthers held an 18-6 edge in shots in that period.

Williams capped off the scoring at the 16:25 mark of the third period. Gapinski assisted on that goal.

Goalie Bailey Moore made 17 saves for the win as the Panthers improved to 8-8 on the season.

LPGE/WDC fell to 4-11.

Park Rapids 2 5 1.....8

LPGE/WDC 0 1 0.....1

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Gapinski (Bade, Pederson), 9:32. 2, Park Rapids, Aletto (Thelen, Bade), 12:37. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, LPGE/WDC 3.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, LPGE/WDC, Zeise (unassisted), 1:20. 3, Park Rapids, Pederson (Naeve), 3:38. 4, Park Rapids, Gapinski (unassisted), 3:59. 5, Park Rapids, Otterness (Williams, Renner), 5:37. 6, Park Rapids, Dresow (Aletto), 11:36. 7, Park Rapids, Gapinski (unassisted), 12:23. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, LPGE/WDC 2.

THIRD PERIOD: 8, Park Rapids, Williams (Gapinski), 16:25. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, LPGE/WDC 0.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Moore) 4-5-8-17. LPGE/WDC (Holm)10-10-x-20; (Hanson) x-3-7-10.