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Opheim's hat trick leads Panthers to win at Bagley

Carter Opheim's hat trick sparked the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team to an 8-1 Section 8A victory over Bagley/Fosston at Bagley Tuesday night.

Unassisted goals by Bjorn Jorgenson, Shea Alto and Opheim in a span of 3:41 gave the Panthers a 3-0 lead in the first period. After Griffin Brovold scored for Bagley/Fosston at the 11:15 mark, Opheim scored on assists from Cody Sagen and Brett Pinoniemi at the 12:10 mark and Cameron Hoyt scored an unassisted goal at the 15:13 mark to give Park Rapids a 5-1 lead. The Panthers outshot the home team 22-5 in the opening period.

The Panthers continued to dominate play, scoring the game's final three goals in the second period. Pinoniemi assisted on a goal by Tom Melvin 2:15 into the period before Josh Baker helped Opheim complete his hat trick at the 5:51 mark. Josh Kuhlman set up Nolan Pederson for the final goal at the 8:09 mark. Park Rapids held a 23-2 advantage in shots in that period.

Goalie Brendan Kruchowski made 12 saves as the Panthers finished with a 50-13 advantage in shots.

The win lifted Park Rapids to 3-6-1 in section play and 5-10-1 overall while the Flyers fell to 0-6 against section opponents and 1-11 overall. The Panthers defeated Bagley/Fosston 9-2 on Nov. 30.

Park Rapids 5 3 0...8

Bagley/Fosston 1 0 0...1

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Jorgenson, 6:34. 2, Park Rapids, Alto, 9:58. 3, Park Rapids, Opheim, 10:15. 1, Bagley, Brovold (Levin), 11:15. 4, Park Rapids, Opheim (Sagen, Pinoniemi), 12:10. 5, Park Rapids, Hoyt, 15:13. Penalties: Park Rapids 2, Bagley 0.

SECOND PERIOD: 6, Park Rapids, Melvin (Pinoniemi), 2:15. 7, Park Rapids, Opheim (Baker), 5:51. 8, Park Rapids, Pederson (Kuhlman), 8:09. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, Bagley 2.

THIRD PERIOD: No scoring. Penalties: Park Rapids 0, Bagley 1.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Kruchowski) 4-2-6--12. Bagley (Dukek) 17-20-5--42.