Devils Lake scored two goals in the first period and another a minute into the second, jumping to a 3-0 lead that proved insurmountable as the Firebirds defeated Crookston girls' hockey, 4-2, on Thursday at the Crookston Sports Center.
The Pirates fell to 6-10, while Devils Lake improved to 6-4. The loss marked Crookston's third straight overall, all of which have come against North Dakota teams.
As Wednesday was New Years' Day, the Pirates didn't practice. Head coach Tim Moe thought it showed.
"First period, we had trouble getting going," Moe said. "They took advantage of that."
Hannah Houle, Madisyn White and Haylee Carlson scored the Firebirds' first three goals, in order. Three minutes after Carlson's goal, Raina Satrom (8, F) poked home a rebound off assists from Cassie Solheim (8, F) and Nora Peterson (Jr., F).
Catherine Tiedemann (Jr., F) brought Crookston within one towards the end of the period, assisted by Solheim and Dillynn Wallace (So., D).
The Pirates couldn't find the tying goal in the third period, however, despite a handful of solid chances, and Devils Lake's Elle Black scored an empty-net clincher with six seconds to play.
Crookston outshot the Firebirds, 29-19, the second straight game it's outshot its opponent and lost anyway.
According to Moe, the Pirates didn't get to as many rebounds as they should have, meaning they failed to capitalize on their best chances — Satrom's goal being a notable exception.
"A lot of it is having the confidence and going into those tough areas in front of the net where there's gonna be defensemen who are gonna push you," Moe said.
Grace Koshney (Jr., G) stopped 15 shots for Crookston, while Molly Black made 27 saves for Devils Lake.
"We get peaks and valleys in every season," Moe said. "We're definitely in a valley (right now), and we need to fight and work our way out of it."
UP NEXT: The Pirates are home on Jan. 6 to play Thief River Falls. The Prowlers sit at 6-6 with a 2-2 record in Section 8A, and will have gone 16 days without a game by Monday.
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.
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