Elk River-Zimmerman entered the Edina Holiday Classic with a 5-0 record but lost all three encounters at Braemar Arena, capped by a 3-2 setback at the hands of Grand Rapids on Saturday evening.
Hoping for a win over a section rival that would help them secure the top seed for the playoffs, the Elks (5-3) instead ran into a formidable goalie, and wound up losing on a power-play goal on a five-minute penalty in the third period.
The score was 2-2 when Grant Bunker got a game misconduct for checking from behind. Jack Dunnell scored 38 seconds into the power play at 7:30 of the third period.
There were only two other penalties in the game, one on each team.
Rapids goalie Hunter Shepard made that lead stand as he turned away 13 Elk shots in the final period, and 36 of 38 in the game. Shepard had made 60 saves against Edina in a 4-3 overtime loss two nights earlier.
Dunnell scored twice and Eric Soderberg had the other goal for Grand Rapids (6-3), which launched 23 shots at MacLean Berglove.
Chase Springman gave the Elks a 1-0 lead in the first period, assisted by Jake Jaremko and Reggie Lutz, and Jaremko produced a 2-1 lead in the second period, assisted by Springman.
The Elks lost to Eden Prairie 3-1 and Edina 6-3 the first two rounds of the Edina tournament.
The Elks will face another section rival, Forest Lake, at home Saturday, Dec. 28, at 7 p.m.