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Miller's hat trick propels North Stars past Panthers

Jordan Baker chased after the puck during the Panthers' home opener against Prairie Centre Tuesday night (Dec. 4). Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Brady Miller's empty-net goal completed a hat trick and sealed Prairie Centre's 5-1 Mid-State Conference win over the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team Tuesday night (Dec. 4).

The North Stars used a 31-14 advantage in shots on goal to spoil Park Rapids' home opener at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena.

After a scoreless first period, Prairie Centre used a 13-3 advantage in shots and a pair of goals by Miller to claim a 3-0 lead after the second period. Eli Fletcher also scored for the North Stars in that period.

Andrew Custer gave the North Stars a 4-0 lead before Alec Nordin scored at the 6:02 mark to cut the gap to 4-1. Jack Slagle assisted on that goal. Miller scored into an empty net with 2:12 to play to conclude the scoring.

Park Rapids goalie Brendan Kruchowski finished with 26 saves as the Panthers fell to 0-2 on the season.

Prairie Centre (which consists of players from Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Sauk Centre, Melrose and Browerville) improved to 2-0 in conference games and 2-2 overall.

Prairie Centre 0 3 2...5

Park Rapids 0 0 1...1

FIRST PERIOD: No scoring. Penalties: Prairie Centre 1, Park Rapids 0.

SECOND PERIOD: 1, Prairie Centre, Miller (Bick, Pung), :36. 2, Prairie Centre, Fletcher (Crosby), 8:31. 3, Prairie Centre, Miller (Gould), 16:06. Penalties: Prairie Centre 1, Park Rapids 0.

THIRD PERIOD: 4, Prairie Centre, Custer (Wolbeck), 3:20. 1, Park Rapids, Nordin (Slagle), 6:02. 5, Prairie Centre, Miller (Fletcher), 14:48. Penalties: Prairie Centre 0, Park Rapids 1.

GOALIE SAVES: Prairie Centre (DeFoe) 7-3-3--13. Park Rapids (Kruchowski) 10-10-6--26.

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