Girls' Hockey Seeks Revenge Against Thief River Falls

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

The Crookston Pirates girls’ hockey faces its rival Thief River Falls for the 2021 home opener on Thursday, November 11 at 5:30 p.m. 

Thief River Falls, just 40 miles from Crookston, has been a rival for Crookston for years, as the two teams have had many tight games. 

Although it is her first year as head coach, Emily Meyer is well aware of what’s at stake, as she has assisted former head coach, Tim Moe, for the past couple years.  

“It’s always been that nice rivalry, too, because we are so close in distance and skill level as well,” Meyer said. “It makes it a bit sweeter that they were the ones that ended our season last year.” 

Last season, the Pirates and Prowlers faced off four times, three in the regular season and one in playoffs.  

In the first three contests, Thief River falls came out on top 3-1. The two teams faced off, then, in the Section 8A semifinals where the Prowlers edged the Pirates 5-4. 

TRF took the early lead, but goals from Aleah Bienek and Grace Fischer gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead. The Prowlers were able to tie it up at the end of the first period, however. 

In the second, the Pirates were unable to score, while the Prowlers gained a 4-2 lead with two goals.  

Addie Fee scored early in the third period to cut the lead to 4-3, but the Prowlers scored their decisive fifth goal 11 minutes into the third period on a power play. Rylee Solheim brought the game within one, but there wasn’t enough time left for the Pirates to get a comeback win. 

Returning for her senior year, Solheim looks to seek revenge on the Prowlers and send them home with a loss. 

“I think it’s an exciting way to go into the season because we all really want to beat Thief River Falls, a lot,” Solheim said. “To start the season with that type of competitiveness is good.” 

The two teams had a chance to see one another on Friday, as they had a scrimmage at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Although the score was not officially kept, Thief River Falls came out on top 3-1, yet again.  

The Pirates came out rather slow, but Meyer expected it to take some time for the girls to get back in the swing of things. 

“I think both of us started off a little rusty, which is okay,” Meyer said. “I wasn’t expecting all the girls to be ready to go and play with each other again. The day before, we did do an intersquad scrimmage, but it wasn’t the same lines that we had set for Friday anyway.” 

Despite the results on paper, the Pirates controlled the puck well in the first 25-minute half but were unable to find the back of the net.  

Knowing what to expect, the Crookston team went to work this week looking to polish their game and fix some mistakes. 

Bieneck, who also returns as a senior this year, took lessons from the scrimmage and looks to apply them to practice before Thursday’s matchup. 

“We saw a lot of stuff we need to work on,” Bieneck said. “We will work on it this week, touch up on some things and we’ll be ready for Thursday.” 

Come out to the Crookston Sports Center this Thursday to cheer on your Pirates in their important, first game of the season. 

Kailee Magsam and Cassie Solheim go head to head
The team gathers at center ice
Parker Strande practices passing
Morgan Nelson takes it to the crease
Pirates practice breakouts
Reese Swanson passes to a teammate