It was an emotional, physical contest between two Section 8A rivals that even featured a brief brawl, but in the end Thief River Falls, ranked No. 19, beat Crookston 4-1, sweeping the regular season series between the two.
Prowler senior Logan Engelstad scored two goals and junior goalie Tanner Holmes turned away 27-of-28 Crookston shots.
Pirate junior Brady Heppner scored his 14th goal of the season at the 3:36 mark of the third period to make it 2-1, but it would be as close as Crookston would get.
Freshman Adam Huglen recorded 16 saves in goal for the Pirates.
Engelstad put the Prowlers on the board first at the 9:35 mark of the first period on assists from Chris Forney and Isak Bergland. Engelstad then made it 2-0 with 2:44 left in the second period.
Crookston held a 15-13 advantage in shots after the two periods, but was held scoreless.
The teams went at it early in the third period following a great scoring opportunity by the Pirates. Forney was called for a double minor penalty, cross checking and roughing. Pirate sophomore Chandler St. Michel was penalized for roughing, giving Crookston a power play with 15:37 to play.
The Pirates couldn't convert on the man advantage but 13 seconds after it ended Heppner cut the deficit in half on an assist from senior Ryan Edevold.
Thief River Falls anwered, though, with an impressive tic-tac-toe play as Zeb Nelson poked it past Huglen with 9:10 to play. Bergland sealed the Pirates fate with 1:32 left to make it 4-1.
Crookston falls to 7-8 on the season and 3-3 against section opponents. It will host No. 6 Warroad Saturday at 4:30 p.m.