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Panthers drop pair of games on home ice

Wadena-Deer Creek's Rylan Olson and Park Rapids' Wyatt Halvorson (19) battled to control the puck during Thursday night's game. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Neither home rink proved to be an advantage for the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team.

Wadena-Deer Creek scored three goals in the third period to rally for a 5-3 win over the Panthers Thursday night at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena while Lake of the Woods scored three goals in the second period to spark a 5-1 win over the Panthers Saturday afternoon at the Walker Area Community Center.

The Panthers dropped to 2-4 on the season with their fourth loss in a row.

W-DC rallies for win

Justin Dykhoff scored a power-play goal and an empty-net goal and assisted on what proved to be the game-winning goal to rally W-DC past the Panthers in this battle of Mid-State Conference rivals.

After Max Phillips scored just 1:03 into the game to give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead, Shea Alto tied the game 23 seconds later before Wyatt Halvorson scored at the 2:46 mark to give Park Rapids a 2-1 advantage. Josh Baker assisted on Alto's goal while Carter Opheim set up Halvorson's goal. Phillips tied the game with his second goal of the period at the 12:17 mark as both teams finished with 11 shots on goal in the opening period.

Bjorn Jorgenson and James Hillukka received assists on Baker's power-play goal at the 7:44 mark of the second period as the Panthers reclaimed a 3-2 lead. W-DC held a 12-7 advantage in shots in that period.

Dykhoff opened the final period with a power-play goal at the 1:27 mark before assisting on the game-winning goal by Preston Warren at the 2:42 mark. Dykhoff sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 13 seconds to play. Park Rapids held an 11-10 edge in shots in the final period.

Goalie Austin Jerger made 28 saves as the Panthers fell to 1-2 in conference games. W-DC, which finished with a 33-29 edge in shots, improved to 1-1 in the conference and 6-2 overall. The Wolverines, who defeated Park Rapids 5-3 and 2-1 in overtime last season, gained an edge in retaining the Highway 71 Cup with the win.

Wadena-Deer Creek 2 0 3...5

Park Rapids 2 1 0...3

FIRST PERIOD: 1, W-DC, Phillips (Dykhoff), 1:03. 1, Park Rapids, Alto (Baker), 1:26. 2, Park Rapids, Halvorson (Opheim), 2:46. 2, W-DC, Phillips (Warren), 12:17. Penalties: W-DC 1, Park Rapids 1.

SECOND PERIOD: 3, Park Rapids, Baker (Jorgenson, Hillukka), 7:44. Penalties: W-DC 2, Park Rapids 3.

THIRD PERIOD: 3, W-DC, Dykhoff (Pettit), 1:27. 4, W-DC, Warren (Dykhoff, Robinson), 2:42. 4, W-DC, Dykhoff, 16:47. Penalties: W-DC 2, Park Rapids 2.

GOALIE SAVES: W-DC (Stevens) 9-6-11--26. Park Rapids (Jerger) 9-12-7--28.

LOW wins section battle

Lake of the Woods used a 38-21 advantage in shots to defeat the Panthers in this game between Section 8A teams.

Josh Pieper scored at the 15:03 mark of the first period to give the Bears a 1-0 lead before goals by Luke Krause at the 1:46 mark, Nathan Poolman at the 2:54 mark and Jackson Arpin at the 12:21 mark extended LOW's lead to 4-0 after the second period. LOW outshot the Panthers 11-6 in the first period and 11-9 in the second period.

Krause scored a power-play goal at the 8:56 mark of the third period to make it 5-0 before Baker set up Brett Pinoniemi at the 11:22 mark as the Panthers avoided being shut out for the first time this season. The Bears held a 16-6 advantage in shots in the final period.

Jerger finished with 12 saves before being replaced by Brendan Kruchowski in the second period. Kruchowski made 21 saves as the Panthers fell to 1-3 against section opponents. Park Rapids went 0-for-5 on the power play.

LOW, which has outscored its opponents 20-1 this season, improved to 2-0 in section games and 3-0 overall.

Lake of the Woods 1 3 1...5

Park Rapids 0 0 1...1

FIRST PERIOD: 1, LOW, Pieper (Poolman), 15:03. Penalties: LOW 1, Park Rapids 1.

SECOND PERIOD: 2, LOW, Krause (Arpin), 1:46. 3, LOW, Poolman (Risser, Ferrier), 2:54. 4, LOW, Arpin (Krause, Chapman), 12:21. Penalties: LOW 3, Park Rapids 1.

THIRD PERIOD: 5, LOW, Krause (Arpin, Chapman), 8:56. 1, Park Rapids, Pinoniemi (Baker), 11:22. Penalties: LOW 2, Park Rapids 4.

GOALIE SAVES: Lake of the Woods (Carradice) 6-9-5--20. Park Rapids (Jerger) 10-2-x--12; (Kruchowski) x-6-15--21.