Boys Hockey: Park Rapids' bid to avoid section play-in game in serious jeopardy

Losses to Morris/Benson and Kittson County Central drop the Panthers' record to 12-10-1.

Quinn Hoscheid fires a shot toward the net during the Panthers' game against Morris/Benson on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

After the first 16 games of the season, the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team was in position to accomplish a main goal by earning a top 6 seed and avoiding a play-in game for the upcoming Section 8A tournament.

The Panthers opened the season with an 11-5 record. Going 1-5-1 over the next seven games has put that goal in serious jeopardy.

The Panthers followed a 3-1 Mid-State Conference loss to Morris/Benson at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena on Friday, Feb. 10, with a 7-2 Section 8A loss to Kittson County Central at Hallock on Saturday, Feb. 11. Those two losses dropped Park Rapids to 5-5 in the conference, 5-6-1 in the section and 12-10-1 overall.

According to the QRF rankings, the Panthers are currently in the No. 8 spot in the Section 8A standings. The top 6 seeds avoid a play-in game.

Storm prevails

PARK RAPIDS – Morris/Benson relied on a 41-30 advantage in shots on goal to defeat the Panthers.


Goals by Ryan Tolifson at the 6:52 mark of the first period and Kaleb Breuer with 47 seconds to play in the second period gave the Storm a 2-0 lead.

Coby Hagen keeps the puck in the Morris/Benson zone during a Mid-State Conference game at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023.
Vance Carlson / Park Rapids Enterprise

Jeron Pinoniemi set up a goal by Parker Vinge at the 12:06 mark of the third period to make it 2-1 before Charlie Goff’s goal with 1:25 to play sealed the win.

Goalie Sawyer Torkelson made 38 saves for the Panthers. The win lifted the Storm’s record to 6-3 in the conference and 13-9 overall.

Morris/Benson 1 1 1…3

Park Rapids 0 0 1…1

FIRST PERIOD: 1, Morris/Benson, Tolifson (Pederson, Lehman), 6:52. Penalties: None.

SECOND PERIOD: 2 Morris/Benson, Breuer (Buss, Lehman), 16:13. Penalties: Morris/Benson 0, Park Rapids 1.

THIRD PERIOD: 1, Park Rapids, Vinge (J. Pinoniemi), 12:06. 3, Morris/Benson, Goff (Tolifson, Lehman), 15:35. Penalties: Morris/Benson 2, Park Rapids 0.

GOALIE SAVES: Morris/Benson (Schmidt) 12-8-9–29. Park Rapids (Torkelson) 15-14-9–38.

KCC avenges loss

HALLOCK – Two shorthanded goals during a four-goal third period helped Kittson County Central cap off the win and avenge a 3-2 loss to the Panthers earlier in the season.

KCC took a 2-0 lead after the first period on goals by Tyler Hennen at the 3:42 mark and Eli Muir at the 10:01 mark.

After Hayden Olson scored 5:09 into the second period to make it 3-0, Kale Ravnaas tallied back-to-back goals at the 10:30 and 16:44 marks for the Panthers. Talon May and Finn Henry assisted on Ravnaas’ first goal.

The Bearcats sealed the win by scoring four goals on 12 shots in the final period. Elijah Swanson’s goal 4:46 into the period made it 4-2 before a pair of shorthanded goals by Hayden Olsonawski 19 seconds apart iced the victory. Hennen’s goal with 6:49 to play concluded the scoring.

Torkelson finished with 34 saves as KCC held a 41-18 advantage in shots. The win lifted the Bearcats’ record to 7-4 in the section and 13-9-1 overall.


Park Rapids 0 2 0…2

Kittson County Central 2 1 4…7

FIRST PERIOD: 1, KCC, Hennen (Olsonawski, Hanson), 3:42. 2, KCC, Muir (Hennen, Olsonawski), 10:01. Penalties: None.

SECOND PERIOD: 3, KCC, Olson (Johnson, Hennen), 5:09. 1, Park Rapids, Ravnaas (May, Henry), 10:30. 2, Park Rapids, Ravnaas, 16:44. Penalties: Park Rapids 1, KCC 0.

THIRD PERIOD: 4, KCC, Swanson (Muir, Hennen), 4:46. 5, KCC, Olsonawski (Hennen), 7:17. 6, KCC, Olsonawski (Hennen), 7:36. 7, KCC, Hennen (Gunnarson, Johnson), 10:21. Penalties: Park Rapids 2, KCC 2.

GOALIE SAVES: Park Rapids (Torkelson) 11-15-8–34. KCC (Turner) 6-2-8-16.

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