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Perham skaters nab points in Lakers win over Lightning

Jacob Fritz (right) notches Detroit Lakes’ first goal Thursday against Northern Lakes. Brian Basham/Forum News Service

DETROIT LAKES — After a sluggish start to the first period inside Kent Freeman Arena Thursday night, the Detroit Lakes boys’ hockey team started their unraveling of visiting Northern Lakes with back-to-back goals, which ultimately led to a 6-1 Mid-State Conference victory.

The win sets up a huge conference and section game against Park Rapids (15-5-3) Tuesday evening in Freeman Arena, as the Lakers (14-7-1) not only look to avenge an earlier season loss, but to secure the Mid-State title and rise in the playoff seeding rankings.

“This has always been a game which has mattered later in the season,” said DL head coach Chris Denardo about the series with Park Rapids. “This is a game we need to win to potentially get a No. 4 seed in the section and also win the conference.”

The Lakers have been gaining points from other players besides their leading scorer, sophomore Jon Richards, who has been out the last two of three games.

Forward Ryan DeConcini scored twice from his first-line position against Northern Lakes, while forward Jacob Fritz opened and closed DL’s scoring in the first and third periods.

Those two combined in the first period to help DL out to a 2-0 lead, while the second period broke the game open with three Laker goals by Sam Boomgarden (on a power play), DeConcini and Josh Bollig.

“We came out a bit slow, but everyone pulled together and everyone contributed,” Denardo said. “With (Richards) out, everyone has been pulling their weight.”

That includes junior goalie MacKenzie Steele, who had a shutout going against the Lightning through two periods, before Nick Blanchettte broke that up with a power play goal 4:04 into the third period.

Steele finished with 25 saves, while Northern Lakes goalie Mitch Stangel had 33.

“Mack stood in there and had some good, strong stops,” Denardo said.

Those DL players gaining assists included Tanner Steele, Brandon Olson (Perham), DeConcini (Perham), Jonathan Hallisey, Cooper Heimark, Tyler Berby (Perham), Bollig (two), Jacob Anderson and Joe Solberg (Perham).

The Lakers will close out the regular season in Little Falls (3-18-2) Thursday, starting at 7:15 p.m. 

Northern Lakes at Detroit Lakes, Thursday, Feb. 6

Lightning       0  0  1 – 1

Lakers          2  3  1 – 6

1st Period -- Scoring: DTRTLK - Fritz Goal (even strength) (Deconcini) 14:07; DTRTLK - Deconcini Goal (even strength) (Bollig, Heimark) 14:59. Penalties:Bremseth, DTRTLK (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 5:22; Maucieri, NRTNLK (Tripping, Minor, 2 min) 7:00; Herrmann, DTRTLK (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 8:39; Swell, NRTNLK (Cross-Checking, Minor, 2 min) 15:32. Goalie Changes: None

2nd Period -- Scoring: DTRTLK - Boomgarden Goal (power play) (Olson) 2:20; DTRTLK - Deconcini Goal (even strength) (Solberg, Bollig) 9:31; DTRTLK - Bollig Goal (power play) (Steele, Hallisey) 11:51. Penalties: Mesenbrink, NRTNLK (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 1:20; Bollig, DTRTLK (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 3:27; Hallisey, DTRTLK (Hooking, Minor, 2 min) 4:54; Swell, NRTNLK (Tripping, Minor, 2 min) 10:23; Swell, NRTNLK (Roughing, Minor, 2 min) 11:23; Mesenbrink, NRTNLK (Tripping, Minor, 2 min) 16:17. Goalie Changes: None

3rd Period -- Scoring: NRTNLK - Blanchette Goal (power play) (Reed) 4:42; DTRTLK - Fritz Goal (even strength) (Berby, Anderson) 12:10. Penalties: Bremseth, DTRTLK (Interference, Minor, 2 min) 2:46; Nelson, DTRTLK (Slashing, Minor, 2 min) 3:30; Rickard, NRTNLK (High-Sticking, Minor, 2 min) 15:23. Goalie Changes:None

Shots on goal – DL 12 15 12 – 39…NL 9 8 9 – 26

Saves – DL (MacKenzie Steele) 25…NL (Mitch Stangel) 33

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.