Tim Moe was stuck.
He and the Crookston girls' hockey team were all set to hit the road for their game Friday night in Morris. But Moe, the Pirates' head coach, also teaches eighth and ninth grade social studies, and his substitute hadn't shown up yet.
The substitute teacher arrived 15 minutes late, finally allowing Moe to leave the school. That wasn't the end of it.
Moe had planned on getting to Morris at around 6:00 p.m., an hour before puck drop. Not part of his calculations: the governor on the team bus, set at 65 miles per hour — below the speed that would allow Crookston to make it to the arena at that time. The Pirates got off the bus right when they should have been going out for warmups.
But once on the ice, Crookston had no further troubles.
The Pirates rolled Morris/Benson Area, 6-1, on Friday night, behind two goals apiece from eighth-graders Cassie Solheim and Raina Satrom, before finishing off a weekend sweep with a 1-0 win over Prairie Centre Saturday afternoon.
"We accomplished everything we wanted to," Moe said. "We got a lot of kids playing time, every game we played four lines and six defensemen, we played each goalie in one game. ... Every one of the kids performed fantastic."
Crookston (3-5) put 48 shots on goal against the Storm, nearly double its previous season high. It gave up just 13 shots itself, 12 of which were saved by Kailee Magsam (Fr., G). Meanwhile, Solheim and Satrom were joined on the scoresheet by Aleah Bienek (So. F) and Jenna Seaver (Fr., F).
"We were able to outshoot them and do a lot of things offensively — really cycling the puck and playing a lot in the offensive zone, which we haven't had a lot of practice in any of our previous games," Moe said.
Saturday's game, according to Moe, was very similar to Friday night despite the much closer score. Once again, the Pirates controlled the majority of possession, taking 30 shots to Prairie Centre's 12.
"Prairie Centre did a really good job in their defensive zone," Moe said. "I thought we had just as much time in the offensive zone today as we did on Friday, but they did a really good job of keeping us to the outside and limiting our really good scoring opportunities. They just packed everybody in tight around the net and it was tough to penetrate that."
Nora Peterson (Jr., F) finally did so four minutes into the third period, taking a puck off the side wall, skating in and scoring the game-winning goal.
"She just walked out and was able to find a seam," Moe said. "... She noticed her wings were covered and really there wasn't another kid to come to her. So she did a great job skating into the slot area out front and putting a nice shot on the goalie."
With that, Crookston returned home Saturday night with improved team chemistry and two wins under its belt — a far cry from the outside troubles that threatened to derail the Pirates' weekend before it even began.
"It really is one great big team," Moe said. " ... It was just great to see the camaraderie of the girls and the cheering for each other."
UP NEXT: The Pirates go on the road to take on Bemidji on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7:00 p.m.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story had Breck Fugelberg scoring in Friday's game instead of Aleah Bienek.
The Times welcomes your feedback. You can send any comments or questions to our office at (218) 281-2730, Jacob Shames (405) 496-0168 or by email at email@example.com.
Follow along on Twitter @CroxTimesSports and @Jacob_Shames for all the latest stories and live game updates.