MacKezne Epema scored her ninth goal of the year in the loss.
Senior goaltender for the Pirates Brelee Jobe played quite the season in 2017-2018. Averaging 40-plus saves per game, Jobe managed to reach 1,000 saves in her final year. Unfortunately, the milestone came in a 9-1 loss to Detroit Lakes in the final game of the regular season.
Following one period, the Lakers only led 1-0 and the Pirates were very much still in the game. Especially against a team that only beat them 2-0 earlier in the season.
Seven goals by Detroit Lakes in the second frame put the game away with an 8-0 lead as the clock showed seven minutes to play.
“Brelee was making really big saves and we were just running around, chasing and not really playing the kind of hockey that we’ve been playing,” Head Coach Jaclyn Martin said.
Crookston prevented the shutout with a goal by freshman forward MacKenze Epema assisted by eighth grade forward Aleah Bienek. The goal served as Epema’s ninth and the assist, Bienek’s team-leading 12th.
“Aleah came up with it around the net, passed it to Mac and Mac buried it,” Martin said. “It was nice to get on the board, but it was a little too late.”
Martin made the decision to take out Jobe following the eighth goal by the Lakers and after Jobe notched number 1,000. Eighth grade goaltender Jacey Larson took Jobe’s place for the remainder of the second period in her second appearance this season. Larson stopped four shots without allowing a goal.
Martin saw Jobe’s 1,000 stop and Larson’s impromptu play as the highlight of the night.
“That’s the one big positive we can take away,” Martin said. “Jacey really stepped up and played well when we needed her and Brelee got her 1,000th save of the season. It just got to be a lot for Brelee. We were relying too much on her and she was a little under the weather. ”
Jobe returned to play in the third period. She finished the game with 41 saves to equal 1,018 and notch her 13th game recording at least 40 saves.
Now with a 5-20 record, the Pirates will enter the Section 8A Tournament as the last seed and will likely play the East Grand Forks Green Wave on Thursday, February 8.
East Side beat Crookston twice this year both times 10-0 and Martin hopes her team improves their play before the game with EGF.
“I hope we get our rhythm back,” Martin said. “Also just rest and getting our legs where they need to be in preparation for possibly East Grand Forks.”