Girls' Hockey Falls to Orono and Delano for First Losses of the Season

Natalie Dillon
Crookston Times

The Crookston Pirates girls’ hockey team suffered their first losses of the season this weekend to Orono and Delano. 

In their game against Delano, the Pirates looked to bounce back from their 1-8 loss to Orono the night before. Delano tied with Thief River Falls earlier in the season, so the girls had a high probability of winning, as they defeated the Prowlers 7-1 in their season opener. 

Knowing this, the Pirates came out on the ice too confident, head coach Emily Meyer said, which led to their downfall. 

“I wish we could have bounced back today,” Meyer said. “We weren’t mentally there to get the win. We started off slow. I think we came into this game thinking that we had the win before even touching the ice.” 

The Tigers got on the board first with a goal from Kali Schmidt. Shortly after, though, they committed their third penalty of the period. Morgan Nelson cashed in on the advantage with assists from Brekken Tull and Addison Fee. 

It was Nelson’s first goal of the season, as she normally contributes offensively with assists. She sits tied with Rylee Solheim and Fee for most assists on the season with 4.  

“She [Nelson] has really been stepping up a lot for us, and she definitely worked hard today,” Meyer said. “She played with more of an offensive mindset from the blue line by jumping in a lot of the plays in the offensive zone. She created many opportunities for us.” 

Aleah Bienek and Fee were sent to the penalty box in the final minutes of the first period, which forced Crookston to start the second period on the penalty kill.  

Although they didn’t allow the Tigers to score on their power play, the Pirates let another goal through shortly after, making it 2-1 Delano.  

The Tigers capped the game off with another goal in the third to earn the 3-1 win. 

Jacey Larson played all 51 minutes in goal, allowing three goals with 13 saves. 

Despite the loss, Meyer understood her girls had given it everything they had the night before and still saw some positives in the game. 

“The mental part of our game needs work, and I think the girls were a little gassed after playing a tough game the night before,” Meyer said. “We still had some positive takeaways. Delano was just able to be more consistent to get the win.” 

The night before the Pirates, undefeated at the time, came out strong, ready to prove that they could compete with a team like Orono. Coming into the game, Orono was also undefeated, blowing teams out by scores of 7-1 and 9-1.  

Crookston battled with Orono in the first period, giving up just one goal on a power play. 

The Spartans extended their lead to 2-1 in the second period, but Fee responded with tip-in off of Nelson’s shot.  

The Pirates were unable to score the rest of the night, as Orono put up six more goals to earn an 8-1 victory.  

Larson got the decision for Crookston. She allowed 8 goals with 53 saves for a .869 save percentage.  

The Pirates return home on Tuesday to play section opponent Warroad. The Warriors are two points ahead of the Pirates in section standings and have a 7-2-1 record. 

“The girls didn’t hang their heads with getting their first losses of the season,” Meyer said. “They are ready to get back to our style of hockey. Hopefully, they can continue to compete with a high-caliber team like Warroad and keep building as a team.” 

Crookston Pirates