Leyton Salentine scored the winning goal in overtime to give Crookston their first win of the season.
With 4:15 left in the contest, the Crookston Pirates trailed 3-2 and were being out-shot by a margin of more than 2-to-1. A power play put the Pirates in a position to tie the game and a similar situation helped earn them the hard-fought win over the Warroad Warriors 4-3 in overtime.
Both teams showed strong defense in the first period. With less than a minute remaining in the frame, junior forward Eric Delorme broke away from the pack and sent a backhand shot past the Warrior goalie to put Crookston ahead 1-0.
The puck spent the majority of the second period in Crookston’s zone with Warroad outshooting the Pirates 12-2 within the first five minutes.
Six minutes in, Warroad tied the game and regained the lead six minutes later.
With just under 10 minutes remaining in the second period, Crookston took a face-off in the offensive zone, senior forward Ethan Magsam won the face-off and sent it to sophomore forward Joey Doda who fired a seed to the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2.
“That’s big time,” Head Coach Josh Hardy said. “I thought Joey struggled a little in the first and second periods and that’s a huge confidence-booster for him to be able to score a big time goal like that.”
Exactly one minute later, the Warriors responded with a goal of their own putting Crookston on the ropes.
“That’s frustrating,” Hardy said. “Those momentum swings can be devastating, but this team has shown how resilient they are. They way they didn’t let it shake them and how they fought back to tie the game says a lot about who they are.”
In the next few minutes, the Pirates saw some loose pucks in front of the Warroad net, but could not sneak one in.
With 5:45 remaining, there was hope for Crookston after a holding penalty on Warroad gave the Pirates a power play. With 30 seconds left in the power play, senior forward Tim Parr passed the puck right in front of the net to senior forward Brandon Boetcher and Boetcher slapped it in for the equalizer which brought a roar to the Crookston Sports Center.
“It was nice to get a power play goal,” Hardy said. “We talk about how we want to score an equal strength goal, a special teams goal and a grinder goal in front of the net and we combined those.”
By the end of regulation, Warroad owned the shots on goal percentage 41-20, but senior goalie for the Pirates Cade Salentine had stopped 38 shots.
The Pirates were able to kill a power play with 7:21 left in overtime and eventually received their own power play after a slashing call with just over three minutes on the clock.
The time showed two minutes to play in overtime when Brock Heppner sent a pass to sophomore defenseman Leyton Salentine who capitalized on the opportunity with a missile goal to win the game for the Pirates. The goal was Salentine’s first as a varsity player.
“The penalty got called and he [Hardy] said power play one and that’s my crew,” Salentine said. “So we went out there, got the puck up top and I don’t even know what really happened. I just shot it and it went it.”
Cade Salentine finished with 42 saves and his brother Leyton did not hesitate to send praise his way.
“He was playing fantastic,” Leyton Salentine said. “It’s unbelievable that we have a goalie like that back there. We are able to trust him to make every save and have our backs and we have his.”
An excited Hardy spoke about how beneficial this win can be for a team.
“It sets the tone for us for the rest of the year,” Hardy said. “We got the signature win out of the way. It says a lot about who this team is. They were able to come back from playing two poor periods and beat a heck of a hockey team in Warroad.”
Up next for the Pirates (1-1) is a trip to the Twin Cities for a matchup against St. Paul Johnson on Friday, December 8 with a 7 p.m.