Pirates defeat Otters, lose to Lakers.
Despite an uncharacteristically slow start to the game, the Crookston Pirates boys hockey team eventually found its rhythm and skated to a 4-2 victory over the Fergus Falls Otters Friday evening at the Crookston Sports Center.
“I was very pleased with our compete level on Friday,” Pirates head coach Josh Hardy said. “Fergus Falls is a very strong team and gave us all we could handle. The guys wanted to win and it showed in how they played.”
Fergus Falls took the first lead of the night when senior forward Rylie Sheridan scored six and a half minutes into the game, a 1-0 lead the held throughout the remainder of the first period.
“That was very uncharacteristic of us,” Hardy said. “Usually we pride ourselves in starting well.
“I was proud of our seniors for stepping up and leading the way in the turnaround for that game.”
The turnaround began four minutes into the second frame when senior forward Tanner Reinhart.
“Tanner shoots the puck extremely well,” Hardy said. “That’s the strongest part of his game. When he can get in those scoring areas with a little time and space he’s gonna find the back of the net more times than not.
“His teammates have been doing a great job of getting him the puck and he’s making the most of his opportunities.”
Less than two minutes later, Ethan Magsam scored a goal, giving the Pirates a 2-1 lead, which held to the end of the period.
The lead did not last too long into the third frame as Otter senior forward Peter Johnson scored an unassisted goal four minutes in to tie the game at 2-2.
The Pirate offense did not waver at Fergus Falls’ goal. Reinhart scored his second goal of the game at 9:45 and senior forward Dane Anderson scored an unassisted shorthand goal on an open net at 16:30 to ultimately give Crookston a 4-2 win.
Crookston goalie Cade Salentine made a total 28 saves in the net while Otter goalies Cole Mahler and Drew Luhning made a combined 14 at the opposite end.
Pirates swarmed by Lakers
Crookston looked to carry its success from Friday into Saturday’s contest with the Detroit Lakes Lakers, but were unable to find its groove in a 7-2 loss at the Crookston Sports Center.
“We just weren’t ready to play,” Hardy said. “I don’t know if we were tired from the night before or what but that’s not an excuse at this time of year.”
DL jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead with a pair of first-period goals within the first 10 minutes of play.
The Lakers increased their lead to 3-0 within the first two minutes of the second period before Anderson answered with his fifth goal of the season.
DL increased its lead back to three on a shorthand goal by sophomore winger Trey Seebold. Forty seconds later, Crookston responded with a power play goal by freshman forward Joey Doda to cut the Pirates’ deficit to 4-2.
But that’s the closest Crookston came to overtaking the lead, however, as the Lakers controlled the latter half of the third frame with a power play goal and two unassisted goals to ultimately claim the 7-2 victory.
“It was an important game for us in terms of section seeding and we didn’t handle the pressure very well,” Hardy said. “We weren’t ready to go and DL was and they jumped all over us early and we couldn’t recover.”
Salentine made 19 saves in the goal while DL’s Ben Boomgaarden made 26 at the opposite end.
“More than anything I was disappointed in our effort,” Hardy said. “I can count on one hand the amount of races we won to pucks throughout the game. We got out-worked in every aspect of the game.”
The Pirates are now 4-10 on the season.
Crookston returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on the road to take on the Bemidji Lumberjacks.
“Bemidji is a team that’s well coached and can score in bunches when they get going,” Hardy said. “We need to be much stronger in our defensive zone if we want a successful outcome.”