Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Boys' hockey: Pirates let 4-goal lead slip, lose 8-7 to Warriors

  • Crookston hasn't defeated Warroad in more than a decade.
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  • The Pirates had Section 8A rival Warroad on the ropes Tuesday in Warroad, up 6-3 after two periods. Warroad scored five goals in the third period, though, to beat the Pirates 8-7 in a shocking comeback.
    Crookston hasn't defeated Warroad in more than a decade.
    "We kind of lost momentum," said Pirate assistant coach Jeremy Yeager. "They kept coming at us and we didn't counter. It was a very emotional game as far as intensity. If you got one goal another was close to follow."
    Seniors Ryan Edevold and Craig Morgan each had two goals, while Morgan added an assist. Senior Brady Heppner had a goal and two assists, while senior Ryan Bittner had three assists. Senior Curtis Regan and sophomore Chandler St. Michel each scored goals for the Pirates.
    "It was a very positive game in looking at the offense," Yeager said. "Seven goals against Warroad is a huge positive. Now we have to put a whole game together with intensity.
    "The boys appeared pretty excited," Yeager continued on the team's mood during the second intermission. "We might have gotten a little out of focus. We relaxed too much I think. When you relax against a team like Warroad they're going to capitalize."
    Pirate junior Parker Epema recorded 20 saves in goal. Justin King had 13 saves in goal for Warroad before being pulled in the second period for Alex Burke, who finished with seven saves.
    Crookston took control of the game with a 2-0 lead after the first period on goals by Regan at the 2:17 mark and Edevold at the 13:19 mark. Seniors Kyle Proulx and Ethan Mercil assisted on Regan's fifth goal of the season. Morgan and Heppner assisted on Edevold's 11th goal.
    Warroad quickly tied the game in the second period when Brandon Newhouse scored ten seconds in and Ben Smieja scored at the 2:16 mark.
    The Pirates answered with four straight goals in a span of about four minutes. Morgan started it at the 3:23 mark from junior Kal Salentiny and Bittner. Heppner notched a shorthanded goal 35 seconds later and 44 seconds after than Edevold scored a shorthanded goal. At the 7:39 mark St. Michel made it 6-2 with his seventh goal of the season from senior Dylan Klatt and junior Justin Cameron.
    Warroad's Kyle Sylvester made it 6-3 before the second intermission with goal at the 11:42 mark.
    The Warriors exploded for five consecutive goals in the third period to take an 8-6 lead. Kobe Roth started it with back-to-back goals at the 5:34 and 6:42 marks. Casey Anderson tied the game at the 11:32 mark before Sylvester scored a power play goal with about 1:40 left and Nick Jaycox scored the eventual game-winning goal with 26 seconds left.
    Morgan scored for Crookston with nine seconds left to cut the deficit to one but it would be too little, too late.
    Page 2 of 2 - Pirate head coach Jon Bittner did not attend the game due to family matters.
    The tough loss drops the Pirates to 8-10 on the season and 4-5 against section opponents. They will host section rival Park Rapids Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
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