Streak snapped: Tiedemann's goal gives Pirates 1-0 win over East Grand Forks
Catherine Tiedemann looked onto the ice and thought.
About all the long, hard, rebuilding years she'd persevered through as a member of the Crookston girls' hockey team. About the Pirates' 18-game losing streak to archrival East Grand Forks. About how this season, her final season, she finally was on a team maybe, just maybe, good enough to snap that streak.
On Tuesday night, Crookston defeated the Green Wave, 1-0, doing so for the first time since Dec. 20, 2012. Tiedemann, the Pirates' captain, redirected a Brekken Tull rebound past EGF goaltender Ashley Corbett with 25.5 seconds remaining and threw her arms into the air, full of exhilaration.
The first goal of Tiedemann's senior season, the 37th of her high school career, was by far the most important.
The Pirates' talisman, the constant through six seasons of struggle and revival, was the one to break the streak, and it couldn't have been more fitting.
"Just overwhelmed," Tiedemann said, gathering and describing her considerable emotions. "It's a great feeling finally beating EGF. ... It's what we've been working for."
They nearly pulled it off three weeks ago, when they outshot the Green Wave 20-14 but fell, 2-0. In some ways, that game has come to set the tone of Crookston's season. It nearly outshot Fargo North-South on Jan. 25 in a 5-2 loss. It needed a late goal by Jenna Seaver to beat West Fargo United, 3-2, on Jan. 28, despite a 43-13 shot advantage.
On Tuesday, the Pirates (3-4, 1-3 Section 8AA) once again took it to East Grand Forks in the offensive zone. They took 36 shots to the Green Wave's 18, peppering Corbett with shots of all kinds from all angles. They put 18 on goal in the third period alone.
"We talked the whole game about how it might not go in yet, but as long as we keep doing really good things, we're gonna break them down," said coach Tim Moe. "It's gonna go eventually."
It did indeed, but Crookston needed help to get to that point. East Grand Forks (1-5, 1-3) had several odd-man rushes, picking and choosing when to counter the aggressive Pirate forecheck. The Green Wave nearly made it pay off with five minutes to play, but sophomore goaltender Kailee Magsam turned away a three-on-zero breakaway to keep the game scoreless.
"She got help from a couple pipes, but she stood in there, she battled, she persevered," Moe said. "For her to get a shutout against a team like East Grand Forks, for her to do that as a first-year starting goaltender is just unbelievable. I can't say enough about her.
"This is a resilient group. They take adversity and they seem to embrace it, and I think Kailee epitomizes that. She wasn't supposed to be the starting goalie this year, and she's taken that net and crease and just made it her own."
Ever since Moe returned to coach the Pirates four years ago, this is the game he's wanted to have most. Not only are the Green Wave rivals, but they're in Section 8A's historical triumvirate along with Warroad and Thief River Falls. Beating them is a milestone in every possible way.
"This is who we've been trying to compare ourselves to, where we've been trying to get to," Moe said. "For us to get there in this game hopefully is going to give us the confidence needed as we continue on with this crazy year."
Moe had praise for his entire team, extolling their fortitude and work ethic. But the glory belonged to Tiedemann, and fittingly so.
Tiedemann's played for the Pirates for an entire third of her life. She first joined the varsity team as a seventh-grader in 2015-16, scoring five points in 25 games as the Pirates went 2-23. They won three games the next season, then five, then four. Last season came the breakthrough, as Crookston went 12-14 and won its first playoff game in five years.
She scored 28 goals in her freshman and sophomore seasons combined, leading the team both years. She scored just four last season, though, and prior to Tuesday, hadn't found the net in 2021. But there's never been a question about who the Pirates' heart is.
"Just really excited for a senior who's meant a lot to this program throughout the years," Moe said. "She's seen some pretty down years. ... For her to be rewarded with a good team, great teammates, (and) competitiveness is just fantastic."
But maybe, Catherine Tiedemann wasn't merely rewarded. Maybe her six years of determination helped will it into being.
"This is a team that wants to be on the ice, we want to get better, and it's paying off," she said. "And I know we're gonna get better.
"I'm just proud of my team. Really proud of them."
UP NEXT: Crookston hosts Detroit Lakes Friday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. The Lakers (4-1, 1-0 Section 8A) come in on a four-game winning streak, as many games as they won all of last season.
The Pirates swept Detroit Lakes last season, including a 3-2 win in the section play-in game that was their first postseason victory in five years.
East Grand Forks 0-0-0—0
- 0:25 third period (Crookston): Catherine Tiedemann (Brekken Tull, Nora Peterson)
- Crookston: Kailee Magsam 18 saves on 18 shots
- East Grand Forks: Ashley Corbett 35 saves on 36 shots
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