Crookston beat Park Rapids 8-1 and lost to West Fargo 7-2.
It took the Pirates six tries to snag a victory last season. This time around, a hat trick by Aleah Bienek (Fr. F) and two goals by Cat Tiedemann (So. F) led to an 8-1 victory over the Park Rapids Panthers in Crookston’s third game of the season.
“Park Rapids is down, but their goaltender was very good,” Head Coach Tim Moe said. “We did a lot of good things where we moved the puck around.”
The scoring started with a goal from Tiedemann assisted by Taylor Garrett (Jr. D) and Breck Fugleberg (Jr. F). Four minutes later, Bienek notched the first of her three goals with the help of Rylee Solheim (Fr. D) on the assist and the Pirates led 2-0 five minutes into the first period.
The Panthers cut the deficit in half with seven minutes to play in the first frame, their only success against the Pirate defense.
Starting goalie Grace Koshney (So.) played in the net for the first period and stopped three shots. Kailee Magsam (8th Grade G) took over the duties for the final two periods and recorded seven saves.
Moe commended the efforts by the first-year goalie in her first varsity action of the season.
“It was an important section game so I didn’t want to throw Kailee into a mix,” Moe said. “Once we got a bit of a lead, we had been planning on putting her in. She had to be solid and she looked confident. We expect her to keep getting better.”
With the clock winding down in the first period, the Pirates managed two more scores nine seconds apart. The first came from Bienek and the second courtesy of Kenze Epema (So. D). Solheim earned her second assist of the game on Bienek’s goal and Maddi Salentine (Jr. F) helped with both scores en route to a 4-1 lead as period one came to a close.
Tiedemann provided the only scoring in the second period with her team-leading third goal. Credit for the assists went to Nora Peterson (So. F) and Fugleberg.
After getting on the box score via an assist, Peterson came back in the third period and increased the lead to 6-1 with her first score of the season assisted by Tiedemann and Fugleberg.
Bienek completed her hat trick performance with her third goal in as many periods. Salentine contributed on the assist as did Clara Meyer (Fr. F).
“It was a quiet three,” Moe said. “[Bienek] just did what she was supposed to do and went to the net hard. She’s got some talent so she can finish at the net when given the space and time.”
For good measure, Jenna Seaver rounded out the scoring with an unassisted goal in the final two minutes and the Pirates went on to win 8-1.
Epema left the game with a neck injury and did not play in the 7-2 loss to West Fargo the following day. Peterson and Kendall Bergquist (Peterson, Tiedemann) tallied a goal and Koshney saved 36 shots, but Crookston could not match West Fargo’s offense.
At 1-2-1, the Pirates return to the ice in Pequot Lakes against Northern Lakes on Thursday, November 29. Puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
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