Head coach Derek Ricke and the members of the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team don't mind putting in overtime.
The Panthers improved to 3-1 in overtime games on Jan. 24 by rallying for a 4-3 victory over Breckenridge/Wahpeton at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena.
A hat trick by Jase Jensen gave the Blades a 3-1 lead before a pair of third-period goals by Brett Pinoniemi sent Park Rapids into overtime for the third time in the last five games. Cody Sagen's game-winner 7:09 into the extra session gave the Panthers their third consecutive win in games that went into overtime.
Sagen opened the scoring with 3:58 to play in the first period. Carter Opheim assisted on that goal as the Panthers held an 8-6 edge in shots on goal.
Park Rapids outshot the Blades 16-11 in the second period, but goals by Jensen at the 4:46 mark and 8:12 mark produced a 2-1 lead.
Jensen completed his hat trick with a power-play goal just :08 into the final period as Breckenridge held a 3-1 advantage. But Pinoniemi tied the game on assists from Brody Hagen and Josh Kuhlman at the 3:39 mark and assists from Thomas Melvin and Jack Slagle with 5:03 left in regulation. The Panthers controlled the third period with an 18-4 advantage in shots.
Opheim and Melvin set up Sagen's game-winner as the Panthers improved to 3-2 in their last five games, including overtime wins over Red Lake Falls (5-4 on Jan. 12) and Bagley/Fosston (3-2 on Jan. 15). Goalie Brendan Kruchowski finished with 20 saves as Park Rapids, which outshot the Blades 7-2 in overtime and 49-23 in the game, improved to 5-15 overall on the season. Breckenridge fell to 5-9.
Breckenridge/Wahpeton 0 2 1 0...3
Park Rapids 1 0 2 1...4
FIRST PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Sagen (Car. Opheim), 13:02. Penalties: Breckenridge 1, Park Rapids 1.
SECOND PERIOD: 1, Breckenridge, Jensen (Wohlers), 4:46. 2, Breckenridge, Jensen (Wohlers), 8:12. Penalties: Breckenridge 2, Park Rapids 4.
THIRD PERIOD: 3, Breckenridge, Jensen, :08. 2, Park Rapids, Pinoniemi (Hagen, Kuhlman), 3:39. 3, Park Rapids, Pinoniemi (Melvin, Slagle), 11:57. Penalties: Breckenridge 2, Park Rapids 1.
OVERTIME: 4, Park Rapids, Sagen (Car. Opheim, Melvin), 7:09. Penalties: None.
GOALIE SAVES: Breckenridge (Wamre) 7-16-16-6--45. Park Rapids (Kruchowski) 6-9-3-2--20.