Courtesy of KROX-AM Sports:
Crookston’s Morgan Terpstra scored two first period goals, which would be all the scoring and the Pirates Matt Grove had a 25 save shutout, as Crookston defeated Red Lake Falls 2-0 in a Section 8A boy’s hockey play-in game at the Crookston Civic Arena.
Crookston would make it look easy to start the game, when Luke Biermaier kept a Red Lake Falls clearing pass in the offensive zone and then let a nice crisp low shot that Morgan Terpstra tipped in to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead just 43 seconds into the game.
“I was just going to the net and Luke shot it from the point and I was able to get my stick on it,” said Terpstra on his 15th goal of the season and sixth against Red Lake Falls in the three games played between the two teams.
Crookston pretty much dominated early, holding Red Lake Falls without a shot on goal for the first five and a half minutes.
“That was important for us to get that first goal,” said Crookston head coach Jon Bittner, “because it was a battle out there and they didn’t give us much. It was a mucker’s game, so to get the jump start was big.”
Morgan Terpstra will have to argue with older brother, Taylor on who scored the second goal, after a scramble in front and Morgan was able to jam it by the Eagles goalie, also a sophomore, Zach Page.
“I think Taylor hit the cross bar with the puck and it might have been in, but I just tapped it in to make sure,” said Morgan on the goal. Red Lake Falls coach Brad Kennett and the Eagles thought that Page might have had the puck covered for a whistle before the goal, but it was allowed by the officials and Crookston had a 2-0 lead after the first period.
The second period found Red Lake Falls picking up their fore check and forcing Crookston into some miscues in their own zone, which created some scoring opportunities for the Eagles, but they either weren’t able to finish the chances, or were stymied by Grove, who had 12 saves in the second period.
“They had some big shots and had some big kids in front of our net during that period,” said Bittner, “ and fortunate enough for us Matt Grove played just outstanding and was on the top of his game.”
The third period was much like the second period, in that both teams were feisty, with a number of coincidental minor penalties, which did not help the flow of the game, but the Eagles did have a couple power play chances in the third, including in the last minute and pulled the goalie for the extra attacker, but were unable to get any real threat at Grove and Crookston would prevail 2-0.
“It was a good win for us,” said Grove, “it was a good game and they are a tough team, but it gets us to Thief River Falls which was our goal.”
Both goalies played very steady, as Page for Red Lake Falls, gave up four first period goals a week ago in the first period to Crookston, and then the early goal tonight, but the youngster settled in and turned away 25 saves himself to keep his team in the hunt.
“It was muck, muck, muck all night long,” said Bittner, “it wasn’t one of the more finesse or prettiest games, but a lot of credit to the Red Lake Falls coaches, O.J (Brad Kennett), Todd (Glass) and Mike (LaPlante) over there, as their kids played their hearts out and they have a great group of kids and a great coaching staff.”