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Blue Devils skate to 3-3 tie with Crookston

Detroit Lakes' goalie Kyndra McDougall covers up the rebound while Prairie Centre's Lupita Mora tries to hack it free. Jason Groth/FOCUS

Abby and Ally Ecker iced goals Saturday as Prairie Centre managed to post a 3-3 overtime tie with Crookston at Expo Arena in Long Prairie.

Macy Strem opened the scoring for Crookston with a quick goal at the 16:25 mark. The Pirates made that lead hold up until Ally Ecker took a feed from Gabby Olson to score a goal at the 9:40 mark of the second period.

Unassisted goals by Abby Ecker at 15:01 and 2:55 of the third period completed the scoring for Prairie Center. Ali Hutter scored at the 8:47 mark of the final period for Crookston but it was Strem's second goal of the game, with just 46 seconds left, that forced the overtime and irritated Prairie Centre head coach Bob Bergman.

"There is an old saying in hockey, that says you do not want to get scored on in the first and last minute of a period. We will make adjustments so that does not happen again this season," Bergman said. "We have become a very up and down team which is of great concern to me. We started this game out very flat, but came on in the second period to put a lot of pressure on them offensively. Our players need to learn to be more patient with the puck and make better plays in the offensive zone."

The tie left the Blue Devils with a 3-3-1 mark. Bergman's club travels to Benson Thursday for a 7 p.m. match with Morris/Benson.

Crookston 1 0 2 0—3

Prairie Centre 0 1 2 0—3

First Period

C: Macy Strem (Jayden Allrich) 16:25

Second Period

PC: Ally Ecker (Gabby Olson) 9:40

Third Period

PC: Abby Ecker (unassisted) 15:01

C: Ali Hutter (Kylee Meier, Cassidy Halvorson) 8:47

PC: Abby Ecker (unassisted) 2:55

C: Strem (Maddie Nicholls) :46

Overtime

No scoring

Saves

Laura Mortenson (PC) 27; Brelee Jobe (C) 8

Prairie Centre 3, Detroit Lakes 1

The offensive woes continued for the Detroit Lakes Lakers girls hockey team when they suffered lost to the Blue Devils at the Wadena Hockey Arena last Tuesday.

Both teams had plenty of opportunities to find the net, but it was the Blue Devils capitalizing on early opportunities and relying on strong goaltending from Laura Mortensen in earning the victory.

Mortensen while small in stature, was tall in the nets. She came up with 17 saves on 18 shots, including stopping a pair of breakaways and a made a diving glove save, keeping the puck from crossing the line at the last second. Prairie Centre head coach Bob Bergman was impressed with his back up goalie's play in the nets.

"I thought she played fantastic," Bergman said. "She has come through for us a couple of games and has done a good job. I'm very happy with her play."

MiKayla Olson, Kylee Hopp and Sara McCoy tallied for the Blue Devils, while Karrigan Hallisey had the lone goal for the Lakers.

The Blue Devils struck first for a pair of goals in the first period. However, Bergman thought his team played an average game in the win.

"We usually play a much better game than that," Bergman said. "Sometimes teams tend to play to the level of their competition. Detroit Lakes has been struggling a bit this year, but I'm happy with the win."

Both teams struggled to get offense going in the early minutes of the first period, but Olson broke through the defense, got goalie Kyndra McDougall to commit and slide it past her with a backhand, making it 1-0.

Kenzie Christianson's shot through traffic found the stick of Kylee Hopp and behind McDougall, making it 2-0 just 48 seconds later in the period.

"I thought the first period was our best period," Bergman said. "We had our feet moving pretty well."

The Lakers came out with a much better second period, however were stymied by Mortensen. She stopped a Jamie Bollig blast in front and came up with several key stops early in the period. However, it was a costly turnover at the blue line, which gave the Blue Devils a three on one rush. McCoy finished it when her shot snuck past McDougall.

"That was a nice one to get in," Bergman said. "That girl (McCoy) works hard and it was nice to see her get one finally."

The Lakers continued to battle, finally breaking through when Hallisey gained control of the puck behind the net, walked out in front and slid it past Mortensen for the unassisted goal. The goal broke a two game scoreless drought for the Lakers.

The Lakers had chances late in the game, but Mortensen was able to keep the puck out, including during a flurry in front. Hallisey and Madyson Melgard were in front of Mortensen applying pressure, but Mortensen closed her glove on the puck just before it crossed the goal line, preserving the two goal lead.

McDougall was tested as well on the other side of the ice, stopping 23 of 26 shots in the loss. Her and Mortensen stopped all 15 shots they faced in the third period.

Prairie Centre improved its season mark to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in the Mid-State Conference, while the Lakers fall to 1-9-0 and 0-2 in the Mid-State Conference.

Detroit Lakes 0 1 0 - 1

Prairie Centre 2 1 0 - 3

First Period

PC: Mikayla Olson (Reece Ritter) 6:16

PC: Kylee Hopp (Kenzie Christianson, Abby Ecker) 7:04

Second Period

PC: Sara McCoy (Hopp) 7:22

DL: Karrigan Hallisey (unassisted) 11:04

Third Period

No scoring

Saves

Kyndra McDougall (DL) 22; Laura Mortenson (PC) 20

Jason Groth of the Perham Focus and Robert Williams of the Forum News Service contributed to this story

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