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Hinkley-Smith, Kennedy spark Panthers' 4-2 win over Pirates

Lexi Hinkley-Smith's two goals in the second period sparked the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team to a key Section 8A victory over Crookston Friday at Thief River Falls.

Smith gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead and assisted on an insurance goal in the third period as the Panthers rallied for a 4-2 win over Crookston in the first game of the Ralph Engelstad Holiday Classic.

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead on Alexa Kennedy's goal at the 5:11 mark of the first period. Paige Myhre assisted on the game's first goal. Crookston responded to take a 2-1 lead on goals by Kendall Berquist at the 12:28 mark and Maddi Salentine at the 13:26 mark. Park Rapids held an 11-7 edge in shots on goal in the opening period.

Park Rapids used a 10-3 advantage in shots in the second period to take the lead. Hinkley-Smith tied the game at the 5:14 mark before Taylor Sagen set up Hinkley-Smith for what turned out to be the game-winning goal at the 11:14 mark.

Elise Rice and Hinkley-Smith set up Kennedy's insurance goal at the 8:22 mark of the third period as the Panthers finished with a 27-19 edge in shots.

Goalie Kylee Pachel made 17 saves for the Panthers. Crookston is now 0-2 in section games and 0-4 overall.

"This was a very key game building confidence for the girls," said Park Rapids head coach Erik Myhre. "We really did take control of the final two periods. It was nice to see the girls have this win, but the takeaway is that we can readjust and learn from our mistakes with positive results. This ability will only make us tougher to play as the season rolls on."

Nine different players scored goals in leading Thief River Falls to a 10-0 win over the Panthers Saturday in the second game of the Ralph Engelstad Holiday Classic.

Grace Bergland scored twice in the first period as the Prowlers used a 22-3 advantage in shots to claim a 5-0 lead.

Thief River Falls scored three goals in the second period and two goals in the third period to improve to 2-0 against section teams and 4-0-1 on the season. The Prowlers finished with a 50-14 advantage in shots.

Pachel made 40 saves as the Panthers were shut out for the second time this season in falling to 1-2 in the section and 2-4 overall.

Park Rapids 1 2 1...4

Crookston 2 0 0...2

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Kennedy (Myhre), 5:11. 1, Crookston, Berquist, 5:14. 2, Crookston, Salentine (Tiedemann, Bienek), 13:26.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, Park Rapids, Hinkley-Smith, 5:14. 3, Park Rapids, Hinkley-Smith (T. Sagen), 11:14.

THIRD PERIOD: 4, Park Rapids, Kennedy (Rice, Hinkley-Smith), 8:22.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Pachel) 5-3-9--17. Crookston (Jobe) 10-8-5--23.

Thief River Falls 5 3 2...10

Park Rapids 0 0 0...0

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Thief River Falls, J. Nelson (K. Nelson), 5:37. 2, Thief River Falls, Bergland (K. Nelson, Lund), 5:53. 3, Thief River Falls, Bergland (Dalager, Magnusson), 8:26. 4, Thief River Falls, Breiland (J. Nelson, Lund), 11:14. 5, Thief River Falls, Magnusson (Neibuhr, Bergland), 12:00.

SECOND PERIOD: 6, Thief River Falls, B. Nelson (Jorde, McGlynn), 5:25. 7, Thief River Falls, Lund (J. Nelson), 7:46. 8, Thief River Falls, McGlynn, 12:33.

THIRD PERIOD: 9, Thief River Falls, Petrescue (J. Nelson), 1:15. 10, Thief River Falls, Jorde (Bergland), 2:32.

GOALIE SAVES: Thief River Falls (Porter) 3-9-2--14. Park Rapids (Pachel) 17-14-9--40.