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Donovan's four goals lift Lightning past Panthers

Shane Donovan's four goals and Jeremiah Smythe's 45 saves sparked Northern Lakes to a 7-3 Mid-State Conference win over the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team Jan. 17 at the Breezy Point Hockey Arena.

Shane Donovan's four goals and Jeremiah Smythe's 45 saves sparked Northern Lakes to a 7-3 Mid-State Conference win over the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team Jan. 17 at the Breezy Point Hockey Arena.

The Panthers rallied to within 4-3 before Donovan completed his hat trick with a pair of goals in the third period to seal the win.

After Hunter Nybakken gave Northern Lakes a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 2:02 into the game, Jack Slagle set up Nolan Pederson at the 6:44 mark as the Panthers tied the game. Donovan responded with a power-play goal at the 7:20 mark and added another goal at the 11:41 mark as the Lightning led 3-1 after the first period despite being outshot 17-10 as Smythe made 16 saves.

Carter Opheim cut the gap to 3-2 by scoring at the 12:17 mark before Northern Lakes made it 4-2 on Nybakken's goal with 1:43 to play in the second period.

Brett Pinoniemi and Thomas Melvin received assists on Pederson's second goal of the game as the Panthers closed the margin to 4-3 just 19 seconds into the third period. But Kasey Couture responded 39 seconds later to give Northern Lakes a 5-3 lead. Donovan sealed the win with goals at the 6:13 and 15:57 marks.

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Northern Lakes, which defeated the Panthers 6-2 on Dec. 20, improved to 2-2-1 in conference games and 3-11-1 overall. The Panthers, who finished with a 48-32 edge in shots, fell to 1-5 in Mid-State play and 4-14 overall as goalie Brendan Kruchowski made 25 saves.

Detroit Lakes tops the conference standings at 4-0 while Prairie Centre is 4-1. Wadena-Deer Creek sits at 1-4-1.

Park Rapids 1 1 1...3

Northern Lakes 3 1 3...7

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Northern Lakes, Nybakken (Jobe), 2:02. 1, Park Rapids, Pederson (Slagle), 6:44. 2, Northern Lakes, Donavan, 7:20. 3, Northern Lakes, Donavan (LeMieur, Jobe), 11:41. Penalties: Park Rapids 3, Northern Lakes 2.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, Park Rapids, Car. Opheim, 12:17. 4, Northern Lakes, Nybakken (Donavan), 15:17. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, Northern Lakes 0.

THIRD PERIOD: 3, Park Rapids, Pederson (Pinoniemi, Melvin), :19. 5, Northern Lakes, Couture, :58. 6, Northern Lakes, Donavan, 6:13. 7, Northern Lakes, Donavan (Miller), 15:57. Penalties: Park Rapids 4, Northern Lakes 2.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Kruchowski) 7-10-8--25. Northern Lakes (Smythe) 16-13-16--45.

Related Topics: HOCKEY
1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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