Laker icemen can't catch Lightning
It wasn't exactly the type of slump-buster the Detroit Lakes boys' hockey was looking for Thursday night inside Kent Freeman Arena.
Despite controlling the puck for the majority of the three periods, the Lakers lost to their Section 6-1A foe Northern Lakes 5-4, dropping DL to 11-4-2 on the season and their first losing streak.
"I felt we dominated the whole game, but we didn't capitalize," said DL head coach Chris Denardo. "Northern Lakes' goalie (Tyler Carraway) also played well and their defense boxed well in front of their net."
Coming off a sluggish loss to Crookston Tuesday night, Minnesota Class 1A leading scorer Tanner Lane ignited the Laker offense early with a short-handed goal at the 11:12 mark after skating unimpeded for a breakaway effort.
From there, the Lakers created plenty of opportunities, but didn't take care of business on the other side of the ice.
The Lightning scored three unanswered goals in the first, with Connor Chambers starting the rally at the 9:54 mark on an open slot shot past DL goalie Andrew Friesen.
Northern Lakes upped the ante to 3-1 on goals coming 17 seconds apart by Sam Johnson and Cody Chambers, both coming on rush opportunities.
"That was one thing we corrected after the first intermission," Denardo said. "Our defense wasn't standing their forwards up at the blueline, but after the first period, we started doing a better job and started getting a body on them."
But first line forward Alex Phelps added the period's fifth goal with 41 seconds left after he picked up the loose puck just past the blue line and went untouched to bury it and cut the deficit to 3-2.
Lane tied the score at 3-3 by finding the open spot on the uppershelf on a turn-around shot, which took Carraway by surprise, with Phelps picking up the assist.
But Northern Lakes kept breaking free, notching two more consecutive goals by Cody Chambers and Tyler Heinlen for the 5-3 advantage heading into the final period of play.
Phelps notched his second goal of the game on a 2-on-1 opportunity, along with Lane, who centered a quick pass to his linemate, who put it past the Lightning goalie.
"I thought after we got that fourth goal, we would be able to convert a couple more," Denardo said. "We had ample opportunities to win the game."
The Lakers made several rushes on the net, but Carraway was up to the task each time, finishing with 30 saves, to Friesen's 22.
"Andrew struggled some, I'm sure he wants a couple of those back which squeaked past him," Denardo added.
Lane leads the state in scoring with 35 goals and 29 assists for 64 points.
Phelps has 16 goals and 32 assists on the season, while third first linemate Nathan Baker has 20 goals and 18 assists for 38 points.
The loss was also DL's first Mid-State Conference defeat and would have had to beat Park Rapids Saturday to clinch the conference.
DL is still in the top three in the Section 6-1A standings after suffering their second loss in the section.
They will host Wadena-Deer Creek (4-13) Tuesday, starting at 7 p.m.
Northern Lakes at Detroit Lakes, Thursday, Jan. 21.
Lightning 3 2 0 - 5
Lakers 2 1 1 - 4
First period -- 1. DL, SH Tanner Lane (Alex Phelps) 5:48; 2. NL, Connor Chambers (Cody Chambers) 7:06; 3. NL, Sam Johnson (Collin Burke) 15:17; 4. NL, Cody Chambers (Johnson) 15:40; 5. DL, Phelps (Lane) 16:19.
Second period -- 6. DL, Lane (Phelps) 5:18; 7. NL, Cody Chambers (Burke, Brady Roy) 8:27; 8. NL, Tyler Heinlen (Connor Chambers) 13:03.
Third period -- 9. DL, Phelps (Lane, Brett Provo) 1:07.
Saves -- DL (Andrew Friesen) 22...NL (Tyler Carraway) 30.