Hockey: Lakers fall behind early in loss at Thief River Falls

Both teams cash in on three power plays, but Prowlers too much for both DL goalies.


Thief River Falls scored seven of the first eight goals and chased both Laker goalies in a 7-4 Section 8A boys hockey victory over Detroit Lakes at Ralph Engelstad Arena Saturday afternoon in Thief River Falls.

Gannon Kempert gave the Prowlers a lead they would not relinquish three minutes into the game on the shot from the right point that was high and beat Laker goalie Elijah Blow above the shoulders.

Justin Funk added a power play goal for a 2-0 lead.

Tommy Fritz answered for the Laker with a power play goal of his own at 13:44 of the first period to close the deficit to one. Jordan Fields worked the puck up top to Jacob Thomas, who found Fritz alone in the right circle. Fritz beat Prowler goalie Josh Berzinski stick side.

The Prowlers answered immediately on a wrist shot from Brady Skeim that was initially stopped by Blow but trickled through the five hole for a 3-1 lead.


Blow was pulled after the period but the Prowlers added four goals by Isaiah Villarreal, Brendan Bottem, Blake Biermaier and Gannon Kempert in 10 minutes against Jack Hines.

Villarreal and Biermaier scored on the power play. Bottom’s goal game shorthanded.

Blow was back in net for DL as the Laker offense provided some support down six goals.

Spencer Bergman scored on a backhand for the Lakers’ second power play goal of the game.

Bergman started a three-on-two break after a long defensive shift with Cooper Moore and Jordan Fields on the wings. Moore’s shot from above the left circle was saved but the rebound went straight to Fields in front for an easy put away.

Fritz had the lone goal of the third period off a rebound from an Aiden Kennedy shot from the point on the power play.

Both teams were solid on special teams. The Lakers were 3-4 on the power play; the Prowlers were 3-3.

Berzinski made 18 saves to record the victory. Shots were 28-22 in favor of the Prowlers. Thief River Falls improved to 6-5-1. The Lakers fell to 6-7 overall and have lost four of six section games.


Three of the remaining five games in the regular season are against section opponents, the first being against Park Rapids at home Tuesday, March 2. The Lakers defeated the Panthers 1-0 on the road Feb. 9.

Thief River Falls 7, Detroit Lakes 4

DL 1 2 1 - 4

TR 3 4 0 - 7

TRF - Gannon Kempert (Brendan Bottem)

TRF - Justin Funk (PP) (Isaiah Villarreal)

DL - Tommy Fritz (PP) (Jacob Thomas, Jordan Fields)

TRF - Brady Skeim (Kaden Bakken)


TRF - Isaiah Villarreal (PP) (Tylan Johnson)

TRF - Brendan Bottem (SH)

TRF - Blake Biermaier (PP) (Brendan Bottem)

TRF - Gannon Kempert (Tylan Johnson)

DL - Spencer Bergman (PP)

DL - Jordan Fields (Cooper Moore, Spencer Bergman)

DL - Tommy Fritz (PP) (Spencer Bergman, Aiden Kennedy)

Saves: TRF - Josh Berzinski 18; DL - Elijah Blow 13; Jack Hines 8.


Robert Williams has been a sports editor for Forum Communications in Perham and Detroit Lakes since 2011.
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