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Fast start, finish lead Devils past Panthers

Lexi Hinkley-Smith fired a shot on goal during the Panthers' 8-4 loss to Prairie Centre Tuesday night at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Despite tying its best offensive production of the season, the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team lost for the eighth game in a row as Prairie Centre used a pair of three-goal periods for an 8-4 Mid-State Conference victory Tuesday night at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena.

Lupita Mora scored 21 seconds into the game before goals by Shelby Otte at the 10:05 mark and Gabby Olson at the 12:34 mark gave Prairie Centre a 3-0 lead after the first period. The Blue Devils (who are a cooperative representing Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Sauk Centre, Wadena-Deer Creek and Browerville) held a 14-7 advantage in shots on goal in the opening period.

Alexa Kennedy opened the second period with a pair of goals as Katie Sagen assisted on the Panthers' first goal 54 seconds in while Lexi Hinkley-Smith set up Kennedy's second goal of the game at the 4:39 mark. Prairie Centre responded with goals by Kylee Hopp at the 7:30 mark and Olson at the 10:48 mark before Taylor Sagen scored at the 13:53 mark to pull the Panthers to within 5-3. Tara Johanning and Smith assisted on Sagen's goal as the Panthers were outshot 11-9 in that period.

Ally Ecker's goal at the 7:50 mark gave the Blue Devils a 6-3 advantage before Hinkley-Smith tallied a power-play goal at the 9:11 mark. Kennedy received an assist on that goal. Prairie Centre sealed the win as Otte scored at the 13:28 mark and Olson completed her hat trick with 2:29 to play. The Blue Devils held a 24-9 advantage in shots in that period for a 49-25 advantage for the game.

Goalie Kylee Pachel made 41 saves as the Panthers fell to 0-4 in conference games and 2-11 overall. Park Rapids had scored only six goals in the previous seven games.

The Blue Devils improved to 2-1 in the conference and 7-6 overall. Detroit Lakes leads the Mid-State standings at 3-1 while Northern Lakes is tied for second place at 2-1.

Prairie Centre 3 2 3...8

Park Rapids 0 3 1...4

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Prairie Centre, Mora (Ecker, Hopp), :21. 2, Prairie Centre, Otte, 10:05. 3, Prairie Centre, Olson (Otte), 12:34. Penalties: None.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Kennedy (K. Sagen), :54. 2, Park Rapids, Kennedy (Hinkley-Smith), 4:39. 4, Prairie Centre, Hopp, 7:30. 5, Prairie Centre, Olson, 10:48. 3, Park Rapids, T. Sagen (Johanning, Hinkley-Smith), 13:53. Penalties: Prairie Centre 0, Park Rapids 1.

THIRD PERIOD: 6, Prairie Centre, Ecker (Formanek, Me. Och), 7:50. 4, Park Rapids, Hinkley-Smith (Kennedy), 9:11. 7, Prairie Centre, Otte (Mora, Olson), 13:28. 8, Prairie Centre, Olson (Otte), 14:41. Penalties: Prairie Centre 1, Park Rapids 0.

GOALIE SAVES: Prairie Centre (Ma. Och) 7-6-x--13; (Hovel) x-x-8. Park Rapids (Pachel) 11-9-21--41.

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