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Lakers make a case for playoff seeding after win in Park Rapids

Jace Engelstad moves the puck up ice in the Lakers 4-2 victory in Park Rapids to cap the Mid-State Conference schedule with six wins in eight games. Submitted photo

Detroit Lakes scored three goals in the third period to finish off the Mid-State Conference schedule with a 4-2 road victory at Park Rapids Tuesday at Ted O’Johnson Ice Arena in Park Rapids.

Panther goalie Austin Jerger battled a two-to-one Laker shot advantage in the first period keeping a goose egg on the board. Laker netminder Ben Boomgarden made five saves in the scoreless period.

Bailey Tulius opened the scoring with the lone goal of the second period on the power play. Park Rapids outshot DL 16-14 in the middle frame.

Caleb Strandlie tied the game at event strength four minutes into the third period.

Jack DeConcini scored the Lakers’ second goal on the man advantage a minute later to regain a 2-1 lead.

Isaac Johnson’s unassisted tally at the 11-minute mark evened the game at 2-2.

DeConcini set up a tip from Jeric Giwoyna for the game-winner with less than three minutes remaining in the game.

Ben Unruh added an empty net goal for the 4-2 final.

The victory is the sixth in nine Section 8A games and the Lakers finished section play as the No. 2 team behind East Grand Forks according to QRF points.

DL and East Grand did not play this season. A weather-postponed game scheduled in DL on Jan. 3 was not rescheduled and ultimately canceled muddying any comparison between the two teams heading into Wednesday’s (Feb. 15) coaches vote for playoff seeding.

Thief River Falls created a murkier situation handing East Grand Forks their only section loss Tuesday night 3-2 in TRF.

Other 8A teams in action Tuesday: Crookston shutout Red Lake Falls 6-0 at home; Warroad defeated Lake of the Woods in Baudette 4-1; Bagley/Fosston won at home over Kittson Central 3-2.

The Lakers have two games remaining on the schedule at home versus Little Falls Thursday, Feb. 16 and at St. Paul Johnson Friday, Feb. 17.

Update: DL was awarded the No. 4 seed and will host No. 5 Crookston Thursday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. The Lakers defeated the Pirates in the only meeting between the two teams 7-2 in Crookston on Jan. 7.

The Coaches vote seeded the teams in the following order:

1 East Grand Forks

2 Thief River Falls

3 Warroad

4 Detroit Lakes

5 Crookston

6 Lake of the Woods

7 Northern Lakes

8 Park Rapids

9 Bagley-Fosston

10 Red Lake Falls

11 Kittson Central

Section 8A Standings

QRF, Team, (QRF Points) Section, Overall

No. 6 East Grand Forks (89.1) 8-1-0, 14-8-2

No. 21 Detroit Lakes (71.4) 5-3-0, 12-8-1

No. 27 Northern Lakes (67.7) 7-2-0, 19-4-1

No. 33 Thief River Falls (63.5) 6-2-0, 9-14-0

No. 38 Lake of the Woods (57.1) 8-4-0, 13-8-1

No. 50 Warroad (49.6) 5-4-0, 9-15-1

No. 53 Crookston (47.1) 7-6-0, 10-14-0

No. 66 Bagley/Fosston (35.0) 3-6-0, 8-13-1

No. 69 Park Rapids Area (33.9) 6-9-1, 6-16-2

No. 76 Red Lake Falls (27.5) 2-9-1, 7-15-1

No. 82 Kittson Central (19.4) 0-11-2, 1-19-2

DL 0 1 3 — 4

PR 0 0 2 — 2

Second Period

DL - Tulius Goal (power play) (DeConcini, Seebold) 12:59.

Third Period

PR - Strandlie Goal (even strength) (Johnson, Alto) 4:22;

DL - Deconcini Goal (power play) (Paskey, Tulius) 5:21;

PR - Johnson Goal (even strength) 11:00;

DL - Giwoyna Goal (even strength) (Deconcini) 14:34;

DL - Unruh Goal (even strength, EN) 16:32.

Saves: PR - Jerger 23/26; DL - Boomgarden 30/32

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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