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Panthers skate past Greenway

Levi Erickson's hat trick powered the Park Rapids-Menahga-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team to a 6-2 win at Greenway last Saturday night.

Erickson scored all three goals on the power play and Sam Coborn added two goals and four assists as the Panthers finished with a 39-28 advantage in shots on goal.

Coborn and Noah MacPherson set up Erickson's first power-play goal at the 14:42 mark of the first period as the Panthers tied the game at 1-1. Park Rapids had a 12-4 edge in shots in the opening period.

The Panthers took six penalties in the second period as Greenway controlled play with a 19-8 advantage in shots. However, Scott Smith's 18 saves and Cory Odland's goal at the 14:56 mark helped the Panthers tie the game at 2-2. Benson Ringle and Coborn had assists on that goal.

Park Rapids capitalized on four Greenway penalties in the third period to score four times. After Coborn scored what proved to be the game-winner 1:39 into the third period, Erickson scored back-to-back power-play goals at the 7:34 and 9:08 marks. Coborn and Ian Johnson assisted on the first of those goals while MacPherson and Coborn received assists as Erickson completed his first hat trick of the season. Johnson and Erickson set up Coborn for a power-play goal at the 10:56 mark to conclude the scoring. The Panthers held a 19-5 edge in shots in the final period.

Smith finished with 26 saves for the win as the Panthers, who went 4 for 9 on the power play, improved to 11-12 on the season.

The Raiders, who went 0 for 7 on power-play chances, fell to 8-13 on the year.

"We're playing so much better now. We have a lot of confidence," said Park Rapids head coach Pete Stahnke. "The kids are working hard and having fun. I think we're peaking at the right time."

Park Rapids 1 1 4.....6

Greenway 1 1 0.....2

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Greenway, Childs (Adams, Hill), 8:31. 1, Park Rapids, Erickson (Coborn, MacPherson), 14:42. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, Greenway 4.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, Greenway, Zuehlke (Gangl, Troumbly), 5:41. 2, Park Rapids, Odland (Ringle, Coborn), 14:56. Penalties: Park Rapids 6, Greenway 1.

THIRD PERIOD: 3, Park Rapids, Coborn (unassisted), 1:39. 4, Park Rapids, Erickson (Coborn, Johnson), 7:34. 5, Park Rapids, Erickson (MacPherson, Coborn), 9:08. 6, Park Rapids, Coborn (Johnson, Erickson), 10:56. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, Greenway 4.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Smith) 3-18-5-26. Greenway (Arnason) 11-7-15-33.