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Detroit Lakes boys' hockey snaps 10-game losing streak

Senior goalie Chris Widme (33) makes a save against Little Falls last Saturday night in Kent Freeman Arena.1 / 2
Laker Alex Phelps (24) skates between two Little Falls defenders during their game Saturday night.2 / 2

Needing to start a fire and break a 10-game losing streak, the Detroit Lakes boys' hockey team found its accelerant and slump-buster in visiting Bagley/Fosston Tuesday inside Kent Freeman Arena.

The Lakers poured on an effective offensive attack with strong passing to set up an abundance of good scoring opportunities, and outmatched their guests 8-0.

The win snaps a 10-game losing streak, which spans back to Jan. 16.

"They guys played well and moved the puck well," said DL head coach Chris Denardo. "I thought we played decent against Little Falls (Saturday in a 10-0 loss) and it carried over to tonight. Every goal was nice, and there was some nice passing from behind the net in the offensive zone and good puck movement in the slot and some nice one-touch goals."

There were plenty of opportunities for the Lakers, who outshot B/F (0-14-0) by a hefty 57-13 margin, with scores coming from an array of players as six different DL skaters found nylon.

DL was able to extend a 2-0 first period lead into a commanding 6-0 advantage after the second period.

Sophomore goalie Blake Murphy made his third start in net and captured his second win of the season, with his first shutout and 13 saves.

"It was a real nice game by Blake," Denardo said of his goalie. "The defense did well, too, because Blake probably saw all of the shots on him."

The Lakers (6-16-0) opened the scoring on one of those nice passes from behind the net, this by team leading-scorer Tanner Lane, who found forward Alex Phelps in the slot for a one-timer goal at the 10:16 mark of the first period.

By then, DL had already established a strong attack and was pelting Bagley/Fosston goalie Gavin Ross repeatedly.

Ross was pretty strong between the pipes, though, as was apparent by his 49 saves. But the barrage of shots was too much for him, as DL notched one of their four power play goals with 25 seconds remaining in the first period on a nice end-to-end charge by junior forward Brett Provo.

Picking up the puck deep in DL's zone, Provo pushed it up through center ice by making a nice juke on a B/F defenseman.

Provo then unleashed a blast from in front of the blue line, which swished past Ross and gave DL a 2-0 advantage.

The dam cracked and broke in the second period, with the Lakers going for four goals, starting off 1:12 into the frame on defenseman Davis Johnson's slap shot near the blue line off the face-off win by Nate Baker.

Brandon Yozamp was also credited with an assist on the play.

From there, Lane, Travis Maristuen and Phelps went for three more goals to put the visitors away.

Maristuen finished with two tallies, while Bryant Swenson finished with DL's final goal. Lane had three assists in the contest to lift his point total on the season to 43.

"It wasn't due to a lack of playing hard (during the losing streak), it was due to a lack of capitalizing on opportunities," Denardo said. "Tonight the guys capitalized."

The Lakers saw firsthand Saturday at home why Little Falls holds an undefeated mark at 21-0, in a 10-0 loss to the potent Flyers.

Little Falls boasts over a dozen seniors on the roster, with up to three years of state playoff experience, and it showed with their three deep lines.

Senior forward and St. Cloud State University recruit Ben Hanowski racked up seven points on the night, including six assists and one goal, as he neared the Minnesota all-time scoring record.

Hanowski has 96 points on the season (50 goals, 46 assists) and needs just over 10 points to break the mark.

"Little Falls didn't overly control play, but they are just a great team," Denardo said. "All their goals were nice ones."

The Flyers, who will be the Section 6-1A top seed (DL's section), went off for five goals in the first period. They scored a goal within the first minute of all three periods, as well.

DL goalie Chris Widme played well, despite the 10 goals, with 46 saves. Little Falls outshot DL 56-13.

The Lakers will next be looking to build off their first win in 11 games when they host Kittson Central (2-9-1) Friday.

They round out their regular season schedule at home against Bemidji (11-9-1) Tuesday, Feb. 17, and on the road at Red Lake Falls (10-10-1) Thursday, Feb. 19.

"The two areas we need to improve in are better play in the defensive zone and better puck movement in the offensive zone," Denardo said. "We need to win the races to the puck in the defensive zone and move the puck like we did tonight (against Bagley/Fosston)."

Laker results

Bagley/Fosston at Detroit Lakes, Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Bagely/F 0 0 0 - 0

Lakers 2 4 2 - 8

First period -- 1. DL, Alex Phelps (Tanner Lane, Ethan Brekke) 6:44; 2. DL, PP Brett Provo (Brekke, Lane) 16:35.

Second period -- 3. DL, PP Davis Johnson (Nate Baker, Brandon Yozamp) 1:12; 4. DL, Lane (Phelps) 4:16; 5. DL, Travis Maristuen (Andy Schupp, Chad Maristuen) 6:15; 6. DL, Phelps (Lane, Provo) 11:40.

Third period -- 7. DL, PP T. Maristuen (Schupp, C. Maristuen) :08; 8. DL, PP Bryant Swenson (UA) 11:09.

Saves -- DL (Blake Murphy) 13...BF (Gavin Ross) 49.

Shots on goal -- DL 20 27 10 - 57...BF 3 8 2 - 13.

Power plays -- DL 4-6...BF 0-4.

Little Falls at Detroit Lakes, Saturday, Feb. 7.

Flyers 5 2 3 - 10

Lakers 0 0 0 - 0

First period -- 1. LF, Riley Hirsch (Ben Hanowski, Izaak Berglund) :59; 2. LF, PP Adam Dougherty (Hanowski, Berglund) 4:21; 3. LF, Hirsch (Wesley Waytashek, Hanowski) 12:14; 4. LF, Ben Nelson (Berglund) 13:38; 5. LF, Waytashek (Hanowski, Hirsch) 15:09.

Second period -- 6. LF, Hanowski (Berglund) :59; 7. LF, Nelson (Hanowski) 13:18.

Third period -- 8. LF, SH Waytashek (Hanowski, Logan Kalis) :12; 9. LF, Nelson (Hirsch) 2:20; 10. LF, Jordan Moll (Nelson) 13:55.

Saves -- DL (Chris Widme) 46...LF (Michael Sperl) 13.

Shots on goal -- DL 6 4 3 - 13...LF 22 20 14 - 56.

Power plays -- DL 0-3...LF 1-4.