Two empty-net goals in the final 40 seconds sealed Kittson Central's 4-2 Section 8A victory over the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team Feb. 9 at the Walker Area Community Center.
The Bearcats claimed a 2-0 lead on Luke Misson's goal at the 9:59 mark of the first period and Reagan Klein's goal at the 12:47 mark of the second period as Park Rapids trailed despite matching Kittson Central's 20 shots on goal.
Cody Sagen scored on an assist from Jack Slagle with 3:40 to play as the Panthers cut the gap to 2-1. But the Bearcats sealed the win on Calvin Hanson's power-play goal into an empty net with 40 seconds to play. Hanson added another empty-net goal with 10 seconds remaining sa Kittson Central outshot the Panthers 17-6 in the final period.
Goalie Brendan Kruchowski made 33 saves as the Panthers fell to 4-10 against section opponents and 6-17 overall.
Kittson Central, which defeated the Panthers 7-1 on Jan. 5 and finished the rematch with a 37-26 advantage in shots, improved to 6-4 in the section and 14-7 overall.
Kittson Central 1 1 2...4
Park Rapids 0 0 1...1
FIRST PERIOD: 1, Kittson Central, Misson (Gustafson, Hanson), 9:59. Penalties: Kittson Central 2, Park Rapids 1.
SECOND PERIOD: 2, Kittson Central, Klein (Hennen), 12:47. Penalties: Kittson Central 2, Park Rapids 3.
THIRD PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Sagen (Slagle), 13:20. 3, Kittson Central, Hanson, 16:20. 4, Kittson Central, Hanson (Gustafson, Hennen), 16:50. Penalties: Kittson Central 0, Park Rapids 3.
GOALIE SAVES: Kittson Central (Olsonawski) 12-8-5--25. Park Rapids (Kruchowski) 7-11-15--33.