by Scott DCamp
Sports Editor

Kittson Central scored three unanswered goals over the final 18 minutes of regulation to force overtime and an eventual 3-3 tie with Thief River Falls Friday night at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
“It was a hard game to swallow,” said Thief River Falls Head Coach Tim Bergland. “We have been playing very inconsistent and for the first half of the game, we were playing much better. We knew that they had a good team. We put together a good period and a half, then we took our foot off the gas and got complacent. Credit them for staying in it and coming back. We need to learn to win and it is not always easy.”
It was Thief River Falls’ home opener for the 2021 season. The Prowler Boys Hockey Team started fast on their home ice. Thief River Falls took a 1-0 lead off the stick of Tysen Loeffler at 4:25 in the first period, with assists by Isaiah Villareal and Zach Dalzell.
The scored remained 1-0 for the remainder of the first period, despite an aggressive Prowler offense that outshot the Bearcats 13-5 in the opening period and kept the puck in the Bearcats’ defensive zone.
It appeared that the Prowlers would cruise to victory after scoring two more goals in the first 10 minutes of the second period. The first came from Loeffler 1:16 into the period, with Villareal assisting. The second of the period was an unassisted goal on a rebound shot by Morgan Rude with 7:27 left to play in the period.
Kittson Central’s rally began with an unassisted Tyler Hennen goal with 53 seconds left in the second period.
The Bearcats cut the deficit to one goal with Hayden Olsonawski scoring a power play goal 2:37 into the period.
Thief River Falls looked to add to its lead when Kittson Central’s Landon Sugden was called for boarding. Unfortunately, the Prowlers couldn’t take advantage of the extra skater for five minutes and the lead remained at one goal.
Four minutes after returning to full strength, the Bearcats tied the game  on Olsonawski’s second goal of the period.
The Prowlers outshot the Bearcats 46-21 on the night, including a 3-1 overtime advantage.
Scoring                       1   2   3  OT     T
Kittson Central……. 0   1   2   0   –   3
Thief River Falls……1    2  0   0   –   3
First period – TRF, Tysen Loeffler (Isaiah Villarreal, Zach Dalzell) 4:25.
Second period – TRF, Tysen Loeffler (Isaiah Villarreal) 9:33; TRF, Morgan Rude 9:33; KC, Tyler Hennen 16:07.
Third period – KC, Hayden Olsonawski(Adam Gustafson, Hayden Hennen)  (power play) 2:37; KC, Hayden Olsonawski (Adam Gustafson) 12:50.
Ovetime – No score.
Shots – KC – 5-7-8-1 – 21; TRF 13-16-14-3 – 46.
Power plays – KC 1/3; TRF 0/2.
Penalties – KCC 3 (9 minutes); TRF 5 (10 minutes)
Goalie saves – KC, Wyatt Olsonawski 43; TRF, Brett Holmer 18.
Mariucci Conference
(Conf., Overall)
Roseau 2-0-0, 4-0-0
Warroad 2-0-0, 3-0-0
Bemidji 1-2-0, 1-3-0
East Grand Forks 0-0-0, 2-2-0
Moorhead 0-0-0, 1-2-0
Crookston 0-1-0, 0-2-0
Thief River Falls0-2-0, 0-3-1
■ Monday, Jan. 18 – East Grand Forks 4, Fargo South/Shanley 1.
■ Tuesday, Jan. 19 – Moorhead 3, Brainerd 2; Warroad 5, Bemidji 1; Kittson Central 7, Crookston 5; Roseau 3, Thief River Falls 0.
■ Thursday, Jan. 21 – St. Michael-Albertville 4, Moorhead 3; East Grand Forks 7, Fargo Davies 3.
■ Friday, Jan. 22 – Bemidji 12, Crookston 2; Thief River Falls 3, Kittson Central 3; Roseau 5, St. Cloud 1.