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Pirates score final four goals to rally for 5-3 win

Midway through the second period of Tuesday night's game against Crookston, the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team appeared to be in control of posting a win for the third game in a row.

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Park Rapids goalie Brendan Kruchowski made one of his 35 saves on a deflection by Crookston's Joey Doda during Tuesday night's game. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Midway through the second period of Tuesday night's game against Crookston, the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team appeared to be in control of posting a win for the third game in a row.

That all changed in less than three minutes as the Pirates used a pair of power-play goals to rally from a 3-1 deficit for a 5-3 victory in a battle of Section 8A rivals at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena on Dec. 18.

Brett Pinoniemi and Jordan Baker gave the Panthers a quick 2-0 advantage with Pinoniemi scoring just 14 seconds into the game and Baker deflecting a shot by Pinoniemi into the net at the 3:37 mark. Cameron Hoyt assisted on both goals while Nolan Pederson helped set up the first goal of the game. Crookston closed the gap to 2-1 on Sam Overgaard's goal with 6:03 remaining in the opening period as Park Rapids held a 12-7 edge in shots on goal.

Both teams failed to score on power-play opportunities to start the second period before the Panthers took a 3-1 lead on Pinoniemi's shorthanded goal at the 9:09 mark. Hoyt stole the puck inside the Crookston zone and fired a shot on goal. Crookston goalie Jack Ricord made the save, but Pinoniemi slapped in the rebound to put Park Rapids up by two goals.

Two more Park Rapids penalties enabled the Pirates to tie the game when Eric Delorme scored a power-play goal at the 11:25 mark and Brock Heppner followed with a power-play goal at the 12:36 mark. Delorme scored less than two minutes later off a faceoff as Crookston led 4-3 with 2:46 to play in the second period. The Pirates used four Park Rapids penalties to control that period by outshooting Park Rapids 19-4.

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Joey Doda opened the final period with a goal just 26 seconds in as the Pirates used a 14-8 edge in shots to hold on for their first win of the season.

Goalie Brendan Kruchowski finished with 35 saves as the Panthers were outshot 40-24. The loss dropped Park Rapids to 1-5 against section teams and 2-6 overall while the Pirates improved to 1-2 in section games and 1-6-1 overall.

Crookston 1 3 1..5

Park Rapids 2 1 0...3

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Pinoniemi (Hoyt, Pederson), :14. 2, Park Rapids, Baker (Pinoniemi, Hoyt), 3:37. 1, Crookston, Overgaard, 10:57. Penalties: Crookston 1, Park Rapids 0.

SECOND PERIOD: 3, Park Rapids, Pinoniemi (Hoyt), 9:09. 2, Crookston, Delorme (Heppner, Wardner), 11:25. 3, Crookston, Heppner (Delorme), 12:36. 4, Crookston, Delorme (Heppner), 14:14. Penalties: Crookston 1, Park Rapids 4.

THIRD PERIOD: 5, Crookston, Doda (Delorme, Heppner), :26. Penalties: Crookston 0, Park Rapids 2.

GOALIE SAVES: Crookston (Ricord) 10-3-8--21. Park Rapids (Kruchowski) 6-16-13--35.

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