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Panthers, Prairie Centre settle for 3-3 tie

Park Rapids' Bjorn Jorgenson (17) carried the puck between Prairie Centre's Hunter Fletcher (5) and Ian Gould (3) during Tuesday night's game. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Early in the third period and late in overtime, it looked like the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team was going to defeat Prairie Centre in a Mid-State Conference game Tuesday night at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena.

Instead, the Panthers had to settle for a 3-3 tie.

Park Rapids led 3-0 early in the third period before the North Stars scored three goals to force overtime. In the extra session, Bjorn Jorgenson appeared to score the game-winner with 1:15 to play, but that goal was overturned as both teams settled for a tie.

After a scoreless first period in which the Panthers held a 15-6 advantage in shots, Carter Opheim and Cameron Hoyt scored in the second period for a 2-0 lead. Christoffer Madsen assisted on Opheim’s power-play goal 1:06 into the period while Madsen and Connor Link set up Hoyt’s goal at the 7:53 mark. Prairie Centre couldn’t score on four power-play opportunities in that period as the Panthers held a 9-6 edge in shots.

Park Rapids extended the lead to 3-0 when Wyatt Halvorson and Shea Alto received assists on a goal by Micah Link 59 seconds into the third period. Brady Miller scored 47 seconds later as the North Stars cut the deficit to 3-1. Hunter Fletcher’s goal at the 10:57 mark made it 3-2 before Miller scored with 52 seconds to play in regulation to force overtime. The North Stars outshot Park Rapids 11-9 in that period.

Prairie Centre maintained the momentum at the start of the eight-minute overtime period by firing five shots at Park Rapids goalie Austin Jerger. The Panthers had two shots on goal in overtime as neither team scored.

Jerger finished with 25 saves as the Panthers finished with a 35-28 edge in shots. Park Rapids, which defeated Prairie Centre 6-0 at Long Prairie on Dec. 5, is now 3-3-1 in the conference and 6-14-2 overall. The North Stars are 2-5-1 in Mid-State games and 8-11-1 overall.

Detroit Lakes leads the conference standings at 5-0 while Wadena-Deer Creek and Northern Lakes are both 3-4.

Prairie Centre   0  0  3  0...3Park Rapids   0  2  1  0...3FIRST PERIOD: No scoring. Penalties: Prairie Centre 1, Park Rapids 0.SECOND PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Opheim (Madsen), 1:06. 2, Park Rapids, Hoyt (Madsen, C. Link), 7:53. Penalties: Prairie Centre 0, Park Rapids 4.THIRD PERIOD: 3, Park Rapids, M. Link (Halvorson, Alto), :59. 1, Prairie Centre, Miller (Gould), 1:46. 2, Prairie Centre, Fletcher (Gould, Deters), 10:57. 3, Prairie Centre, Miller (Bick), 16:08. Penalties: Prairie Centre 0, Park Rapids 1.
OVERTIME: No scoring. Penalties: None.GOALIE SAVES: Prairie Centre (DeFoe) 15-7-8-2--32. Park Rapids (Jerger) 6-6-8-5--25.