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AREA NOTEBOOK: Crookston girls hockey breaks two state records for fastest goals

Generating a lot of offense has been a problem for the Crookston girls hockey team. Until last Friday. The Pirates, after managing only 10 goals in their first eight games, beat Lake of the Woods 9-0. In the process, Crookston broke two state rec...

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Generating a lot of offense has been a problem for the Crookston girls hockey team.

Until last Friday.

The Pirates, after managing only 10 goals in their first eight games, beat Lake of the Woods 9-0. In the process, Crookston broke two state records for fastest goals.

"It was kind of fun for the kids, something they'll remember,'' Crookston coach Jeff Perreault said. "It was an explosion.''

Maddie Nicholls started the outburst with her first goal of the season, a wrist shot from the short side at the 16:41 mark of the second period for a 6-0 lead. Then it was rapid fire off faceoffs -- first Brooke Schmitz scored at 16:50, followed five seconds later by Lizzy Awender finding the back of the net. The net result was three goals in 14 seconds.

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Following Nicholls' goal, Perreault said, "off the faceoff, Lizzy pushed the puck to Brooke's side. She got in free for a quick shot and beat the goalie low to the stick side. Then Lizzy pushed one out herself past the center on the next faceoff, somehow reached between two defensemen and hit a slapshot in. They were both long shots.

"As a coach, getting near the end of the period, you're thinking about what you're going to say in the locker room. Then, all of a sudden, the kids are celebrating again and again and again. You just don't see that happen.''

According to Minnesota State High School League records, previous state records for fastest three goals by the same team was 47 seconds and the fastest between two goals was six seconds. Both were set by Simley against Academy of Holy Angels in the 2004-05 season.

The Pirates are 3-7-1 after beating Moorhead 3-0 on Tuesday, their second win in their last three games. They're still adjusting to the graduation loss of Briana Breiland, who accounted for the majority of the scoring last season with 49 goals.

"We've really struggled scoring goals,'' Perreault said. "We've had chances. I don't know if we have that natural goal-scorer; it's more mucking them in, off rebounds and tips. Without Briana, it has to be more of a team effort. And it is coming along.

"It was nice to have a day like that, having seven different girls putting the puck in the net. Hopefully a day like that builds some confidence.''

RLCC ends skid

Red Lake County Central now has a two-game winning streak in girls basketball. That's after snapping a 29-game losing streak last week.

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The team's skid dated back to the final game of the 2011-12 season. The Mustangs were 0-26 last season and lost their first two this year. But RLCC scored a 54-40 win against Blackduck last week before beating Laporte 51-29 on Tuesday.

"There are a lot more smiles now,'' RLCC coach Nick Furnstahl said. "It's tough when the win column always has a zero on it.

"It was a relief to get a win. But I knew we'd be OK, considering how much work the kids put in during the offseason. Give credit to the girls; they wanted to get better, to not repeat what they went through last year. That was tough, especially because we let a couple of close games slip through our fingers.''

Brooks Gustafson had 26 points in the win against Blackduck and 20 against Laporte. She paces the team with a 16.5 scoring average.

Olson leads RLF

Alexia Olson has had a double double in points and rebounds in three of Red Lake Falls' first four games. And there's a reason she hasn't been four-for-four.

"We were ahead by a lot, so she didn't play a lot,'' Red Lake Falls coach Brian Remick said of a 57-20 win against Climax-Fisher, in which the 6-foot-2 junior had nine points and seven rebounds.

Otherwise, Olson has had 14 or more points and rebounds in every game for the 3-1 Eagles.

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The junior averages 17.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3.3 blocks. She's picked up from last season when she shared duties in the post with older sister Megan, who now plays at Concordia College.

"Alexia is our first option,'' Remick said. "Most teams we play can't match up with her height.

"She's a year older, a year stronger. And we're calling on her to do a little more because we only have one instead of two 6-footers in the post now. There are more scoring and rebounding opportunities for her. And she's done a good job.''

Briefly

All-tournament picks at the Northland Community and Technical College/KTRF girls basketball tournament were: Jordyn Lloyd, Michele Remer and Stacy Remer of champion Sacred Heart; Shantel Verbout and Courtney Olson, Goodridge-Grygla; Carly Safranski, Stephen-Argyle; Tori Mekash, Badger-Greenbush-Middle River; Britta Rynning, Kittson County Central; Allyson Dahl, Northern Freeze; and Brooke Gustafson, Red Lake County Central. Stacy Remer was named tournament most valuable player. . . . In the NCTC/KTRF boys basketball tournament, all-tournament picks were: Mitchell Mosher, Fertile-Beltrami; Owen Ellefson, Stephen-Argyle; Darius Watson, Badger-G-MR; Tra Alderete, Goodridge-Grygla; Reegen Hetland, Clearbrook-Gonvick; Josh LaDuke and Alvin Wind, Cass Lake-Bena; and Jeremy Martin, Trevenn Beaulieu and Ryan Holthusen (MVP) of champion Red Lake. . . . Riley Nelson and Jayden Grover of Griggs County Central were all-tournament picks at the Barnes County Invitational boys basketball tournament. . . . Trenton McCloud of Northern Lights won the 220-pound division at the Kenmare wrestling tournament. . . . Crookston boys basketball coach Greg Garmen won the 250th game of his coaching career last week.

DeVillers reports on sports. Call him at (701) 780-1128, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1128 or send e-mail to gdevillers@gfherald.com .

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