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Pachel, Panthers stun Lakers

Park Rapids Area's Kylee Pachel makes the save and controls the rebound as Detroit Lakes' Madyson Melgard and Anna Payne look for a rebound. Pachel made 51 saves, helping the Panthers to the road win. Jason Groth/FOCUS

Park Rapids Area goalie Kylee Pachel didn’t make many mistakes, but when she was called for a tripping penalty with three minutes and 25 seconds left, it was no surprise that she would make up for it.

The junior goalie kicked aside 51 shots in helping the Panthers stun the Detroit Lakes Lakers 5-4 in the Section 8A quarterfinals at the Kent Freeman Arena on Feb. 8.

Lexi Hinckley Smith scored twice, including the game-winner, and the Panthers were perfect on the power play, capitalizing on their three opportunities.  

Karrigan Hallisey makes a move around a defender before firing it into the upper corner of the net.

It appeared early on that the Lakers were going to cruise to their third win over the Panthers when they jumped ahead with three first period goals. They dominated the rink territorially for most of the game, but Park Rapids Area hung around, playing strong defense and relying on the great play of Pachel.

Emma Coley started the scoring when she put home a rebound on a shot from Payton Carlblom in the first period. Karrigan Hallisey followed with a goal when she gained control of the puck in neutral ice, skated in and fired it over the shoulder of Pachel, making it 2-0. Abagail King gave the Lakers a 3-0 lead when she circled around, skated in front and fired it past Pachel late in the period.

However, a second period power play opened the door for Park Rapids Area. Hinckley Smith scored her first when the shot caromed off the glove of Kyndra McDougall and into the net. Madelyn Ackerman snuck a rebound past McDougall, making it 3-2 in the second.

Payton Carlblom winds and fires a shot on goal from the point during the first period.

Alexa Kennedy evened the game in the third period, but Hallisey answered for Detroit Lakes. Carlblom put a wraparound attempt on goal, but the rebound came free and Hallisey buried it for her second of the game.

Yet, the Panthers responded. Taylor Sagen tied the game on the power play, her third point of the night. The Panthers took their first and final lead 38 seconds later when Hinckley Smith scored her second power play goal of the game.

Pachel made sure her late penalty did not cost the Panthers as she kept the Lakers out of the net for the remainder of the period, stopping 23 shots in the third period. She finished with 51 saves on 55 shots.

McDougall finished with 17 saves on 22 shots in the loss for the Lakers. The Lakers end the season with an 8-17 record, while Park Rapids Area improves to 4-21-0 and will take on Warroad, who earned the No. 1 seed, on Monday, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m.

PRA 0 2 3--5

DL 3 0 1--4


First Period

DL-Emma Coley, ES, (Payton Carlblom)

DL-Karrigan Hallisey, ES

DL-Abagail King, ES, (Unassisted)

Second Period

PRA-Lexi Hinckley Smith, PP, (Madelyn Ackerman)

PRA-Madelyn Ackerman, ES, (Taylor Sagen, Paige Myhre)

Third Period

PRA-Alexa Kennedy, ES, (Taylor Sagen)

DL-Karrigan Hallisey, ES, (Payton Carlblom)

PRA-Taylor Sagen, PP, (Paige Myhre, Alexa Kennedy)

PRA-Lexi Hinckley Smith, PP, (Abigale Trandlie)

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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