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Smith shuts out Lakers in 8A opener

Park Rapids goalie Julia Smith was stout in net in a shutout Section 8A opening round victory over Detroit Lakes Thusday night at Ted O'Johnson Arena in Park Rapids. Robert Williams/Tribune

Park Rapids senior goalie Julia Smith stopped all 26 Laker shots and the No. 4-seeded Panthers erupted for five goals in the second period to end the No. 5 Detroit Lakes girls hockey season 6-0 in the play-in round of Section 8A playoffs at Ted O’Johnson Ice Arena in Park Rapids Thursday.

Both teams needed a quick start and Park Rapids got that from leading scorer Alexa Kennedy with a goal in the opening minute of play.

The teams skated to an even 11 shots each and a 1-0 Panther lead after one period of play.

As a Panther power play expired, Taylor Sagen made it 2-0 five minutes into the second and Park Rapids seized momentum quickly getting goals from Tara Johanning, Lexi Hinckley-Smith, Taylor Pingrey and a second from Sagen for the 6-0 lead.

Sagen is the daughter of former Laker Byron Sagen, Class of 1988.


Down 3-0, Laker head coach Gretchen Norby called a timeout and DL came out of the break with an offensive push, but Smith was solid in net. DL’s best chance to score came on a breakaway by Jamie Bollig down right wing but Smith flashed the leather to keep the zero on the scoreboard.

Park Rapids outshot DL 41-26. Hinkley-Smith was the star of the game with a four-point night (1G, 4A).

The Lakers season ends with an overall record of 4-21-1. The loss also marks the end for Laker seniors Emily Schiltz, Shannara Wheeler, Taylor Soland, Bollig and Hannah Rhodes, who missed most of the season with an injury.

Park Rapids improves to 9-15-1 and will face top-seeded Warroad (15-8-2) Monday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. in Warroad.

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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