Brand's hat trick keys Panthers' OT win
Despite dominating in the number of scoring chances, the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team needed overtime to defeat Pequot Lakes Thursday night.
McKenna Brand's power-play goal 3:18 into overtime completed a hat trick and gave the Panthers a 4-3 victory in this Mid-State Conference match, which saw Park Rapids hold a 54-19 advantage in shots on goal.
Jessica Gapinski's power-play goal at the 3:09 mark gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Pequot Lakes responded with three unanswered goals by Erika Monson, Morgan Demars and Mariah Reed to claim a 3-1 advantage late in the second period.
Heather Brostrom set up a goal by Brand at the 15:57 mark as the Panthers trailed 3-2 despite holding a 35-13 advantage in shots after the second period.
Brand's second goal of the game 2:39 into the third period tied the game before Brand completed her hat trick with the game-winner 43 seconds into a power-play opportunity. The Panthers held a 19-6 edge in shots in the third period and overtime.
Goalie Bailey Moore made 16 saves as the Panthers improved to 1-2 on the season. Katarina Jensen finished with 50 saves for Pequot Lakes, which fell to 1-1 on the year.
"This was a big win for our confidence after playing two very tough teams in our first two games," said Park Rapids head coach Chris Albee. "It took a lot of pounding on their goaltender to get her to break. One main key was that we kept on putting as many pucks at the net as we could. Once we realized that we needed to keep our shots low and look for rebounds, it was only a matter of time. Our power-play line of Brand, Brostrom and Gapinski had a good game. That line created a lot of pressure. There are a bunch of new dynamics with the team this year and all of the girls are working hard to start clicking with each other. This win will help show that the hard work is starting to pay off."
FIRST PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Gapinski (unassisted), 3:09. 1, Pequot Lakes, Monson (Eggena), 15:12. Penalties: Park Rapids 0, Pequot Lakes 2.
SECOND PERIOD: 2, Pequot Lakes, Demars (Eggena), 4:08. 3, Pequot Lakes, Reed (unassisted), 12:59. 2, Park Rapids, Brand (Brostrom), 15:57. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, Pequot Lakes 1.
THIRD PERIOD: 3, Park Rapids, Brand (unassisted), 2:39. Penalties: None.
OVERTIME: 4, Park Rapids, Brand (unassisted), 3:18. Penalties: Park Rapids 0, Pequot Lakes 1.
GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Moore) 3-6-5-1-15. Pequot Lakes (Jensen) 15-18-16-1-50.