The Crookston Pirates Boys Hockey team took on the Rock Ridge Wolverines on Thursday afternoon on the second and final day of the Ralph Engelstad Arena Holiday Classic in Thief River Falls. It was the last game of 2021 for the Pirates, and they were looking for their first win of the season. Rock Ridge is a first-year team that combines, Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia. The teams battled early, but Rock Ridge continued to wear the Pirates down, outshooting them 40-9 by the end of the game and scoring 9 goals to earn a 9-0 victory. “I thought we played better than we have in a while in the first period,” said Pirates Head Coach Josh Hardy. “I don’t think the score at the beginning of the game really showed how close it was early on and eventually things kind of just fell apart.”
The teams traded a few looks back and forth to begin the game. Jack Doda had the best look for the Pirates in the first frame, as he skated in on a breakaway and was turned aside by the Rock Ridge goaltender keeping the game at 0-0. Moments later Jaren Bailey made a nice safe to keep the game deadlocked at 0-0. At the 9:38 mark, the Wolverines struck first on an unassisted goal from Sam Troutwine. The goal came after another Pirates turnover in their own zone. Rock Ridge would add two more goals in the period, including one with under 2:00 remaining, and take a 3-0 lead into the first intermission. The Wolverines outshot the Pirates 14-4 in the first frame and had the last six shots of the period. “Defensively we are going to have to be more aggressive moving forward,” said Pirates Head Coach Josh Hardy. “That starts with awareness and we need to do a better job of having a hockey IQ moving forward and if we can, will be in good shape.”
13 seconds into the period the Pirates picked up a penalty, and the Wolverines would have a man advantage. Moments later Rock Ridge would capitalize making the score 4-0 just 52 seconds into the second period. The Wolverines pounded the net the entire middle frame, outshooting the Pirates 26-5 in the second period. Jaren Bailey had a handful of impressive saves to try and keep the Pirates in the contest, but eventually, Rock Ridge started to wear him down. “Jaren has been great and has made some big saves for us all year,” said Pirates Head Coach Josh Hardy. “The problem is we can’t put him into that position, and we’ve done that too much this season.” The Wolverines added three more goals in the final six minutes of the period to take a 7-0 lead into the final period of play. “I don’t want to say the second period was our worst period of the year but it’s one of the worst ones that we’ve played,” said Pirates Head Coach Josh Hardy. “We didn’t move our feet and it was almost like we forgot how to play hockey and by the time we figured it out it was too late.” The Wolverines outshot the Pirates 40-9 through the first two periods.
The third period was played with running time per Minnesota State High School League Rules, as Rock Ridge led by more than 6+ goals. The Pirates would commit two penalties early in the period, giving the Wolverines a 5-3 advantage. As soon as the 5-3 ended, the Wolverines would score a Power Play goal to take an 8-0 lead. They would add one more goal later in the period for a final score of 9-0. The Pirates were outshot 52-10 on the afternoon, and could only muster 1 shot in the final period.
Jaren Bailey got the start in net for the Pirates and made 42 saves while allowing 9 goals and suffering the loss. Levi Maki got his first career varsity start in the net for the Wolverines and made 10 saves while shutting the Pirates out to earn the win.
Crookston falls to 0-8-1 on the season and will be in action next week on Tuesday night when they host Thief River Falls from inside the Crookston Sports Center. “They’re a well-coached team so will need to be ready to play right away,” said Pirates Head Coach Josh Hardy. “They got a couple of really good players and lots of depth so it will be a challenge for us.” The puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. and the game can be live-streamed by going to kroxam.com. Rock Ridge improves to 3-5 on the season with the win.
9:38 – RR – Sam Troutwine (unassisted)
11:31 – RR – Brennan Peterson (Braden Tiedeman Rory Cope-Robinson)
15:03 – RR – Braden Tiedeman (Dylan Hedley, Keegan Ruedebusch)
0:52 – RR – (PP) Keegan Ruedebusch (Dylan Hedley, Isaac Flatley)
11:45 – RR – Rory Cope-Robinson (Brennan Peterson)
13:28 – RR – Ryan Manninen (Isaac Flatley, Kasey Lamppa)
15:17 – RR – #21 (Ryder Gerulli, Dawson Ruedebusch)
4:44 – RR – (PP) Nick Troutwine (unassisted)
8:01 – RR – Ryder Gerulli (Dawson Ruedebusch, Tyler Lamourea)
|Jaren Bailey – Crookston||11||22||10||43|
|Levi Maki – Rock Ridge||4||5||1||10|