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Panthers down DL icemen in regular season finale

WILSON LYSFORD looks for a teammate to pass the puck to during Thursday's game against Park Rapids.

The Detroit Lakes boys' hockey team was one win away from sharing a piece of the Mid-State Conference title Thursday, but the visiting Park Rapids Panthers denied them that honor with a 3-1 victory in the regular season finale.

The Lakers (10-15) instead dropped to fourth place in the conference with a mark of 4-4, while the Panthers (13-12) clinched the title outright with a 6-2 record.

Two goals in the first period by Park Rapids were followed by another tally in the second, as Panther goalie Cody Brumbaugh had 26 saves in the victory.

The Lakers were outshot 10-5 in the first period, but controlled the puck in the final two periods by outshooting the visitors by a 22-14 margin.

But DL couldn't find the back of the net until 5:58 into the third, when Austin Rusness took a nice pass from YouTube sensation, senior Alex Mason, while Connor Collins also gained an assist.

The Lakers even had a two-man advantage in the second period, but failed to produce any points to go 0-for-4 on power play opportunities.

Jamie Stewart opened the scoring on a power play goal 6:16 into the first, while forward Sam Coburn weaved his way through the Laker defense to create a nice breakaway short-handed goal to put Park Rapids up 2-0.

Cory Odland added the Panthers' third goal four minutes into the second period.

Laker goalie MacKenzie Steele still had a solid game with 21 saves.

The Lakers were awarded the sixth seed in the upcoming Section 8-1A playoffs and will have the tough task of playing No. 3 Warroad (13-11-1) on their home ice Friday, starting at 8:15 p.m.

Laker results

Park Rapids at Detroit Lakes, Thursday, Feb. 16.

Panthers 2 1 0 - 3

Lakers 0 0 1 - 1

1st Period -- Scoring: P RPDS - Stewart Goal (PP) (Johnson, Erickson) 6:16. P RPDS - Coburn Goal (SH) (Johnson) 14:02. Penalties: Brekke, DTRTLK (Cross-Checking, Minor, 2 min) 5:59. Rusness, DTRTLK (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 6:28. Fritz, DTRTLK (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 7:21. Mueller, P RPDS (Holding, Minor, 2 min) 13:02.

2nd Period -- Scoring: P RPDS - Odland Goal (Moren) 4:00. Penalties: Erickson, P RPDS (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 4:25. Brekke, DTRTLK (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 5:47. Macpherson, P RPDS (Illegal Check to the Head, Major, 5 min) 9:43. Erickson, P RPDS (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 15:41.

3rd Period -- Scoring: DTRTLK - Rusness Goal (Mason, Collins) 5:58. Penalties: Herrmann, DTRTLK (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 12:08. Rusness, DTRTLK (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 15:58.

Shots on goal -- DL 5 11 11 - 27...PR 10 6 8 - 24.

Saves -- DL (MacKenzie Steele) 21...PR (Cody Brumbaugh) 26.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.