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DL Boys Hockey - DeConcini wraps up hat trick

Laker center Austin Rusness (10) watches his shot hit the back of the Park Rapids net during Tuesday's game against the Panthers in Kent Freeman Arena. Photo by - Brian Basham, DL Newspapers

DETROIT LAKES -- The scoring attack for the Detroit Lakes boys' hockey team is on the upswing, as it produced a 5-1 victory over visiting Park Rapids Tuesday.

The win bolstered the young Lakers' confidence, as Perham sophomore forward Ryan DeConcini recorded DL's first hat trick of the season in the victory.

Sophomore goalie MacKenzie Steele also had one of his best games of the young season, saving 34, as the Panthers outshot the Lakers by a narrow 35-33 margin.

"Ryan was our Bantam scoring leader last year and he just started firing the puck at the net and good things happened," said DL head coach Chris Denardo of DeConcini's hat track. "He positioned himself well and picked up a couple of rebounds. Now hopefully, he runs with it."

DeConcini benefited from senior forward Austin Rusness' strong game creating opportunities, which also produced a goal for himself late in the third period.

Rusness, who brings in the Lakers' most experience on the attack, finished with four points, including three assists.

"Austin is one of those guys who knows how to shoot the puck and position himself well," Denardo said. "He had a good, all-around game and he worked hard all night."

The Lakers also have prospered with their power play, going 3-7 in their last two games.

Senior Kyle Herrmann used the power play to put DL up 1-0 7:32 into the first period, while DeConcini upped the ante to 2-0. Jonathan Hallisey and Rusness both assisted on the score, while senior forward Taylor Magnuson drew the assist on Herrmann's goal.

Park Rapids sheared the deficit in half at 2-1 on a Luke Jaeger goal, but the Lakers finished the Panthers off with three unanswered goals in the third, two coming by DeConcini and the other by Rusness.

"We controlled the front of the net and that's been something we've been working on in practice," Denardo said.

Steele also was solid in net, as the defense played a clean game in front of him.

"Mac was able to see the puck and when he's able to do that, he makes the save," Denardo said. "The defense is simplifying things and moved the puck well."

The Lakers improve to 3-3 on the season and will travel north to International Falls (2-2-1) Saturday for a 3 p.m. start.

Laker results

Park Rapids at Detroit Lakes, Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Panthers 0 1 0 - 1

Lakers 2 0 3 - 5

1st Period -- Scoring: DTRTLK - Herrmann Goal (PP) (Magnuson) 7:32; DTRTLK - Deconcini Goal (Hallisey, Rusness) 10:47. Penalties: Walters, P RPDS (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 7:30; Walters, P RPDS (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 11:30. Goalie Changes: None.

2nd Period -- Scoring: P RPDS - Jaeger Goal (Kennedy, Bade) 9:11. Penalties: Walters, P RPDS (Roughing, Minor, 2 min) 8:26; Herrmann, DTRTLK (Roughing, Minor, 2 min) 8:26; Velde, DTRTLK (Elbowing, Minor, 2 min) 10:16; Hallisey, DTRTLK (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 16:48. Goalie Changes: None.

3rd Period -- Scoring: DTRTLK - Deconcini Goal (Rusness) 2:02; DTRTLK - Rusness Goal (Deconcini, Hallisey) 6:31; DTRTLK - Deconcini Goal (Rusness) 9:31. Penalties: None. Goalie Changes: None.

Shots on goal -- DL 11 7 15 - 33...PR 9 15 11 - 35.

Saves -- DL (MacKenzie Steele) 34...PR (Cody Brumbaugh) 28.