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Panthers open season with 12-0 win over Storm, give defending champions a battle

Gary Vaudrin expected the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team to rely on defense to produce wins this season.

In the season opener last Saturday, the Panthers' defense received plenty of support from the offense in a 12-0 victory over Morris/Benson at Benson.

Abby Fischer, Allie Bade, Christina Smith and Julia Renner scored two goals each as the Panthers outshot the Storm 71-2.

Mady Vaudrin, Alex Pederson, Renner and Fischer scored in the first period as the Panthers jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Pederson, Fischer and Jessica Gapinski recorded assists in the first period.

Unassisted goals by Smith and Renner pushed the lead to 6-0 after the second period.

The Panthers added six more goals in the third period. Bade scored the first two goals before Taylor Pachel, Gapinski, Fischer and Smith scored goals to conclude the scoring. Lauren Naeve had two assists in that period while Smith, Kendra Dresow and Pachel also set up goals.

Goalie Shania Johnson faced only two shots all night to pick up the win.

Park Rapids 4 2 6.........12

Morris/Benson 0 0 0...........0

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Vaudrin (Pederson), :35. 2, Park Rapids, Pederson (Fischer), 1:02. 3, Park Rapids, Renner (Gapinski), 4:38. 4, Park Rapids, Fischer (unassisted), 12:08.

SECOND PERIOD: 5, Park Rapids, Smith (unassisted), 6:08. 6, Park Rapids, Renner (unassisted), 13:47.

THIRD PERIOD: 7, Park Rapids, Bade (unassisted), 1:02. 8, Park Rapids, Bade (Smith, Naeve), 2:42. 9, Park Rapids, Pachel (unassisted), 4:15. 10, Park Rapids, Gapinski (unassisted), 4:38. 11, Park Rapids, Fischer (Dresow), 15:08. 12, Park Rapids, Smith (Pachel, Naeve), 16:35.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Johnson) 2. Morris/Benson (Wold) 59.

Warroad shuts out Panthers

The Panthers battled the defending state Class A champions through two periods before a three-goal third period sealed a 4-0 victory by Warroad.

Cayla Nelson's goal at the 5:42 mark of the first period gave Warroad a 1-0 lead.

A power-play goal by Kayla Gardner early in the third period was followed by goals by Maddie Egeland and Lisa Marvin within a span of 31 seconds as the Warriors completed the shutout.

Johnson finished with 45 saves as Warroad held a 49-5 advantage in shots on goal.

"It was a great game for us. We played solid defense and frustrated them pretty much all night long. Our defense starts with our goaltender and Shania was solid all night long. She was seeing the puck well and controlling the rebounds. Our defense came up big several times by blocking shots and clearing the puck. We did struggle at times with the one-on-one situations, but we should bet getter as we play better competition," said Vaudrin. "Our forwards did a fantastic job with our defensive coverage and were able to close the gap on the points. We did start to lose a little momentum in the third period when we started to get tired, but we hung in there. We did not generate much offense, but did have a couple of opportunities. If we would have popped one in, who knows what could have happened."

Park Rapids 0 0 0.....0

Warroad 1 0 3.....4

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Warroad, Nelson (Bethune), 5:42.

SECOND PERIOD: No scoring.

THIRD PERIOD: 2, Warroad, Gardner (Bethune, Hanowski), 5:36. 3, Warroad, Egeland (Wilmer), 11:39. 4, Warroad, Marvin (Hanowski, Johnston), 12:10.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Johnson) 45. Warroad (Hilgert) 5.