Klemetsrud’s late goal lifts Firebirds past Pirates

Chris Harris, DLJ Sports
Devils Lake forward Kaylie Klemetsrud takes a shot attempt while on her knee against Crookston goalie Kailee Magsam during the second period of a NDHSAA girls hockey game Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020 in Devils Lake. Magsam got the save on the shot.

Devils Lake girls hockey coach and reigning state coach of the year Rob McIvor admitted that his team skated as if they were stuck in mud during the first period Thursday night against visiting Crookston and the scoreboard proved it.

But the scoreboard also proved one other thing — a Firebirds win.

Kaylie Klemetsrud’s goal with just over four minutes remaining in the contest lifted the Firebirds to the 3-2 victory over the Pirates from Burdick Arena. The game was rescheduled from Jan. 20 due to the snow storm and Firebirds participation of North Dakota’s Hockey Day.

“We didn’t get off to the start we wanted, not shot wise either,” McIvor said. The Pirates outshot the Firebirds 33-20 for the game, 15-7 during the first period when they fell into a 0-2 deficit. “We picked it up in the second and finished it off in the third thankfully.”

The Pirates got goals from Kylee Meier and Aleah Bienek to take the 2-0 lead. Meier’s goal was assisted by Kendall Bergquist and Catherine Tiedemann assisted on Bergquist’s goal. But Abbey Reule’s goal, which was assisted by Haylee Carlson and Ashlyn Abrahamson, got the Firebirds on the scoreboard and got the proverbial puck sliding.

Klemetsrud’s goal 1:17 into the second period tied the game at 2-all. Vivianna Kraft and Elle Black had the assists. Klemetsrud scored the eventual game winning goal in the 12th minute of the third period when she broke free behind Crookston’s back line and shot the puck past Pirates’ goalie Kailee Magsam into the right upper corner of the net.

“We stuck with our game plan. We played a lot smarter in the second and third periods in terms of dumping it deep and getting off quick and getting our forecheck going,” McIvor began. “When we had it on their end, we seemed to have down there a long time but when they got it on our end, it stayed a long time in our end.

“So the neutral zone needed to be fix a little bit and taking care of our own end which we did.”

Both Reule and Carlson finished with two points apiece and Molly Black finished with 31 saves for the Firebirds (10-5). Black had eight saves in the third period that saw Crookston’s Grace Koshney shot attempt go high and Cassie Solheim’s shot get deflected by Black, both chances could have given the Pirates the lead.

Magsam had 17 saves for Crookston (9-13).

Chris Harris can be reached at charris@devilslakejournal.com.

Crookston at Devils Lake girls hockey summary

Crookston 2 0 0 — 2

Devils Lake 1 1 1 — 3

First period_1, Crookston, Meier (Bergquist), 9:39. 2, Crookston, Bienek (Tiedemann), 14:33. 3, Devils Lake, Reule (Carlson, Abrahamson), 16:06.

Second period_4, Devils Lake, Klemetsrud (Kraft, E. Black), 1:17.

Third period_5, Devils Lake, Klemetsrud (Reule, Carlson), 12:25.

Shots on goal_Crookston 15-10-8_33. Devils Lake 7-9-4_20

Power-play Opportunities_Crookston 1 of 1; Devils Lake 0 for 1.

Goalies_Crookston, Magsam 6-8-3 (20 shots-17 saves). Devils Lake, M. Black 13-10-8 (33 shots-31 saves).