Crookston defeated Red Lake Falls 7-1 on Senior Night.
CROOKSTON - The Pirates matched their season-high in goals, three players found the back of the net for the first time this season and Crookston dealt with the Red Lake Falls Eagles in a 7-1 win.
Joe Doda (Sr. F) scored twice to lead the Pirates (8-15-1, 5-8 Section 8A) and increased his goal total for the season to 12. Brock Heppner (Sr. F) added his 11th, Quinn Westlake (Jr. F) notched number four and Trey Christopherson (Sr. F), Kaleb Thingelstad (So. F) and Jake Anderson (Sr. D) all recorded their first of the year.
"That was fun," Pirates Head Coach Josh Hardy said. "I don't know how we've made it this long, and Jake Anderson hasn't scored. I'm excited for him to get his first goal, and I know the boys were fired up. Trey Christopherson was able to get his own rebound and fired one in from shortside at a bad angle. Kaleb Thingelstad found time and space today, made a nice move and got rewarded."
Zak Kennett provided the only goal for the Eagles (5-11, 2-8 Section 8A).
Jack Ricord (Sr. G) stopped 10 shots in his last home game, and Tanner Janorschke (Sr. G) saw his first varsity action of the season and saved four in the third period. In the net for Red Lake Falls, Brenden Larson (Jr. G) saved eight, and Andrew Johnson (So. G) stopped 31.
Less than two minutes into the game, Doda gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead, assisted by Heppner and Logan Wardner (Sr. D). A short two minutes later, the scoreboard showed a 1-1 affair after Kennett's score.
"We knew going in, we couldn't give [Kennett] much time and space," Hardy said. "We let him get loose a little there, and he wired one home on a great shot. It was actually probably good for us that he scored. It was the wake-up call we needed."
Heppner beat Larson to regain the lead, and Westlake watched his bouncing puck sneak past Larson for a 3-1 lead. Ben Andringa (Jr F) assisted on Westlake's goal. The Eagles pulled Larson in favor of Johnson once they trailed 3-1.
Doda capped off the first period with this second goal of the game, assisted by Eric Delorme (Sr. F) and Heppner, and the Pirates carried a 4-1 lead into the first intermission.
Christopherson increased the lead with help from Thingelstad to start the second period, and Thingelstad added a goal of his own for a 6-1 advantage, assisted by Sam Overgaard (Sr. F). Anderson earned his goal 15 seconds before the conclusion of the period from Delorme and Wardner on a power play.
Neither team produced any offense in the final period, and Crookston closed out a 7-1 victory.
"We maintained a lot of possession," Hardy said. "We had some good line changes, and we were physical. Our forecheck is good, we create pressure and just limit shots on our net."
One more game sits between the Pirates and the section tournament: a road contest against Class AA Roseau on Thursday, February 14 at 6 p.m.
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