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Panthers rally by Lakers, win Mid-State title

A three-goal third period lifted the Park Rapids-Menahga boys hockey team to a 5-3 win at Detroit Lakes Thursday night and to the Mid-State Conference title.

Both teams entered this game with 6-1 records in conference play. The Panthers were able to avenge a 5-4 overtime loss to Detroit Lakes on Dec. 15 by scoring three times in the final 4:14 of the game to win the conference title outright.

Dan Ricke tied the game at 3-3 at the 12:46 mark before Sam Coborn scored the game-winner off the ensuing faceoff. Tucker Coborn added an empty-net goal with 20 seconds to play to seal the win.

The Lakers opened the scoring when Tanner Lane scored at the 7:36 mark of the first period. Park Rapids tied the game when Sam Coborn assisted on a goal by Ian Johnson at the 10:03 mark.

Despite holding a 10-6 edge in shots in the second period, the Panthers faced a 3-2 deficit entering the final period. Alex Phelps gave the Lakers a 2-1 lead with a goal 52 seconds into the second period before Levi Erickson and Kevin McMorrow set up Ricke to tie the game at the 3:24 mark. Lane's second goal of the game at the 9:47 mark gave Detroit Lakes the lead.

Park Rapids dominated the third period with an 11-6 edge in shots to rally for the win. McMorrow and Tucker Coborn assisted on Ricke's game-tying goal before Jared Naeve and Johnson were credited with assists on Sam Coborn's game-winner. Johnson also had an assist on Tucker Coborn's insurance goal.

Goalie Ryan O'Mara made 16 saves to improve to 9-3-1 in the nets this season. Park Rapids claimed the conference title with a 7-1 record while improving to 16-6-2 overall. Detroit Lakes fell to 6-2 in the conference and 14-7-2 overall.

This game featured three of the state's top scorers. Lane ranks second in the state in goals (48), assists (39) and total points (87). Sam Coborn is tied for ninth in goals with 29, tied for third in assists with 38 and ranks fourth in total points with 67. Tucker Coborn is eighth in goals with 30 and 10th in total points with 61.

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Detroit Lakes, Lane (Mason, Johnson), 7:36. 1, Park Rapids, Johnson (S. Coborn), 10:03. Penalties: Park Rapids 0, Detroit Lakes 1.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, Detroit Lakes, Phelps (Lane), :52. 2, Park Rapids, Ricke (Erickson, McMorrow), 3:24. 3, Detroit Lakes, Lane (Johnson, Phelps), 9:47. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, Detroit Lakes 3.

THIRD PERIOD: 3, Park Rapids, Ricke (McMorrow, T. Coborn), 12:46. 4, Park Rapids, S. Coborn (Naeve, Johnson), 13:00. 5, T. Coborn (Johnson), 16:40. Penalties: None.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (O'Mara) 6-4-6-16. Detroit Lakes (Friesen) 8-9-8-25.