Crookston finishes the year 4-19-1, 2-7 Section 8AA.
DETROIT LAKES - Detroit Lakes jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening period, saw six of their own find the back of the net and eliminated the Crookston Pirates from the postseason with a 6-1 win.
Ella Hess (8th Grade F), Karrigan Hallisey (Sr. F), Payton Carlblom (Sr. D), Abagail King (Sr. F), Madyson Meigard (Jr. F) and McKenna Burhans (So. D) all scored for the Lakers, who moved on to the Section 8A Semifinals where they will face the top team in the state, the Warroad Warriors.
The Pirates’ lone goal came off the stick of Dillynn Wallace (Fr. F).
In the net for Detroit Lakes (7-17, 5-5 Section 8A), Leah Honer (So. G) finished near perfect and stopped 11 shots. Grace Koshney (So. G) recorded 41 saves for Crookston (4-19-1, 2-7 Section 8A).
With the victory, the Lakers completed their third win over the Pirates this season.
“We gave up too many shots, and we didn’t get enough,” Pirates Head Coach Tim Moe said. “We made little mistakes, and it ended up in the back of our net. Once we found our game a little bit in the second, we started taking some penalties and just couldn’t sustain anything.”
Detroit Lakes struck first 4:20 into the contest with Hess’ goal, assisted by Adisyn Strand (Fr. F). Hallisey tacked on her score three minutes later with help from Burhans, and the Lakers led 2-0. The final goal of the frame came from Carlblom on a power play.
Wallace provided a spark to Crookston’s side as the freshman found the back of the net for the third time this season 4:14 into the second period. Aleah Bienek (Fr. F) notched an assist on the goal.
After starting the year as a defenseman, Wallace made the switch to forward and finished the season with three goals and one assist in the last five games.
“The goal wasn’t her best play of the night,” Moe said on Wallace’s game. “She did some things on rushes where she made defensemen look a little silly and was able to come really close to getting chances for us. She’s just a kid who needs to have confidence. It’s been really fun to see Dillynn the last couple weeks.”
King earned the goal back 15 seconds after the third period began for a 4-1 advantage. Emma Coley (Fr. F) and Carlblom earned credit for the assist.
Looking to inch their way back into contention, the Pirates committed two penalties in less than three minutes. Detroit Lakes did not capitalize on the power play opportunities, but valuable time was slipping away for Crookston.
Meglard issued the dagger short-handed, assisted by King and Hallisey, with two minutes to play. Burhans added one more for good measure in the final seconds to complete the 6-1 win. Hallisey and Lily Burnside (Sr. F) assisted on the final goal of the evening.
The Pirates’ season comes to a close where, despite finishing with a statistically worse record than the year before (5-21), their numbers in 2018-2019 suggest improvement. In 24 games this year, the Pirates scored 41 goals compared to 38 in 26 games a year ago. Crookston surrendered 159 goals in 2017-2018 and dropped that number to 120 this year.
Crookston also went through the season without Kenze Epema (So. F) and Kylee Meier (Jr. F), two major contributors from the previous year. Epema played in the final game against Detroit Lakes and Moe expects to see both on the ice for the 2019-2020 season.
“I thought that we started playing with a lot more structure and understanding the right positions to be in,” Moe said. “We started understanding what we need to do, especially defensively. I don’t think we’re anywhere near where we need to be offensively, but I think defensively, we started figuring things out. You build on everything you do.”
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