Both games were tied in the third period, but Crookston lost 4-2 and 6-4.

Detroit Lakes L 4-2

    Only two goals came with equal strength, both by Detroit Lakes, and the Lakers came back from a 2-1 deficit in the final period to defeat the Crookston Pirates 4-2.

    “Credit to DL, I thought they had a great third period, but I think we kind of beat ourselves there,” Head Coach Josh Hardy said. “[DL] started to get some positive momentum in the third and we couldn’t handle that and changed the way we play a little. We got a little too cute with the puck and started reverting back to some bad habits. DL was able to make us pay.”

    Scoring began with Joe Doda (Jr. F) capitalizing on a power play 5:40 into the game. Eric Delorme (Sr. F) and Brock Heppner (Sr. F) received credit for the assists.

    The Lakers outshot the Pirates 12-8 through one period, but Jack Ricord (Sr. G) and the Crookston defense kept Detroit Lakes off the board. Ricord finished with 21 saves on the night. Blake Itzen (Jr. G) for the Lakers stopped 21 as well.

    Detroit Lakes tied the game 5:36 into the second frame when Jackson Carlblom (Sr. F) beat Ricord with help from Will Stowman (Sr. C).

    The game saw a total of 14 penalties between the two teams and the Pirates took advantage of one of Detroit Lakes’ five second period penalties with 2:34 to go in the frame. Ty Hamre (Sr. D) gave Crookston their second lead of the game with help from Noah Kiel (So. D) and Delorme, and the Pirates carried their 2-1 lead into the final period.

    Crookston’s advantage was short-lived as Detroit Lakes delivered their second game-tying goal and their first on a power play when Alex Bren (Jr. D) scored. Braeden Wimmer (So. F) contributed on the assist.

    Just over a minute later, Hamre was called for a trip to neglect a scoring opportunity and the officials awarded Trey Seebold (Sr. F) a penalty shot. The senior converted and the Lakers owned their first lead of the game ahead 3-2 with 13 minutes to play.

    “We need to do a better job of getting pucks to the net,” Hardy said. “I know the shots were pretty close, but we passed up quite a few opportunities to shoot the puck. If you look at [DL’s] third and fourth goals, good things happen when you put the puck on the net.”

    With under six minutes to play, Detroit Lakers doubled their lead with a goal by Bren, assisted by Wimmer, and held on to win 4-2 to stay unbeaten at 9-0-1.

    Crookston fell to 2-9-1.

    “We weren’t able to handle that change in momentum,” Hardy said. “It’s a maturity thing, it’s a dealing with adversity thing and we’ve got to find ways to shake off those goals and continue to play the way we can. In the first two periods, we did a nice job of getting pucks deep and we got away from that in the third.”

Fergus Falls L 6-4

    The Pirates tied the game four times, but never led and with the help of a hat trick from Ian Richards (So. F) and four third period goals, the Fergus Falls Otters (5-6-2) outlasted Crookston 6-4.

    “Any time you score four goals, you expect to win,” Hardy said. “But if you give up six, those are going to be tough ones to win no matter what. Defensively, we just weren’t very good. We continued to come back offensively, but defensively, we were unable to settle down in our zone. Part of that is Logan Wardner still being out and part of that is guys making sure they’re doing their job.”

    The first period offered little scoring chances until the Otters broke through with a goal by Richards assisted by Mike DeBrito (Fr. F) with under five minutes to go.

    In the final minute, Ben Andringa (Jr. F) equalized the score with his fifth goal of the season. Delorme and Jack Doda (8th Grade F) earned credit for the assist.

    By the end of the first period, this soon-to-be slugfest featured a combined two goals and 15 shots on net. Noah Dragseth (So. G) finished with 23 saves for Crookston and Fergus Falls’ Scott Van Voorhis (Jr. G) recorded 26.

    The Otters wasted no time regaining their lead in the second period. Logan Schake (So. F), with assistance from Cole Zierden (Fr. F), snuck a puck past Dragseth and Fergus Falls celebrated a 2-1 lead.

    Five minutes later, Delorme tallied his team-best 10th goal, assisted by Heppner, and the evenly-matched game went into the second intermission deadlocked at 2-2.

    Eighteen seconds into the final period, Fergus Falls regained the lead on a goal by Isaac Young (So. F) assisted by Richards. It only took Delorme 55 seconds to respond, and the senior fired his second goal of the game to the back of the net to tie it at 3-3.

    Richards, assisted by DeBrito, gave the Otters their fourth separate lead sneaking the puck inside the left post with 10:49 to go. The Pirates kept pace with Fergus Falls and tied the game once again with Andringa notching his second score of the contest when he sent the puck over Van Voorhis’ right shoulder. Hamre and Jack Doda got in on the action with assists.

    “We put ourselves in situations that are hopefully going to benefit us later on in the season,” Hardy said. “We’re getting later into the season now and we’ve got to find ways to win games like this. This is a game we had an opportunity to win and we shot ourselves in the foot a couple times.”

    Misfortune found the Pirates with six minutes to play when a goal, awarded to the Otters’ Sterling Andrews (So. F), flew over the net, hit a Pirate glove and landed in the net for a 5-4 Fergus Falls lead. Assist credit went to Schake.

    Nine seconds later, the Otters delivered a blow taking their first two-goal lead on a score by Richards, which gave the sophomore a hat trick on the day.

    “Those are tough ones to come back from,” Hardy said on the deflection goal. “As a team, it just kind of takes the wind out of your sails. [I’m] disappointed to lose this one. This was a game that I thought we had a good opportunity to win and we played well for long stretches, but late in the third, things kind of got away from us.”

    Crookston replaced Dragseth with Jack Ricord (Sr. G) after the sixth goal and Ricord stopped two shots. The Pirates pulled Ricord for an extra skater late in the third period, but could inch no closer and fell 6-4.

    The Pirates (2-10-1) will next play in Bemidji against the Lumberjacks on Tuesday, January 8 at 7:30 p.m.

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For feedback or questions, contact the Times at (218) 281-2730, Nolan Beilstein at (940) 372-8175 or by email at nbeilstein@crookstontimes.com.