Ben Andringa scored his eighth goal to help Crookston win at home against the Lakers.
After dropping five of their last six games and four in a row, the Pirates came to the Crookston Sports Center eager to get back on the winning side. The Pirates’ opponent, Detroit Lakes, beat Crookston 3-1 on January 6 and a win for the Pirates could affect the seeding for the upcoming section tournament.
The Pirates helped their cause andscored twice in the first period and once in the second period to turn the tables and take down the Lakers 3-1.
“That was a huge win and it was a section game so we needed that one really badly,” senior forward Tim Parr said. “We came out on fire and pumped knowing we needed this one back from them beating us earlier this year.”
Senior forward Brandon Boetcher helped Crookston grab the early lead with his fourth goal of the year assisted by sophomore forward Ben Andringa.
“It’s so nice momentum-wise to get that first goal,” Head Coach Josh Hardy said. “Brandon made a nice shot and it’s nice to see a senior get rewarded.”
It looked as if the Pirates would go into the locker room following the first period with a one goal lead, but a rebound goal by Parr in the final ten seconds doubled Crookston’s lead. Junior forward Eric Delorme and junior defenseman Logan Wardner received credit for the assist.
“I don’t even know how Eric Delorme got that pass, but he went down and I was crashing the net and the rebound was there for me,” Parr said.
Hardy saw the goal in the concluding seconds as a sign that his team was on the brink of ending the losing streak.
“Any time you can score in the last minute of the period, it’s a huge momentum boost,” Hardy said.
The Pirates possessed an opportunity to further increase their lead when awarded a power play four minutes into the second period. The opposite happened and the Lakers scored a short-handed goal to creep back into the game.
“We didn’t give up after that goal,” Parr said. “We just thought we needed that one back. Nothing stopped us from that.”
Crookston’s defense held off the Lakers from then on led by senior goaltender Cade Salentine who stopped 26 of the shots sent his way.
With six minutes to play, the Pirates once again led by two goals with Andringa’s eighth of the season. Delorme earned his second assist of the game and senior defenseman Ben Trostad also got in on the action to get his team-leading 13th assist.
“Eric Delorme made a heck of a play, gets the puck in, slides it out and Ben Andringa took one stride and had a no-doubter,” Hardy said.
Crookston held Detroit Lakes scoreless in the third period to seal the victory killing three power plays on the night.
The win gets Crookston back to .500 with an 8-8 record with nine games to play before the section tournament.
Hardy took a wild puck to his hip in the third period, but shook it off and expressed pleasure in the fact that his team got back on the winning side of a game.
“You’re going to go through ups and downs,” Hardy said. “There’s going to be times when you’re not playing well. A season is never a straight line where you get better every day. We went through a little down valley and now we’re climbing back out of it.”
Crookston continues their three game homestand against Hibbing on Friday, January 19 at 7:30 p.m.