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Panthers get No. 5 seed for playoffs

The Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team closed out the regular season with four losses and will open the Section 8A playoffs as the No. 5 seed.

The Panthers, who ended the regular season with a 6-0 loss at Thief River Falls Thursday night and a 4-0 loss at International Falls Saturday night, will open tournament play at No. 4 Crookston Thursday night at 7.

Park Rapids has a 13-12 record while Crookston, which is rated No. 13 in the state Class A poll, is 12-11. The Pirates defeated Park Rapids by scores of 4-2 and 2-0 during the regular season. The winner of that game plays No. 1 Warroad on Feb. 11 at the East Grand Forks Civic Center. Warroad is 21-2-1 and rated No. 1 in the state Class A poll.

Thursday night's other section quarterfinal game pits No. 3 East Grand Forks (17-7-1) hosting No. 6 Lake of the Woods (2-14). The winner of that game plays No. 2 Thief River Falls on Feb. 11 at East Grand Forks. TRF is 19-5-1 on the season and rated No. 4 in the state Class A poll.

East Grand Forks will host the Section 8A championship game on Feb. 14.

Prowlers shut out Panthers

Sylvia Marolt's four goals and Emily Bergland's two goals and four assists led the Prowlers past the Panthers Thursday night.

Marolt scored in the first period and joined Bergland with two goals in the second period. Marolt's power-play goal in the third period concluded the scoring.

Thief River Falls held a 49-5 advantage in shots in the game in improving to 7-2 against section opponents.

Goalie Shania Johnson made 43 saves for the Panthers, who fell to 2-7 against section teams.

The Prowlers defeated Park Rapids 9-1 in their other meeting this season. The Panthers, who were shut out for the sixth time this season, were outscored 20-1 in ending the season on a four-game losing streak.

Park Rapids 0 0 0.......0

Thief River Falls 1 4 1........6

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Thief River Falls, Marolt (Bergland, Jorde), 15:52. Penalties: Park Rapids 0, Thief River Falls 1.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, Thief River Falls, Bergland (Malwitz, Jorde), 3:40. 3, Thief River Falls, Marolt (Malwitz, Bergland), 7:57. 4, Thief River Falls, Bergland (Marolt), 12:33. 5, Thief River Falls, Marolt (Bergland), 14:44. Penalties: Park Rapids 0, Thief River Falls 1.

THIRD PERIOD: 6, Thief River Falls, Marolt (Bergland), 1:34. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, Thief River Falls 0.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Johnson) 17-12-14-43. Thief River Falls (Marshall) 3-1-1-5.