Joey Hillukka’s goal with under six minutes to play broke a tie and the Panthers went on to beat host Bagley-Fosston 6-5 Jan. 14.
The victory snapped a six-game slide and moves Park Rapids-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley-Menahga to 4-12 with eight games left in the regular season.
The first time the two teams met to open the hockey season back on Nov. 26, the Flyers thumped the host Panthers 8-4. The rematch was much different as Ben Strandlie made 19 saves to get the win. Most of Strandlie’s stops came in the second and third periods as the Flyers had a 19-5 shots-on-goal advantage.
Brody Hagen led the Panthers with two goals, while Jaxson Lund, Quincy Jantz, Alex Nordin and Hillukka each scored once. Nordin led with two assists, with Nash Mitchell, Ethan Eischens and Jantz each having one.
Bagley-Fosston scored the first goal about 10 minutes into the first period, but Hagen scored the next two as the Panthers had 17 shots on goal to the Flyers five.
In the second period, there were three ties and two lead changes with the game tied at 5-5 heading into the third.
The Flyers opened the period with a goal at the five-minute mark. Jantz broke the tie 18 seconds later, but at the eight-minute mark, the Flyers tied it up once again. Twenty-four seconds later Lund gave the Panthers a 5-4 lead.
The final goal was scored with 11 seconds remaining in the period and once again tied the game.
In the third, the Panthers scored first on Nordin’s goal 2:58 into the period. Just over three minutes later the Flyers tied it up again, but five minutes later Hillukka broke the tie for good.
Alex Rolfson led the Flyers with two goals, while Jacy Benson had three assists and one goal.
Both teams were scoreless on the power play, going a combined 0-9.
This week the Panthers travel to Breckenridge Thursday night and host Lake of the Woods in a Saturday matinee. Next week they host Sauk Centre go on the road to face Crookston.
Panthers lose at the WACC
In the first of three games the Panthers will play at the Walker Area Community Center this season, they came out on the wrong side of a 10-3 loss Thursday night to Pequot Lakes.
The Lightning had a 53 to 25 shots-on-goal advantage and broke the game open with four goals in each of the first two periods to take an 8-1 lead.
Joseph Huber, Mitchell and Nordin each scored for the Panthers. Eischens, Hagen and Hillukka each had an assist.
Strandlie made 44 saves in the loss.
Tyler Seeling opened the scoring just 4:35 into the game. Less than three minutes later Mitchell answered on a pass from Hillukka. Over the next five minutes the Lightning scored three times to take control of the game.
With the momentum on their side, the Lightning scored just 19 seconds into the second period. They would add another goal less than three minutes later, and late in the period scored twice more within 40 seconds of each other.
Huber’s goal 4:24 into the final period was followed two minutes later on Nordin’s power play goal. Five-minute and 10-minute majors for fighting and game misconduct led to the Lightning scoring twice within the span of 18 seconds later in the period.
Caiden Kjelstrom had a hat trick with both Shane Donovan and Erik Larsen scoring twice. Hunter Nybakken led with five assists, Donovan had four assists and Kyle Couture added two.
Sam LeMieur stopped 22 shots to get the win.
Pequot Lakes was 3-5 on the power play and the Panthers 1-5.