Crookston falls to 2-13-1 on the year.

GRAND FORKS - The battle between the Crookston Pirates and the Grand Forks Knight Riders remained tied after one period. The Pirates only trailed by one with 11 minutes to play in the third, but the Knight Riders exploded for five goals in the final minutes to put away Crookston 7-1.

    “The wheels just fell off,” Head Coach Tim Moe said. “We quit defending, they got one and the flood gates opened. They got all sorts of chances.”

    Aleah Bienek provided the only Crookston score, her fifth of the season.

    Morgan Stenseth (So. F) scored twice a minute apart along with five other Knight Riders (7-7) who tallied a goal in the contest.

    Grace Koshney (So. G) played the first 43 minutes in net for the Pirates (2-13-1) and stopped 34 out of 39 shots. Kailee Magsam (8th Grade G) took over after Grand Forks made it a 5-1 game and recorded two saves in four shots on goal.

    The Pirates notched only 12 shots on net and Knight Rider goalie Kendra Nordick (Fr.) finished with 11 saves.

    “We had zone time again, just couldn’t get the puck to the net,” Moe said. “We couldn’t get more than one shot at a time. [Grand Forks] got one shot, got a rebound or a turnover and got more shots.”

    Shaley Richards (So. F) kicked off the scoring, assisted by Peyton Kriewald (Sr. D) and Emily Benson (Jr. F), with a goal 11 minutes into the game. With 4:12 to play in  the first frame, Bienek went to the net, found a loose puck, dove and poked in the puck for a game-tying goal.

    The Knight Riders outshot Crookston 17-2 in the second period, but did not take the lead until five minutes left when Jessica Lee (Sr. F) knocked in the go-ahead goal for a 2-1 lead. Haily Stenberg (Jr. F) and Richards received credit for the assist.

    After two periods, the Pirates managed to stay within one despite being outshot 30-6. Crookston also finished the game with a perfect 4-for-4 penalty kill.

    “We kept the puck to the outside and were able to get the puck out when we had a chance,” Moe said. “We didn’t give up a lot of pressure. In the past, we would have a chance to clear, but wouldn’t be able to.”

    Megan Jacobson (So. F) made it a two score game, assisted by Payton Kriewald Sr. D), six minutes into the third period, and Stenseth sent in her back-to-back scores to make it a 5-1 game. Kylie Autrey (Fr. F) assisted both Stenseth goals and Katelin Petersen (Sr. F) assisted the first.

    Lauren Robinson (8th Grade D) and Autrey rounded out the scoring in the final two minutes assisted by Kriewald and Stenseth respectively, and Grand Forks finished off a 7-1 win.

    The Pirates have lost 10 in a row with their best chance to end the skid coming against winless Park Rapids on Tuesday, January 15. The puck drops at 6 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.