Lightning strikes down Panthers

Northern Lakes scores eight unanswered goals in a 10-3 Mid-State Conference victory over the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team.

Caiden Kjelstrom recorded a hat trick while Shane Donovan and Hunter Nybakken tallied six points each in leading Northern Lakes to a 10-3 Mid-State Conference victory over the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team at the Walker Area Community Center on Thursday, Jan. 16.

The Lightning scored eight unanswered goals to break open a 1-1 tie to sweep the season series from Park Rapids. Northern Lakes, which finished with a 53-25 advantage in shots on goal, defeated the Panthers 7-1 on Dec. 19.

After Tyler Seeling opened the scoring 4:35 into the game, Joey Hillukka assisted on a goal by Nash Mitchell as the Panthers tied the game at 1-1 at the 7:28 mark. Northern Lakes closed out the first period with goals by Erik Larsen at the 8:50 mark, Kjelstrom at the 11:33 mark and Nybakken at the 13:22 mark to claim a 4-1 lead.

Northern Lakes used a 15-7 advantage in shots to score four more times in the second period. Donovan scored a power-play goal 19 seconds into the period before Kjelstrom completed his hat trick with goals at the 3:02 and 14:29 marks. Donovan’s goal at the 15:09 mark gave the Lightning an 8-1 advantage.

Park Rapids opened the third period with a pair of goals as Brody Hagen set up Joseph Huber at the 4:24 mark and Ethan Eischens assisted on a goal by Alec Nordin at the 6:56 mark. The Lightning, which held a 21-7 advantage in shots in the third period, ended the game with power-play goals by Larsen at the 10:07 mark and Kyler Couture at hte 10:25 mark.


Goalie Ben Strandlie finished with 43 saves as the Panthers fell to 1-3 in the conference and 4-13 overall. Park Rapids went 1 for 5 on the power play.

Donovan’s two goals and four assists and Nybakken’s goal and five assists lifted the Lightning to 3-1-1 in conference play and 8-7-1 overall. Northern Lakes scored three goals on five power-play opportunities.

Detroit Lakes tops the conference standings with a 4-0 record. Prairie Centre is 3-2 and Wadena-Deer Creek is 1-4-1.

Northern Lakes 4 4 2...10
Park Rapids 1 0 2...3
FIRST PERIOD: 1, Northern Lakes, Seeling (Bernu), 4:35. 1, Park Rapids, Mitchell (Hillukka), 7:28. 2, Northern Lakes, Larsen (Nybakken), 8:50. 3, Northern Lakes, Kjelstrom, 11:33. 4, Northern Lakes, Nybakken (Donavan), 13:22. Penalties: Northern Lakes 2, Park Rapids 0.
SECOND PERIOD: 5, Northern Lakes, Donovan (Nybakken, Couture), :19. 6, Northern Lakes, Kjelstrom (Nybakken, Donovan), 3:02. 7, Northern Lakes, Kjelstrom (Donovan), 14:29. 8, Northern Lakes, Donovan (Nybakken, Couture), 15:09. Penalties: Northern Lakes 1, Park Rapids 2.
THIRD PERIOD: 2, Park Rapids, Huber (B. Hagen), 4:24. 3, Park Rapids, Nordin (Eischens), 6:56. 9, Northern Lakes, Larsen (Donovan), 10:07. 10, Northern Lakes, Couture (Nybakken, Larsen), 10:25. Penalties: Northern Lakes 2, Park Rapids 2.
GOALIE SAVES: Northern Lakes (LeMieur) 10-7-5--22. Park Rapids (Strandlie) 13-11-19--43.

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