Pirates Defeat Prowlers for First Time in 10 Years

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

The Crookston Pirates girls’ hockey team defeated Thief River Falls 7-1 in their home opener on Thursday, November 11.  

The last time the Pirates beat the Prowlers was 10 years ago when head coach Emily Meyer was on the other side of the glass. 

“Ten years ago, it was me skating out on that ice, so I think that makes it a little bit sweeter that we got to come out on top in the fashion that we did,” Meyer said. “It was fun for me. It made me a very proud coach.”   

In past matchups, the Pirates typically came out slow, using the first period as a warm-up and having to dig themselves out of a hole for the second and third periods. This year, Aleah Bieneck flipped the script, as she scored a wrap-around goal to take the lead 12 minutes into the first period.  

The right pieces were in place, Bieneck said, which gave her the opportunity to score. 

“It was a really big push,” Bieneck said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. Me and Reese [Swanson], we set it up in the neutral zone, Brekken [Tull] was following. She was set up out front and I think the defense was just focused on her, and they left me wide open to just bury it.”  

With just under a minute left in the first, Crookston had another scoring opportunity. The Pirates looked to pass to the middle, but it ricocheted off a Prowler defender’s stick. Ashlyn Bailey was in the right spot at the right time and was able to put a shot on goal, but the Thief River Falls goalie swallowed it up. 

Crookston came out in the second half firing, as Samantha Sanders got a pass from Addison Fee that she put in the back of the net. 

One minute later, Thief River Falls responded with their only goal of the game. Goalie Kailee Magsam appeared to have the puck stopped, but it slid through her pads and into the net.  

Rather than slump over in frustration, Magsam’s teammates picked her up, as Grace Fischer took the rebound from Rylee Solheim’s shot and buried it in the back of the net.  

“We were constantly working on, ‘okay if they score on us, we are going to score right back,’” Bieneck said. “‘We are going to get on it. We aren’t going to keep our heads down; we are going pick it right back up,’ and that’s what we did.” 

The Pirates scored one more goal in the second period to take a 4-1 lead, as Brekken Tull got the pass from Solheim off a face-off and scored. 

Crookston took the second-period energy into the third. It took the Pirates only two and half minutes to find the back of the net, as Bailey scored an unassisted goal. 

Bieneck rallied a minute later to score her second goal of the game with Reese Swanson and Solheim getting the assist.  

Solheim had three assists on the night and was happy to distribute the wealth to her whole team. 

“It feels really good to get assists and being able to help girls, especially girls that don’t score as much, too,” Solheim said. “We had a lot of variety of scorers today.” 

To cap off the night, Swanson scored a goal of her own on a powerplay. 

Magsam picked up the win allowing only one goal with 10 saves. Six different Pirates scored during the game, while three girls supplied the assists.  

“I think that’s the best part of all of this, that it wasn’t just one person taking the team on their back,” Meyer said. “It took the whole team in order to get this win tonight. I know scoring goals was our weak suit in that scrimmage, so it was really good to see a lot of kids scoring tonight.” 

The girls’ hockey team looks to extend their winning streak, as they take on Breckenridge Monday night at Crookston Sports Center.  

Brekken Tull skates down the ice
Captain Aleah Bieneck gets the honorary puck drop from a veteran
Rylee Solheim clears the puck before the Prowlers can score
Ashlyn Bailey receives a pass from a teammate
Addison Fee skates past defenders for a shot on goal
Kids participate in chuck-a-puck between periods