The Pirates scored first, but time in the box proved costly in the 5-2 loss.
The Pirates went into Christmas weekend feeling confident after a 3-1 win against Devils Lake. Crookston hoped to win their second straight contest for the first time in the season, but could not overcome their own faults in a 5-2 loss to the Jamestown Bluejays.
In the first four minutes, the game had the looks of a slugfest. Freshman defenseman MacKenze Epema opened the scoring 16 seconds after the puck dropped for her first goal of the season.
Jamestown responded with two goals less than 90 seconds apart to take a 2-1 lead. Pirate Head Coach Jaclyn Martin enjoyed the quick score, but admitted to seeing a instant change in momentum with 13 minutes to play in the first period.
“If we can score in the first shift, it’s going to be a fun hockey game,” Martin said. “I think we figured it was going to be easy. When they scored the first time, it kind of opened our eyes, and then when they scored again, and we almost got down on ourselves.”
The rest of the first period saw consistent defense from both sides and no more goals.
Crookston started the second half controlling the puck and possessed many opportunities to tie the game, but could not get past the Bluejay goalkeeper.
The two closest calls for the Pirates came first when eighth grade forward Dana Conley took a shot right in front of the goal directly off the goalie. A minute and a half later, Epema took a shot from the side and went across the goal line between the goalie and the net.
The penalties came into play in the final three minutes of the second period when Meier was called for checking from behind and forced to serve a five minute major and a ten minute misconduct penalty.
“We just can’t be making stupid penalties,” Martin said. “It’s one thing to be one short, but not when one of your better players is out of commission for 15 minutes and they can score as many as they want in those five minutes.”
Less than 30 seconds after the penalty, Jamestown scored to take a 3-1 lead. Then the penalties began to pile on for Crookston when hooking call gave Jamestown a 5-on-3 advantage to end the second period.
Crookston managed to kill the rest of the penalty, but could not inch closer despite holding a 5-on-4 advantage for a minute with 15 minutes to play.
The Bluejays extended their lead to 4-1 with 8:33 remaining when they sent a puck past the Pirates’ senior goaltender Brelee Jobe. Jobe ended the night with 19 saves.
With time running low, freshman forward Catherine Tiedemann broke free of the pack, skated alone down the ice and sent a backhand goal past the goaltender to make the score 4-2.
“She did a nice job,” Martin said. “She likes to go backhand on the ice. To put that in was huge. She’s just an all-around player looking for what’s better for the team. She’s just got great hand-eye coordination and sometimes, she’ll just own a hockey game.”
Crookston earned a power play with 42.7 seconds remaining and pulled their goalie for a 6-on-4 advantage, but an open net, shorthand goal ended the Pirates’ chances.
The Pirates drop to 2-10 and next play Grand Forks Central at home on Thursday, December 28 at 6:30 p.m.