Panthers prevail with 2-1 win

The Park Rapids-Menahga-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team fired 45 shots on goal to defeat Breckenridge/Wahpeton.

Ethan Eischens (right) kept the puck away from Breckenridge's Josiah Breuer in the first period of the Panthers' 2-1 win on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Despite firing 45 shots on net, it took Alec Nordin’s goal in the third period to give the Park Rapids-Menahga-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team a 2-1 win over Breckenridge/Wahpeton at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Goalie Jared Aamold stopped 13 shots in the first period, 15 shots in the second period and 15 shots in the third period to keep Breckenridge in the game before the Panthers prevailed.

“It's a really nice win for our team. We felt like our game really grew over the course of the game against Wadena, and the team carried some of that into this game,” said Park Rapids head coach Derek Ricke, whose team was coming off a 5-3 loss to Wadena-Deer Creek. “Controlling play the way we did with our forecheck really helps build confidence. We're learning that when we apply heavy pressure to opponents we can force turnovers and generate offense off of that. That will pay dividends as the year goes on.”

Joey Hillukka gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead by opening the scoring at the 12:08 mark of the first period. Caden Opheim and Jack Slagle assisted on that goal.

The Blades had only three shots on net in the second period, but Josiah Bauer’s goal tied the game at 1-1.


Jaxson Lund set up Nordin’s game-winner at the 10:36 mark of the third period to give the Panthers their first win of the season.

Both teams struggled on the power play in this game that featured 13 penalties. Breckenridge went 0 for 7 with a man advantage while the Panthers failed to score on six power-play opportunities.

Goalie Collin Hoyt finished with 11 saves as Park Rapids improved to 1-2 on the season. Breckenridge (which has been outscored 16-1 so far this season) fell to 0-3.

“From an offensive standpoint, we really liked the way our guys drove the net and created a lot of traffic in front,” said Ricke. “Goals weren't coming easy for us, but we did a lot of good things in terms of having a net front presence and competing for rebounds. If we can continue to build on that, the goals will eventually come.”

Breckenridge 0 1 0...1
Park Rapids 1 0 1...2
FIRST PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Joey Hillukka (Opheim, Slagle), 12:08. Penalties: Breckenridge 1, Park Rapids 2.
SECOND PERIOD: 1, Breckenridge, Bauer (Rugland), 1:00. Penalties: Breckenridge 4, Park Rapids 2.
THIRD PERIOD: 2, Park Rapids, Nordin (Lund), 10:36. Penalties: Breckenridge 1, Park Rapids 3.
GOALIE SAVES: Breckenridge (Aamold) 13-15-15--43. Park Rapids (Hoyt) 5-3-3--11.

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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