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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Girls' hockey: Breiland’s 5-goal barrage lifts Pirates past Green Wave, 5-3

  • The Pirate senior center from Red Lake Falls rallied the Pirates from a 3-0 deficit Thursday against Section 8A rival East Grand Forks with five goals in a 5-3 win in Crookston.
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  • It was just another game for Brianna Breiland, who now leads the state in goals with 29 in 11 games. Red Wing's Nicole Schammel also has 29 goals but in 13 games.
     
    The Pirate senior center from Red Lake Falls rallied the Pirates from a 3-0 deficit Thursday against Section 8A rival East Grand Forks with five goals in a 5-3 win in Crookston.
     
    "Once we got that first one we started to feel it," Pirate head coach Jeff Perreault said. "Brianna had some of the prettiest individual effort goals I've ever seen in high school hockey.
     
    "They checked her and put bodies on her," coach Perreault said of the Green Wave's strategy to contain Breiland. "Her maturity level has grown and she has shown she will not let that stuff bother her. That gives a little more hop to our other lines too."
     
    After allowing three goals in the opening 22 minutes of the game, Pirate eighth grade goalie Lexie Cormican shut the Green Wave down the final 29 minutes for the victory. She recorded 27 saves, including 11 in the third period.
     
    "Lexie gave us a chance to find our legs and our game," coach Perreault said. "She made some big stops to keep it as close as it was."
     
    East Grand Forks' Madi Galstad had 14 saves.
     
    Coach Perreault and his Pirates are going into the break with a big victory.
     
    "With that Roseau win I thought we'd come off and string some wins together, but that was not the case. I hope so here," he said. "We are going into the holiday break feeling good about ourselves. We have a chance to sneak in the two seed by beating the East Grand Forkses and Thief River Fallses of the world."
     
    East Grand Forks, ranked No. 11 in the latest poll, got on the board first and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission with a goal by Karly Nelson at the 9:14 mark.
     
    The Green Wave then took a 3-0 lead early in the second on goals by Haley Mack at 2:21 and Mak Langei at 4:25.
     
    Then came the Breiland barrage and nobody could stop her.
     
    With 3:50 left in the second period Breiland punched one in to put the Pirates on the board. Then about two minutes later, Breiland battled a Green Wave player down the boards for the puck, beat another defender, skated in alone and slid the puck under the glove to make it 3-2 going into the third.
     
    Crookston had a two-man advantage for more than a minute early in the third but couldn't convert.
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    The Pirates finally tied it with 8:57 remaining when Galstad passed the puck too far out and Breiland picked it off, skated in and slid it home to tie it at 3-3.
     
    Less than 30 seconds later, Breiland scored the game-winning goal on assists from junior Brooke Schmitz and senior Kaitlin Spivey. Breiland then got her fifth and final goal with 13 seconds left on an empty net with the assist from sophomore Sabrina Delorme.
     
    The Pirates improve to 6-5 on the season and are now 2-2 against Section 8A opponents. They will host the Pirate Invitational Thursday, Dec. 27 and Friday, Dec. 28.

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