After slow start, Crookston beats International Falls 6-0 behind Peterson's hat trick

Jacob Shames
Crookston Times
Nora Peterson scored three goals in Crookston's 6-0 win over International Falls on Tuesday.

At first, the Crookston girls' hockey team appeared snakebitten.

The Pirates dominated the first period against International Falls, rarely letting the Broncos break the puck out of their own zone. But goaltender Naomi Carradice made 11 saves, some brilliant, to keep Crookston off the scoreboard.

Meanwhile, International Falls put fear into the Pirates every time it got the puck on the counterattack, as Kailee Magsam needed to make a handful of excellent saves of her own to keep the game scoreless.

But Nora Peterson answered the question of if Tuesday night would be one of those games for Crookston with an emphatic "no." 

The senior forward, the Pirates' leading scorer last season, walked deep into the slot and buried a shot high on Carradice just 79 seconds into the second period. Four minutes later, junior defenseman Rylee Solheim did almost exactly the same thing, and gave Crookston a 2-0 lead.

From then on, Tuesday's contest played out exactly as expected. Peterson scored two more goals, and the Pirates routed the Broncos, 6-0, to win their first game of the season.

After losses to Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks in which its offense had a hard time generating consistency and/or finishing, Crookston woke up to the tune of 45 shots on goal — more than it had in its first two games combined. Over half of those shots came during a torrid second period, in which the Pirates outshot the Broncos 23-1.

Peterson scored her second goal with 2:50 before the period break, and finished off her hat trick with 81 seconds to play. In between, Aleah Bienek (Jr., F) and Grace Fischer (So., D) both lit the lamp.

Cassie Solheim (Fr., F) and Reese Swanson (Fr., F) both had multiple helpers for Crookston.

Magsam played the entire game and recorded the shutout, stopping all 11 shots she faced. It was a more impressive 11-save shutout than most: a number of the shots that came her way were dangerous opportunities on odd-man rushes.

UP NEXT: The Pirates will head up north to Warroad this Friday to take on the Warriors, last season's Section 8A champions.

Warroad is coming off a 23-5-2 season in which it beat Crookston twice: 10-0 during the regular season in Warroad, and 12-0 in the Section 8A tournament.

Cassie Solheim had two assists in Tuesday's contest.

BOX SCORE

Crookston 0-3-3—6

International Falls 0-0-0—0

SCORING

  • 15:41 second period (Crookston): Nora Peterson
  • 10:09 second period (Crookston): Rylee Solheim (Reese Swanson)
  • 2:50 second period (Crookston): Nora Peterson (Cassie Solheim, Brekken Tull)
  • 15:20 third period (Crookston): Aleah Bienek (Reese Swanson)
  • 9:52 third period (Crookston): Grace Fischer (Brynley Coleman)
  • 1:21 third period (Crookston): Nora Peterson (Cassie Solheim, Kenze Epema)

GOALTENDING

  • Crookston: Kailee Magsam 11 saves on 11 shots
  • International Falls: Naomi Carradice 45 saves on 51 shots

The Times welcomes your feedback. You can send any comments or questions to our office at (218) 281-2730 or sports editor Jacob Shames at jshames@crookstontimes.com.

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Morgan Nelson passes the puck to a teammate.