Boys hockey: Red Lake Falls tops Panthers in season opener

Nash Mitchell's two goals, Jaxson Lund's goal and three assists led Park Rapids.

Park Rapids Panthers

After facing an early 2-0 deficit, Red Lake Falls scored five unanswered goals to spark a 7-4 win over the Park Rapids-Menahga-Walker-Hackensack boys hockey team in the season opener at Red Lake Falls on Wednesday, Nov. 24.

Jaxson Lund assisted on goals by Joey Hillukka 2:32 into this game between Section 8A teams and Nash Mitchell 12 seconds later as the Panthers jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. Blake Breiland’s goal at the 9:12 mark started Red Lake Falls’ rally.

Red Lake Falls controlled the second period with a 23-10 advantage in shots on net as a pair of goals by Evan Girdler at the 12:59 and 16:35 marks gave the Eagles a 3-2 lead.

Goals by Breiland at the 3:36 mark and Brock Seeger at the 4:18 mark extended Red Lake Falls’ advantage to 5-2. Lund’s power-play goal at the 8:17 mark cut the gap to 5-3. Braden Stewart assisted on that goal.

After Ty Kennett’s goal made it 6-3, Hillukka and Lund set up Mitchell at the 11:32 mark. Kennett concluded the scoring with 2:15 to play as Red Lake Falls finished with a 52-26 advantage in shots.


Girdler’s two goals and four assists and Kennett’s two goals and three assists led the Eagles. Park Rapids goalie Sawyer Torkelson finished with 45 saves.

The Panthers will make their home debut by hosting Prairie Centre in the Mid-State Conference opener at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 2.

Park Rapids 2 0 2...4
Red Lake Falls 1 2 4...7
FIRST PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Jo. Hillukka (Lund), 2:32. 2, Park Rapids, Mitchell (Lund), 2:44. 1, Red Lake Falls, Breiland (Girdler, Kennett), 9:12. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, Red Lake Falls 2.
SECOND PERIOD: 2, Red Lake Falls, Girdler (Breiland), 12:59. 3, Red Lake Falls, Girdler (Schmitz, Kennett), 16:35. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, Red Lake Falls 1.
THIRD PERIOD: 4, Red Lake Falls, Breiland (Kennett, Girdler), 3:36. 5, Red Lake Falls, B. Seeger (Girdler, J. Seeger), 4:18. 3, Park Rapids, Lund (Stewart), 8:17. 6, Red Lake Falls, Kennett (Girdler), 11:10. 4, Park Rapids, Mitchell (Jo. Hillukka, Lund), 11:32. 7, Red Lake Falls, Kennett (Girdler), 14:45. Penalties: Park Rapids 0, Red Lake Falls 1.
GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Torkelson) 10-21-14--45. Red Lake Falls (Struthers) 5-10-7--22.
1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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