Andringa's three goals give him nine this year.
CROOKSTON - Ben Andringa (Jr. F) recorded a hat trick, four other Pirates notched goals as well and Crookston ended a four game losing streak with a 7-0 win over the Park Rapids Panthers to sweep the season series.
“All the lines were going tonight,” Head Coach Josh Hardy said. “Guys were playing hard, and they wanted to see their buddies on the bench score more than them. So that was fun to see the creativity that they were using out there to get their buddies the puck.”
Joining Andringa in the scoring parade, Brock Heppner (Sr. F), Eric Delorme (Sr. F), Jack Doda (8th Grade F) and Joe Doda (Jr. F) each found the back of the net.
Noah Dragseth (So. G) recorded his first shutout for the Pirates (3-11-1) stopping 19 shots and Logan Arndt (Sr. G) saved 29 for the Panthers (2-13).
The Pirates controlled the puck for the better half of the first period, but no one would have guessed it as the scoreboard showed a 0-0 score with 8:15 left. In fact, the Panthers outshot Crookston at that point 4-3.
“We really dominated time of possession, but we didn’t have anything to show for it,” Hardy said. “We were shooting the puck, but missing the net. The big thing that we harped on was that we can skate with this team, but we can’t get cute. We got to get back to the basics and find ways to get pucks on net and bury a rebound.”
With 6:24 remaining in the opening frame, the Pirates received a power play opportunity after an interference call. A short 23 seconds later, Heppner found himself with the puck by the net and tapped it in for an easy layup. Joe Doda received credit for the assist.
Crookston could not capitalize on their second power play of the evening, but did manage to double their lead with even strength when Andringa took a shot just inside the blue line that ricocheted off Arndt. The assist went to Quinn Westlake (Jr. F), and the Pirates led 2-0, a lead they carried into the first intermission.
“I was just skating well and getting in on the net,” Andringa said on his hat trick effort. “The boys were buzzing, and we just finally came together and put pucks in the net.”
Andringa added his second score of the game 1:23 into the second period, assisted by Westlake, when he snuck the puck between the goalie and the left pipe for a 3-0 lead. Fifty-nine seconds later, Delorme sent in his team-leading 12th goal of the season. Doda and Heppner earned the assists.
With Crookston in control, nearly 10 minutes went by before Andringa completed his hat trick performance for a 5-0 lead. Making their way onto the scoring sheet were Ty Hamre (Jr. D) and Kaleb Thingelstad (So. F) with assists on Andringa’s third goal.
“Ben plays like that all the time, and I feel like the pace that he plays at is always solid,” Hardy said. “It’s nice to see him get rewarded because when he doesn’t, he can get frustrated and understandably, because he’s got a ton of skill.”
After two periods, the Pirates outshot Park Rapids 28-13 and led 5-0, their largest lead this season.
Jack Doda gave Crookston their season-high in goals this year when he delivered his second score for the season, assisted by Westlake and Andringa, with 15:42 to play in the game and triggered a running clock.
A minute and twenty-seven seconds later, the older of the Dodas, Joe, sent the puck to the back of the net and Crookston extended their lead to 7-0.
In a game the Pirates expected to win, Hardy kept his focus on accomplishing more than just a victory.
“I felt like we’ve been doing a great job of individual efforts in terms of carrying the puck into the zone, getting the puck in the net, but often times, we’re doing it by ourselves,” Hardy said. “I thought that we really needed to focus on our zone entry tonight. Having a wall entry with a guy going hard down to the middle to create some space for a trailer or for that guy to shoot and look for a rebound. I thought we did a nice job of those sort of zone entries tonight.”
The Pirates finished the final 14 minutes with the clock running, outshot Park Rapids 36-19 throughout three periods and earned their first shutout win by a final of 7-0.
For Dragseth, the 7-0 victory served as his first varsity shutout in the net.
“I thought [Noah] did a nice job tonight,” Hardy said. “[Noah] would be the first to admit that he was a little shaky to start. He was struggling to see the save all the way into his glove, but he was able to fight back and finish well.”
The Pirates will look to win consecutive games for the first time this season when they host the Warroad Warriors on Saturday, January 12 at 3 p.m.
When the Warriors and Pirates last played in the third game of the season, Crookston nearly completed a 5-0 comeback, but fell short 6-4.
“I think Warroad is a very beatable team, but it’s going to take all of us together as a team to beat them,” Andringa said. “We’re going to have to battle hard in the gritty areas out front, shots on net, we’re going to have to skate hard and fast. They’re a physical team so we’re going to have to bring our all against them.”
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