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Lakers grab first place in the Mid-State

DL center Ryan Paskey and Park Rapids defenseman Jimmy Hillukka battle for the puck in the Lakers' 4-3 victory at Park Rapids Tuesday night. Vance Carlson / Forum News Service

Detroit Lakes handed Park Rapids its first conference loss and improved to 3-0 in the Mid-State taking over sole possession of first place after a 4-3 victory in Park Rapids Tuesday night.

The Lakers have won three consecutive games after an 0-4 start and are playing solid hockey with a full lineup. Last week, Ryan Paskey’s return ignited the top line in an eight-goal barrage and the top offensive showing this season.

Tuesday night, scoring came from the defensive corps.

The defensive pairing of Jackson Fields accounted for three of the four Laker goals. Kovash had the game-winner unassisted at 9:56 to snap a late 3-3 tie.

Detroit Lakes outshot the Panthers 38-26 and Blake Itzen made 23 saves to earn the victory in goal.

Both teams scored twice in the opening period of play. Fields scored 87 seconds into the game on assists by Brady Morris and Will Green.

Joshua Baker and Connor Link gave Park Rapids a 2-1 lead . Baker scored at even strength; Link gave Park Rapids the lead on the power play with dl’s Collin Ginnaty in the box for kneeing.

Kovash got his first of the night at 14:02 to tie the game with assists credited to Carson Reep and Jackson Carlblom.

Carlblom had the lone tally in the second period scoring unassisted at even strength to send the Lakers to the third period up 3-2. Carlblom and Kovash had multi-point games for the Lakers each recording two points.

The Mid-State Conference schedule has been a boon to DL hockey as the Lakers three-game win streak has come against conference opponents Northern Lakers, Prairie Centre and Park Rapids. DL has outscored all three teams 15-8 after only scoring five goals in four losses to start the year.

Park Rapids has lost two games in a row to even their mark at 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Mid-State. Defending champions Northern Lakes is a game back of DL at 2-1; Wadena-Deer Creek is 0-1 and Prairie Centre is 0-3.

DL (3-4) will get a test from St. Paul Johnson (2-1) in their next contest Saturday, Dec. 16 at 4 p.m., at Kent Freeman Arena.

DL 2 1 1 - 4

PR 2 0 2 - 3

DL - Fields Goal (even strength) (Morris, Green)

PR - Baker Goal (even strength) (Jorgenson)

PR - Link Goal (power play) (Hillukka, Alto)

DL - Kovash Goal (even strength) (Reep, Carlblom)

DL - Carlblom Goal (even strength)

PR - Baker Goal (even strength) (Link)

DL - Kovash Goal (even strength) 9:56

Saves: Itzen (DL) 23; Jerger (PR) 34

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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