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MacPherson joins elite group as Panthers split section games

     Noah MacPherson joined an elite group as the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team defeated Red Lake Falls Thursday night.

     The senior forward assisted on a power-play goal by Jamie Stewart at the 9:09 mark of the third period for his 100th career point in the Panthers’ 5-1 victory. MacPherson became the 12th player in the history of the Park Rapids boys hockey program to reach that milestone, joining Sam Coborn (228 points), Zach Lehrke (212), Tyler Lehrke (192), Tucker Coborn (146), Ian Johnson (143), Darin Hafner (134), Pat Albee (122), Levi Goeden (122), Kevin McMorrow (110), Chris Knapp (104) and Eric Grewe (102).

     MacPherson tallied two assists as an eighth grader, had six goals and four assists as a freshman, and had six goals and 12 assists as a sophomore before scoring 22 goals and tallying 20 assists for 42 points as a junior. MacPherson had another assist in the Panthers’ 5-3 loss at Kittson Central Saturday afternoon to raise his season totals to 12 goals and 17 assists for a team-high 29 points.

     With the split against those two Section 8A teams, the Panthers are now 5-4-2 against section opponents and 13-5-3 overall.

Panthers defeat Red Lake Falls

     In the first meeting against Red Lake Falls this season, the Panthers dominated play with a 55-11 advantage in shots on goal, but had to settle for a 0-0 tie.

     On Thursday night, the Panthers once again controlled play with a 46-24 advantage in shots on goal. This time, the Panthers took advantage of a pair of power-play opportunities to spark a 5-1 win.

     Dylan Weaver and Cole Coborn assisted on a goal by Matt Bade at the 6:34 mark of the first period as the Panthers took a 1-0 lead. Park Rapids outshot the Eagles 18-4 in that period.

     After Alex Erickson’s power-play goal at the 2:22 mark of the second period tied the game, Luke Jaeger’s goal at the 8:17 mark and Bade’s goal at the 17:00 mark gave the Panthers a 3-1 edge. Zach Hagen and Jamie Stewart had assists on Bade’s second goal of the game.

     Stewart’s power-play goal at the 9:09 mark and Jaeger’s second goal of the game at the 15:06 mark sealed the win. MacPherson and Chase Brand had assists on Stewart’s goal.

     Goalie Cody Brumbaugh finished with 23 saves for the Panthers.

     Red Lake Falls fell to 2-5-3 against section opponents and 9-9-3 overall.

Park Rapids                1    2      2…5

Red Lake Falls            0    1      0…1

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, M. Bade (Weaver, Coborn), 6:34. Penalties: None.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, Red Lake Falls, Erickson (McGlynn, Brevik), 2:22. 2, Park Rapids, Jaeger, 8:17. 3, Park Rapids, M. Bade (Hagen, Stewart), 17:00. Penalties: Park Rapids 2, Red Lake Falls 1.

THIRD PERIOD: 4, Park Rapids, Stewart (MacPherson, Brand), 9:09. 5, Park Rapids, Jaeger, 15:06. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, Red Lake Falls 3.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Brumbaugh) 4-10-9-23. Red Lake Falls (Casavan) 17-14-10-41.

Big third period lifts Bearcats

     Kittson Central scored four goals in the third period to rally for a key section win over the Panthers.

     The Panthers capitalized on two power-play opportunities late in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. Kiefer Miller and Brand assisted on a goal by Stewart at the 15:16 mark and MacPherson and Miller assisted on a goal by Connor Kennedy 29 seconds later.

     Kittson Central closed the gap on Anders Lindegard’s goal at the 10:26 mark of the second period before the Bearcats took a 3-2 lead early in the third period on Dalton Klegstad’s power-play goal at the 3:26 mark and Nick Kasprowicz’s goal 20 seconds later.

     After the Panthers tied the game when Miller and Brand set up Drew Bade’s power-play goal at the 12:30 mark, Klegstad completed his hat trick by scoring a power-play goal at the 15:48 mark and adding an insurance goal at the 16:29 mark.

     The Bearcats used a 35-17 advantage in shots to improve to 7-4-1 against section teams and 14-4-2 overall.

Park Rapids                2    0      1…3

Kittson Central            0    1      4…5

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Stewart (Brand, Miller), 15:16. 2, Park Rapids, Kennedy (MacPherson, Miller), 15:45. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, Kittson Central 2.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, Kittson Central, Lindegard (Klegstad, Strege), 10:26. Penalties: Park Rapids 2, Kittson Central 3.

THIRD PERIOD: 2, Kittson Central, Klegstad (Lindegard), 3:26. 3, Kittson Central, Kasprowicz, 3:46. 3, Park Rapids, D. Bade (Miller, Brand), 12:30. 4, Kittson Central, Klegstad (Kasprowicz), 15:48. 5, Kittson Central, Klegstad, 16:29. Penalties: Park Rapids 2, Kittson Central 2.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Brumbaugh) 9-11-10-30. Kittson Central (Cosley) 8-3-3-14.