Crookston's Paul Bittner (5) celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the game (Photos by Tim Kolehmainen).
Park Rapids' Sam Coborn (26) stretches toward the Crookston goal. His goal and three assists brought him to a tie for second on the school's career scoring list.
"Goal Park Rapids...and with the assist, Sam Coborn."
"Goal Park Rapids from Zach Lehrke with an assist to Tucker Coborn."
"Goal Park Rapids...assisted by Tyler Lehrke."
For the past decade, Park Rapids Area hockey has had at least one Coborn or Lehrke lighting up the scoreboard night after night. The families are perched atop the program’s career scoring charts and will be for quite some time.
Although he’s the last of the bunch, senior Sam Coborn just might stretch those records into unreachable territory. With his one-goal, three-assist night in a 5-4 overtime loss at Crookston Tuesday night, Coborn broke one Lehrke-held school record and is quickly approaching another.
“I learned a lot from my brother (Tucker Coborn) and Zach Lehrke, who my brother played with,” said Coborn, who has played varsity hockey since his freshman season. “I learned how to train and what to do on the ice and off the ice. That’s helped me out with scoring, just having that mentor there all the time.”
Coborn’s second assist of the Tuesday night’s game came on a play in which he rushed the puck up the left boards and threw a pass to linemate Levi Erickson in the slot. It also broke Tyler Lehrke’s school record for career assists. Coborn now has 105, while Lehrke (2004) finished with 103.
Erickson’s goal with just 2 minutes, 13 seconds left in the second period gave Park Rapids its first lead of the game, 2-1. Coborn’s rush up ice was a bit of an unusual play for the crafty senior, who usually does his damage in tight quarters.
“I’m more of a corner guy than a rush guy,” admitted Coborn, who said he’d rather set up a teammate than score on his own. “I like to play with my head up a lot, so I think that’s really the biggest positive I have. Not so much scoring, but setting it up.”
“He’s really a playmaker and he works hard. Guys rally around him and he has two strong forwards with him,” said Park Rapids coach Pete Stahnke, noting linemates Erickson and Benson Ringle, who combined for two goals and two assists in the game.
That was apparent late in the third period, when Coborn rarely left the ice. After Crookston tied the score at 3-3 midway through the third, the Panthers’ go-to player was on the ice for five of the last six minutes of regulation.
“Are you sure it wasn’t six of the last six minutes?” joked Stahnke. “He’s a gamer so we expect that out of him and he expects that out of himself.”
Coborn briefly gave Park Rapids a 4-3 lead with 3 minutes, 29 seconds left when he stepped out of his favorite spot -- the left corner -- and picked the five-hole on Crookston goaltender Kollin Erdman.
“He knows what to do with the puck when he gets it,” said Crookston’s Dylan Klatt, whose line was matched up against Coborn and his cohorts much of the game. Klatt got the last word, though, as he responded 12 seconds later with the tying goal for the Pirates, then won it in overtime with his second tally of the night.
It was the first loss in four games for Park Rapids, evening its record at 3-3-0. Coborn and the Panthers started slowly this year, as he had just one assist in the first two games – both losses – against East Grand Forks and Warroad. But as the weather has chilled, Coborn has heated up, scoring back-to-back hat tricks and racking up seven goals and 12 assists in just the last four games.
Those numbers bring his career totals to 87 goals, 105 assists and 192 points. The point total also tied Tyler Lehrke for second on the school’s charts, leaving only Zach Lehrke (2008) and his 212 career points ahead. Zach Lehrke also holds the career goal-scoring mark of 113.
Both records are within reach of Coborn -- if nearly unreachable for those who follow him in Panthers' hockey.
Goaltender Kollin Erdman (1) made 25 saves for Crookston.
Junior Dylan Klatt’s overtime goal ended a forgettable overtime streak for Crookston. In the previous four games, the Pirates had played three overtime games and had only a 4-4 tie at St. Paul Johnson to show for it. Crookston also lost in extra time at Tartan and at home to Duluth Marshall last Saturday night.
“We’ve been battling hard against these teams and finally came out with a win,” said Klatt, who also tied the game in the final minutes of the third period with his first goal.
Hard on the frosh
Crookston had two key freshmen depart the game early due to injury. Starting forward Paul Bittner, who scored the first goal of the game, left midway through the second period with what was termed blurry vision. In the third period, starting defenseman Patrick Berg stayed down on the ice in front of his own bench for a few minutes before being helped off the ice. Pirates’ coach Jon Bittner was unavailable after the game, as he immediately left the arena to check on his two players.
Junior Dylan Klatt scored the tying and game-winning goals as Crookston surged past Park Rapids Area, 5-4 in overtime, in a Section 8A meeting at the Crookston Sports Center Tuesday night, Dec. 20. Klatt's goals helped the Pirates (3-5-1) erase a 3-1 third-period lead for Park Rapids (3-3-0).
The Panthers had built up a 3-1 advantage through two periods behind three assists from senior playmaker Sam Coborn, two of which were buried by Levi Erickson. But Crookston rallied with goals by Connor Morgan and Ryan Edevold to tie the game at 3-all midway through the third.
Coborn regained a one-goal lead for Park Rapids with one second remaining on a power play -- and just 3 minutes, 29 seconds left in the third. He patiently waited for the play to clear in the left corner, then stepped around a Crookston defenseman and fired a shot through the five-hole of Pirates' goaltender Kollin Erdman.
But the lead was short-lived. Klatt answered 12 seconds later, taking a pass off the ensuing faceoff and beating netminder Cody Brumbaugh. He then ended the game with an open net tap in off an Edevold pass just 2 minutes, 48 seconds into overtime.
Erdman finished with 25 saves on 29 shots, while Brumbaugh stopped 30 of 35 for Park Rapids.
1. Dylan Klatt, Crookston
The junior winger was held off the scoreboard for the first 47 minutes of the game, but he sure came up big for the Pirates after that. His first goal with 3 minutes, 17 seconds remaining tied the game at 4-4, just 12 seconds after Park Rapids Area had taken what appeared to be the final lead of the night. Then 2 minutes, 48 seconds into overtime he took a pass from Ryan Edevold and buried it into an open net for the game-winner.
2. Sam Coborn, Park Rapids
Coborn has been a big scorer for the Panthers for years, so it probably was no surprise that he was directly involved in all four of their goals. The senior forward was terrific in traffic, using his smarts -- and not his size -- to create space in the offensive zone. He assisted on the first three Park Rapids goals, then picked the five hole on the power play to give the Panthers a very brief 4-3 lead late in the third period.
3. Ryan Edevold, Crookston
Edevold, a junior center on the Pirates' top line, also finished with a goal and three assists in the game. His goal midway through the third tied the score at 3-3, then he assisted on both of linemate Dylan Klatt's final two goals.