The Pirates fall to 6-3 on the season, suffering their first loss in section play.
The Pirates came out and played a physical brand of hockey with Section 8A rival East Grand Forks, ranked No. 4 in the latest poll, but the Green Wave capitalized on Crookston's costly mistakes and rolled to a 7-2 victory Thursday in Crookston.
"We made some obvious mistakes," said Pirate head coach Jon Bittner. "Some were made with good intentions, some with green intentions, some were veterans trying to do too much. Give East Grand Forks credit, they pounced on every one."
Pirate freshman goalie Adam Huglen recorded 22 saves, while Green Wave goalie Tanner Lindstrom had 20 saves.
"We started out dominating and then didn't," Bittner said of the Pirate offense. "We had opportunities in the second period in front of the net."
Bittner said it was a hard fought game between two rivals and his boys aren't pleased with the result.
"It was back and forth, a hard and physical hockey game," he said. "I am very pleased with our effort and even [East Grand Forks' effort]. This was good for us, that's for sure. Our kids aren't very happy with a loss, and that's good."
East Grand Forks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period with a goal at 6:30 from Eddie Eades, a goal at 9:48 from Dixon Bowen and another at 14:15 from Colton Poolman.
The Pirates cut the deficit to two goals with 7:38 remaining in the second period when senior Ethan Mercil fired a wrist shot from the left circle. Senior Ryan Edevold and junior Kal Salentiny assisted on the play.
The Green Wave answered about two minutes later on a goal by Reed Corbid. Following a penalty kill by the Green Wave late in the second period, Tommy Hajicek made it 5-1 with 37 seconds left.
About two minutes into the third period freshman Doug Larson gave the Pirates hope on a goal assisted by senior Ryan Bittner.
The Pirates then took back-to-back penalties at about the midway point of the third period.
East Grand Forks added goals with 2:05 remaining from Hajicek and 53 seconds left from Luke Beito.
The Pirates fall to 6-3 on the season, suffering their first loss in section play. The Green Wave remain one of three unbeaten teams in the state.
Crookston will compete in the Ralph Engelstad Arena Holiday Classic Dec. 27-29 in Thief River Falls.